Opinions

Thinking Science: provoking thought and generating discussion

Thinking Science is a stimulating set of philosophical questions that provoke critical thought about physics, chemistry, biology and working scientifically.Below is an example of the kind of question created by the Department of Philosophy at the University of Bristol, where I first came across Thinking Science as a PGCE student. I use this...


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Inspiring the next generation with the world and wonder of science

Bethan Cornell MPhys (Hons) is a PhD Student in Physics at King's College London and a STEM Ambassador. Over the last year, she has delivered career talks for young people and supported their development of employability skills.She is motivated to volunteer due to her frustrations about the stereotypes that exist in society about scientists....


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Why outreach completes your degree

Before starting university I had never heard of outreach, and I definitely didn’t know how rewarding it could be to share my love of science with the local community. That changed when I joined the Women in Science and Engineering Society (WISE), became a STEM Ambassador and started running local afterschool science clubs.Based at the...


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Quantum Technology: Tomorrow's Frontier

The first quantum revolutionEinstein’s work on light and matter interacting led to him observing the “photoelectric effect”. This work ultimately led to the invention of semiconductors, atomic clocks, satellite navigation, lasers, MRI scanners and many other devices that use quantum mechanics – the first quantum revolution.The work currently being...


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Immersive experiences to inspire the classroom

When I became Head of Biology I was surprised at how few medical students we were producing. I investigated the situation and it appeared that very few of our most able students were applying for medicine in the first place.Looking further it seemed that students were either not well enough informed, or not confident in putting themselves up for...


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STEM Ambassadors: keeping Rail Week on track

With a huge shortage of young people seeing engineering as a career choice for them, Network Rail is passionate about promoting it as something that will open a world of possibility for them in the future.In my role as Project Leader at Network Rail, I am fortunate enough to be involved in the Government-led ‘Year of Engineering’ campaign.This has...


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Achieving good practical science through extended projects

Last year the Gatsby Charitable Foundation launched Good Practical Science, a new report outlining ten benchmarks for secondary schools to transform practical science education in England.The report, led by Sir John Holman, a chemist, former headteacher and senior advisor to the Foundation, provides recommendations to help schools achieve world-...


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What does good technical support look like in a science department?

Some schools and colleges may believe that delivering good technical support to the science department is purely supplementary: technicians ensure teachers have all the equipment that they need, know exactly what they're going to do with it and feel confident that they know the experiment they're going to carry out is going to work. At The Magna...


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Access to Higher Education: a story of success in STEM

I work for Coventry University Scarborough as a tutor in health and human sciences. Our course is an Access to Higher Education route that, upon completion, will lead students onto a health or science-based degree at university.My role involves all aspects of teaching for the course, including human biology and the cardiovascular system. We...


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How do you solve a problem like girls in physics?

Three years ago my colleagues and I sat down to discuss how we could, in our own small way, help to tackle the problem of a low uptake of A level physics by girls. The result was a termly event called Girls in Physics.The aim of this evening event is to create a space for girls to network with each other, to meet students with similar interests,...


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