Our focus on all things Science, Maths and Engineering during National Science Week at the end of March was an overwhelming success. We were delighted to offer such a wide range of different opportunities for our students and enjoyed their responses to such stimulating workshops and lectures.

National Science week was focused on celebrating the international year of light and at the Archer Academy we approached the celebrations with our own brand of creativity to celebrate all things STEM related. We suspended normal lessons in Science and Design Technology and invited professionals across the disciplines to lead lectures and workshops.

Here is what Head of Science, Amira Mahmood had to say about it:

What a remarkable week we have had for our celebration for all things STEM. We began with an ‘I’m a scientist get me out of here’ event. The highlights were the creative and interesting questions such as ‘What is space time?’ I am incredibly proud of the way our Archers put the scientists, through their paces!

Some Year 8 students had the opportunity to talk to Matthew Tata who is studying for a PhD in Developmental and Stem Cell Biology at University College London. He spoke to the students about his experiences as a PhD student. Staff and students were blown away by the enthusiasm he demonstrated for his subject with Zaynah from Year 8 commenting: “The whole group felt like going into stem cell research after the talk, it was amazing”.

Welcoming 90 Year 6 students of Garden Suburb Junior School was a particular highlight as the students clearly left our school feeling inspired about science. Watching our yr7 students grow into the role of leading the next year group was wonderful to see. A truly favourite part of the day was to see the reaction of the students when we made a jelly baby scream – it certainly led to some very interesting questions from year 6!

We were thrilled to welcome Dr David Mulryne from Queen Mary University to lead a lecture to all our students. David’s explanation of our knowledge of the edges of the known universe, with his talk on cosmology and his explanation of the big bang theory sparked imagination and stimulated wonderful debate.

Later in the week, Dean Halsall really bought Maths to life by demonstrating how it applies to his job in programming. Students saw first-hand how important it is to not only develop their numeracy skills but also the deeper topics covered in mathematics. Watching our students apply their logical skills when looking at data made me feel we have some analysts amongst us.

Although we faced the disappointment of the cloudy weather blocking the eclipse our students demonstrated great resilience. We looked at the other effects of the eclipse such as the drop in the temperature. I enjoyed watching the groups grow in confidence while explaining how eclipses occur and the difference between lunar and solar eclipses. Our student trying on the special eclipse viewers was a particular highlight.

We ended our celebrations with our visit from student doctor Anisha Khan, from King’s College London. She ran a number of workshops about going to university and then gave our students a crash course on how to measure blood pressure, oxygen saturation and peak flow. Additionally, she also taught a Year 7 class about the physiology and anatomy of the heart. It was a really proud moment watching our Archers rise to the challenge of KS4 and A-level biology and Dr Anisah was really impressed with their enthusiasm.

This really was a special week and there was a real buzz around the school with our students discussing the various session through the week. I wonder how many will take up the challenge of going into these extraordinary fields of study?

We are already looking forward to what we do next!