Science and Technology Festival 2021

Science & Technology Festival

The biennial Science and Technology Festival made a return on Monday 21 June and spanned three entire school days. The programme offered students a broad range of interactive workshops, interesting lectures and amazing demonstrations, covering all aspects of science and technology.

“It has been an unalloyed pleasure to see the wide eyes and open mouths of our pupils experiencing everyday science in new and exciting ways. From complex university-style lectures on chemical processes through to magnificent ‘beasties’ and tremendous ‘BANGS!’ – the whole community has embarked on a fascinating voyage of scientific discovery.”

-Neal Parker, Head

Usually we would welcome boys and girls from local prep schools, our parents and the local community to get involved and attend the numerous exciting events. However, due to COVID-19, this year we have been unable to. Therefore, to share an insight into what the week entailed and what our lucky students got up to, we’ve written a post-festival wrap up.

Surprising Science with Matt Pritchard

Lower School students attended a ‘Surprising Science’ show with Matt Pritchard in the Dobson Theatre. The show challenged students to think creatively, like both a scientist and a magician, to discover the sneaky scientific secrets behind the most surprising illusions. It was a fantastic show to watch, and Matt Pritchard enthused, motivated and inspired every child in the room!

Fibre Optic Lamp Workshop

Fourth Year students this week have been constructing fibre optic lamps from simple LED circuit and fibre optic cable. This activity allows students to apply their technical understanding gained from several topics taught this year, to create a scientifically and aesthetically pleasing lamp they were able to take home and enjoy!

Sixth Form – How can I use chemistry to solve the world’s biggest problems? by David Read

Professor David Read spoke to Sixth Formers about how chemistry can be used to solve the world’s biggest problems and explaining how the skills gained from learning chemistry can be used to discover new medicines and vaccines, or to develop the next generation of sustainable electric cars. Professor Read explored the chemistry behind climate change, the world’s fuel consumption and the concept of supply and demand. It was a truly fascinating session.

The role of ocean biology in climate regulation – Dr Daniel Mayor (NOCs)

Dr Daniel Mayor, a marine biogeochemist, examined how ocean biology influences global climate and the provisioning of food security, with a group of Sixth Form students. The session also looked at how organisms interact with the cycling of carbon and nitrogen in the context of environmental change.

Car of the Future Competition

Students in Third Year learnt about the aerodynamics of cars and were able to have a go at designing and making the most aerodynamic car shapes as possible. To put their creations to the test, the cars were fired out of rocket motors in order to establish the best design.

The Science of the Sound of Music with Mr Herklots

The ‘Science of the Sound of Music’ given by KES physics teacher, Mr Herklots and music teacher, Ms Hayden, with help from Sixth Formers, was an exploration of how we hear sounds and what makes some notes musical. The session included live music and many entertaining and thought-provoking experiments that Second and Fourth Year students enjoyed.

The KES Science Show

Three Lower Sixth students led the ‘KES Science Show’ for an audience of First Years. The session was filled with various science demonstrations, with the First Year students challenged to explain the science behind it. Just some of these demonstrations were ‘Elephant’s Toothpaste’ and ‘Setting fire to my hand’.

Jonathan Jungle

Naturalist and zoologist, Jonathan, surprised all Lower School students when he turned up with his full collection of animals… including snakes! Jonathan’s Jungle Roadshow, used the animals to enhance their understanding of science, and gave them an experience of seeing (and in some cases touching) the beautiful animals.

Science Creative Writing Competition

Second Year students were invited to enter a creative writing competition, which specifically relates to Science or Technology. Students wrote up to 500 words, were able to reference a piece of scientific research if they wished, and could choose if the piece was fictional or non-fiction. Students were able to use the expansive Library for scientific books, academic resources and fiction books. They were also allowed to use art, to illustrate their piece. Submissions so far have included stories about aliens, radiation and mutating viruses!

Sea Creatures by KES Character Design Club

Members of the KES Character Design Club created a series of illustrations inspired by sea creatures found in our oceans. Lower School students combined elements from several animals, either living or extinct, to create their own surreal monsters! They also took the original Latin names of the sea creatures and merged them to create the names of their new underwater creations. Brilliant designs, and excellent to see cross-curricular learning come to life.