This year’s STEM Week has focused on problem-solving and our Daily Dolphin e-newsletter featured an early morning workout from Mr Fry in the maths department which definitely got the brain cells whirring! Coinciding with British Science Week, the programme has featured carousels of activities in the Bishop Centre, mathematical Dingbats, GCHQ-style challenges and an intriguing STEM-related Emoji quiz. Other highlights included the Lower Sixth Science-themed ‘Pub’ Quiz, the STEM House Family Challenge and a special session run by our aspiring Sixth Form medics for Year 10 students to diagnose Accident and Emergency real-life scenarios.
On Thursday morning our Lower Sixth Mathematicians attended a Maths Inspiration lecture hosted by the superb stand-up comedian and mathematician Matt Parker at The Phoenix Theatre. Our students enjoyed three fantastic lectures by Zoe Griffiths, Tom Crawford and Ben Sparks. Zoe spoke about “Numbers in the News” and challenged our students to think critically about the statistics they see in the media and debunk controversial news headlines including recent ones suggesting double-vaccinated adults are more likely to have Covid. Tom’s talk on “Using Maths To Save The Planet” explained how mathematical models could be used to track the path of river water when it enters the ocean and this could then be used to remove plastic pollution by targeting the most affected areas. Ben took us on a journey into the beauty, awe and mystery of mathematics through different types numbers – from surds and the spiral of Theodorus, to complex numbers and the beauty of the Julia and Mandelbrot set fractals flowers, to the golden ratio as the “most” irrational number and how flowers pack their seeds efficiently. Our students returned to Iffley Road with their mathematical horizons truly broadened!
STEM week also shone a spotlight on the fantastic range of science-related clubs and societies that take place every lunchtime and students have been encouraged to try their hand at Robotics and Programming, Dissection Club, Chem Club, Hackers Club, Technology and Design Thinking Club, Computing Club, Physics and Engineering Society, Coding Club and the STEM Lecture Society. Thank you very much to Head of Mathematics, Mr Ramsden, and his department who put together such an inspiring week of activities.
Following on from STEM Week, we are also extending an invitation to our wider Godolphin Community to have a crack at our 2022 Computing Challenge: a string of problems which get increasingly more difficult. The solution to each puzzle allows you to unlock the next puzzle. All the details including instructions and the first challenge are to be found in this link. It is a team challenge so we’re positively encouraging students to rope in their friends and family to help them. The deadline is 4.00pm Tuesday 19 April – the first day of next term – so it’s the perfect challenge for the Easter holidays and there will be prizes!