GCSE Science Live Trip

On Monday 26th February 2024, twenty Year 10 students embarked on a visit to the annual GCSE Science Live, an enriching presentation orchestrated by expert scientists with the intention of inspiring students to fulfil their potential. We arrived at Symphony Hall in the heart of Birmingham at 10 am sharp and were guided into the magnificent hall which housed over 2000 student coming from schools all over the country to hear these extraordinary scientists. After being provided with booklets which contained everything there was to know about the program, the show began with renowned biologist Professor Robert Winston, a man who was a part of the team involved with the invention of IVF in humans. He enlightened us all with his expertise in reproductive physiology and by the end of his performance, we were enriched with knowledge that could only be sourced from the best of the best. It was an amazing thing to hear from a person whose profession revolved around the very thing we study!

Next up was Dr Anna Ploszajski, an award-winning materials scientist and author of the popular Science book ‘Handmade’. Her talk was all about the amount of Science gone into the production of each and every man-made object in order to make it as suited to its function as possible. She told us her story about swimming the English Channel and made sure to explain all the Science behind her preparation to get through this astonishing feat. In addition, she gave us a memorable quote that helped her throughout her impressive journey – “The greatest view comes after the greatest climb”. This taught us specifically that when we try our free hardest, we will achieve the greatest outcome. After we finished listening, we were given a 15-minute break where we could have a walk around and purchase any snacks or drinks.

After the break, we were greeted by Dr Hannah Critchlow, an expert in Science communication and a scientist named one of Cambridge University’s inspirational and successful women in Science. Her knowledge-rich talk told us all about the human brain and delved us deep into the world of neuroscience, the fascinating study of the brain. I had the opportunity to ask her a question and impressively it stumped her! She was highly educated nonetheless and taught us effective ways to increase brain activity.

Following on, we had our long-awaited lunch and enjoyed some hearty meals before returning to the hall where we were met by theoretical physicist Professor Jim Al-Khalili, presenter of many famed Science documentaries and host of a weekly BBC Radio 4 program. He gave us an insight into theoretical physics and introduced us to the possibility of real time travel using the speed of light, a puzzling but enticing topic. It was here our knowledge of anything beyond Earth was boosted and it was a very enjoyable presentation.

Lastly, we were paid a visit by Chief Examiner Stewart Chenery, a man who informed us of all the do’s and don’ts of exams and taught us all about command words in test papers and how to structure exam answers. He also covered how the Sciences are tested and introduced us to some very essential revision techniques. This was really useful as we have all now been taught on how to approach our exams question by Chief Examiner himself! Soon after this, our day of learning came to an end as we all made our ways home feeling dejected that it was over but blessed that we had experienced this absolute gift of a program. It allowed us to explore new areas of Science that were previously unknown to us and gave us the opportunity to truly see the beauty of Science and how it shapes our world

Written by Adnan Wais (10G) and Daniel Alloh (10N)