Year 9 visit the British Science Museum

Our entire year nine cohort were offered the opportunity to join the coach trip to the British Science Museum in London. Whilst being split across two visits, one for the X-side and one for the Y-side, uptake was fantastic, and the excitement in the morning between our students was evident as they boarded the coach to go.
On arrival, groups were each given a map and itinerary which were designed to ensure that they maximised their trip by visiting and experiencing as many of the displays and interactive exhibits as possible.
Some of the key attractions that we visited included;
The Flight zone - where overhead walkways allowed students to get up close to aeroplanes suspended in the air.
Students examined exhibits from the pioneer days of aviation, including the world’s most authentic Antoinette monoplane (1909), Amy Johnson’s Gipsy Moth and the Vickers Vimy, which first flew across the Atlantic in 1919.
The Engineer Your Future zone - An interactive exhibition to get students thinking about their futures, where challenges, games and films helped them to understand what engineers actually do.
A particular favourite was the Energy Hall zone, where students discovered how steam power shaped the modern world.
A wonderful day was had by everyone. The Science Faculty

Birchwood’s British Physics Olympiad Gold Winners

Year 13 Physics students William Blakey and Alex Sawyer have had an amazing start to their final year. It started with their A level Physics teacher Mr William-Powlett encouraging them to enter the British Physics Olympiad; a test for the very best young physicists in the country and beyond. The Olympiad had nearly 5,000 of the best British students and International students entering. Amazingly both young men scored a Gold in the paper, putting them in the top 20% of results in the world. William was amongst the very best results in the cohort and was awarded a Top Gold and invited to try out for the British Physics Olympiad team with an even more fiendishly difficult paper. The good news didn’t stop there. A week after receiving the BPhO results both boys found out that they had received offers from Oxford University to study Physics subject to their grades in the Summer.

Year 12 Biology

As a part of their practical work, Year 12 biology students were investigating the effectiveness of different antibiotics on bacterial culture Microccus Luteum. This is a common bacterium that can be found on or hands and surfaces. The students mastered common aceptic techniques that are widely used in a microbiology lab.

The making of model cells

Last half term some Year 7 and Year 9 students completed a home learning project where they had to make a model of a cell. The students used research, imagination and an impressive set of skills from baking cakes, modelling with playdough and variety of the materials to 3D-printing in order to design and execute their models.
Year 7 students, who have just been exposed to the wonders of Cell Biology, focused on making the models of animal, plant and red blood cells, translating challenging key terms into a variety of colourful organelles, labelling them and explaining their functions. This work has truly been impressive and of a very high quality. Year 9 students took a step forward and presented eukaryotic cells, that all multicellular organisms are made of, and prokaryotic cells, found in bacteria. One group of very keen Biologists from Year 9 designed the models of eight highly specialised cells, including neuron and muscle cell, and made 3-D prints of these, accompanying each model with detailed annotations and labels.

Stem Club

Stem Club

This term we have focused on enriching the curriculum with a fun and educational STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) club. Students have made density rainbows using coloured sugar solutions and most recently engineered spaghetti marshmallow towers. In a race against the clock students worked as a team to build the highest tower possible out of dried spaghetti and marshmallows. The objective of this session was to explore structures and investigate what methods of building can make the tallest and strongest structure.
More fun will follow this summer as students are challenged to build a marble run out of cardboard. Using engineering students will make a cardboard marble run that keeps a marble running for 30 seconds. All of year 7 are welcome. C10 Wednesday lunch
Mrs Pressland, Science

Epping Forrest

Biodiversity at Epping Forrest

Twenty five Year 12 students went to Epping Forest on a field studies trip to investigate how different abiotic factors affect the abundance of plant species. After an introduction to the use of quadrats and how to identify different plant species, students spent the morning randomly sampling the distribution and height of bracken in two areas of the forest.

After a quick lunch, students compared the biodiversity of two different ponds. A wide variety of invertebrates and other organisms were found, including water scorpions, aggressive dragonfly nymphs and several species of newts.

Mrs Smith