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Barts & Queen Mary Science Virtual Festival 2022

The Barts & Queen Mary Science festival returned this year with talks taking place online throughout the day (banner photo, above) . Year 9 and 10 students were able to attend during their Science lessons, lunch break and after school. The first talk introduced students to clinical research and the types of questions that different healthcare professionals are seeking to answer, in order to improve patient outcomes and well-being. The second two talks focusing on the heart, gave students the opportunity to explore cardiac function and different diagnostic imaging techniques in greater depth. These talks emphasised how basic life support can save lives, timing well with the first aid training that Year 10 students have been covering as part of their PSHE programme recently. The final talk of the day examined how good software design and an understanding of people are essential components of good medical device design, ultimately helping to prevent medical errors from occurring.


Clinical research careers talk — learn more about different ways of starting a clinical career
Nnebs Oje, Royal Hospital Orthopaedic Trust and Jackie Buck, Barts Health Trust

Athlete's heart and basic life support awareness through the eyes of an early career researcher
Liliana Szabo, Advanced Cardiovascular Imaging, Queen Mary University of London

How to fix a broken heart?
Rebecca Charles and Mariana Fernandez Caggiano, William Harvey Research Institute

Human Error and Medical Device Design
Paul Curzon, Queen Mary University of London

Key Skills

The talks also exemplified important key skills required in these STEM careers, helping students to understand the value of developing these skills both in and out of school.

  • Attention to detail – e.g. considering all variables when designing a valid investigative approach
  • Creativity – the ability to innovate and devise practical solutions to problems
  • Empathy - understanding and sharing the feelings of another
  • Team work – working with people in different roles as part of a multidisciplinary team
  • Communication skills – the ability to network, making contact with new people who share similar professional interests. The opportunity to exchange ideas and information is an important part of generating new research ideas and solutions and in securing money to fund new research


Article by Dr S Whiting

Schools' Analyst Competition 2022

Last Friday, six teams of enthusiastic Year 12 students competed in this year's Schools' Analyst Competition. This is an annual competition run by the Royal Society of Chemistry and designed to expand and stretch students' chemistry knowledge, skills and aptitude for analytical chemistry through practical experiments based on real world problems. This year's scenario centred on a family owned fish and chip restaurant that was looking to transform their business while reducing their carbon footprint by changing their suppliers to more local sources.

Students were required to work as a team to complete multiple practical tasks to ensure that the quality of food didn't suffer from these changes. This involved them analysing and comparing flour samples for their protein content and amino acid profile (in particular looking out for the amino acids lysine and leucine which are known to make for the best colours and flavours during cooking), the starch content of potatoes (so the chips were neither too sweet nor starchy) and the acidity of the vinegar (required for the right amount of "tang"), all of the qualities associated with truly excellent fish and chips!

Students will be marked on their understanding and accuracy of the results they collected before scores are then compared against other entries across the country will the final results announced in a few weeks. We wish them the best of luck with their results!

Article by Ms C Rose

Ayush completing a titration to find the acidity of a vinegar sample; Gus using chromatography to analyse the amino acid profile of two flour samples

Wilson’s School

A boys’ grammar school in the London Borough of Sutton (UK), Wilson’s School is:

  • committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment
  • a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (no. 7536970). Registered office: Mollison Drive, Wallington, Surrey SM6 9JW
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