Wellcome Genome Institute Nov2018 2w

Wellcome Genome Campus – Cambridge

Miss H. Spiller, Subject Leader: Biology, writes:

On Tuesday 20th November, Year 12 biologists visited the Wellcome Genome Institute in Hinxton.
At the campus they visited the Sanger Institute one of the foremost centres of genomics research and innovation in the world, carrying out leading-edge scientific research that uses genome sequences to understand the biology of humans and pathogens (organisms that cause diseases, such as bacteria and viruses).

They also spoke to researchers based at European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s European Bioinformatics Institute which provides data services and training that help scientists realise the potential of ‘big data’ in the biological sciences, paving the way for discoveries that benefit humankind.
Our students got to hear from researchers and scientists that currently work at the institute and are at the forefront of cutting edge research including work on malaria and cancer. They had the opportunity to hear from scientists which are part of the ‘Human Cell Atlas’ project and the ‘Earth Bio-genome project’ which is a global effort to sequence the genetic code, or genomes, of all 1.5 million known animal, plant, protozoan and fungal species on Earth.

The Year 12 students worked in groups to analyse DNA and proteins related to skin cancer and MRSA. The visit finished with a tour of the sequencing and data centre.

‘The buildings and architecture was very impressive and it was all really energy efficient.’ Lucy Thompson

‘It was amazing to see Chromosome 22 in book form.’ Allyna Farrell

‘The technology was incredible. The internet speed – you can now sequence a human genome in less than one hour, compared to 20 years ago when it took 13 years to sequence one human genome.’ Muskaan Ahmed

‘The fact they have only just found a brand new type of cell called Ionocytes in lung tissue that they think may be the cause of cystic fibrosis, is mind-blowing.’ Pia Joyce

‘It was great to be able to identify a mutation occurring in the DNA of a patient in the workshop run by the Institute.’ Harry Cross

Skills Fair 2018 1aw

The UK’s Biggest Jobs and Careers Event

Mrs E Ahmad, Student Career and Enterprise Leader, writes:

Year 12 and 13 students visited Skills London 2019 which provided them with the opportunity to discover careers through interactive, inspirational activities and demonstrations, and helped them visually bridge the gap between what they enjoy doing and what they could potentially do as a career.

The visit was jam-packed and full of interactive, fun, inspiring and informative activities, features and hands-on demonstrations. Students were encouraged to try as many as possible and talk to the different organisations to find out more about what the future has to offer them.

Over 200 organisations were in attendance and all were eager to help students plan their future career path including employers, colleges, universities and training providers.

“Best experience, I am extremely satisfied with my visit.” Callie Burton 12B
“It was very interesting and was a great way to learn about some unique careers options. It also allowed us to gain more insight into university courses and Uni life.” Louise Avery 13B and Pia Joyce 12K

“We learnt about some new opportunities and we got a better understanding of businesses that exist and have improved our business awareness. We were all really interested.” Millie Jackson 12K and Martha Budge 12O

“There were lots of apprenticeship opportunities with helpful staff on hand to give advice. It was a really interesting and relevant day.” Arkadiusz Ochnio 12S

GenerationeXt 2018w 2

GenerationeXt at Roche

Mrs A. Langley, Teacher of  Science, writes:

On Friday 16th November, Roche in Welwyn Garden City threw open their doors for 6th form STEM students. Four intrepid Stanborough science students went to see what it was about. GenerationeXt opened with a fascinating welcome address from Stephen McGann, star of Call the Midwife and famed science communicator. Our students got a lot out of his talk about how the arts and sciences are interrelated.

Next, the Army, Navy and RAF led a workshop based on engineering. Teams had to create a cable car to transport much needed supplies to areas of Nepal devastated by an earthquake using massive mechano sets. The catch? There were three groups, each designing one component, and none of the groups could see each other. Sophie took charge of her group, and led them well in designing a great cable car tower. As the groups came together, the room was full of anticipation as we waited to see if each group had successfully designed a cable car system to work together. After a few disappointing attempts, they were successful once they applied the parallelogram of forces to the problem. This workshop was rounded off by an excellent Q&A session from the Armed Forces personnel about careers.

A maths workshop was our next stop, where maths was shown in context of clinical trials. Our 6th formers were both clinical trial patients and the scientists conducting the tests. Once the tests were done, they had to create a talk to present to all the other schools participating about what they found out. Allyna bravely took on the role of presenter, and wowed the crowd with the group’s excellent analysis. This session brought up lots of discussion about clinical trials, and all the various jobs involved in bringing a drug from a molecule to being safe for human use.

During lunch we were joined by lots of Roche employees giving our sixth formers lots of opportunities to talk to them about their jobs and find out all about the different careers available to them in STEM.

After lunch was an exciting careers workshop. First was a CV workshop, where the aim was to create the best CV for a person applying for a STEM job and to present it to actual working recruiters. Next, Stephen McGann appeared and led a presentation skills workshop. Everyone was given two minutes to prepare a one minute talk on a science topic of their choice and then present it to a room full of people they did not know. Adrenaline was pumping as presentations were made and Stephen McGann critiqued the presentations.

The final workshop of the day was all about the use of technology in medicine. Dr Shah Ahmed, the doctor who operated live on Channel 5, had brought along his augmented reality equipment. It was fascinating to put on a headset and watch as a skeleton appears before you, slowly filling with veins, arteries, nerves and muscles. Best of all, it looked so real, as if you could touch it, and as you moved around it you could see all angles of it. The applications for this technology are amazing! We used virtual reality equipment that could be used by surgeons to train in new procedures, and everyone got to have a go operating on their virtual patient. There was finally augmented reality and virtual reality fused together, bringing to life a full operating theatre and the patient perspective. The applications of these technologies, not just in medicine and education but in lots of other fields, are very exciting.

Our day at GenerationeXt ended with a keynote address from Shalom Lloyd, founder of Naturally Tribal Skincare and TEDx speaker. Her key takeaways from the day were to maximise every opportunity, never be afraid to make mistakes, and to be kind and pay it forward.

Everyone got a lot out of the day, not only some useful careers advice but also an excellent vision for the future. Our thanks go to Roche for organising such a fantastic event.


P16 Making the most of half term Oct2018 3w

Making the most of half term

Edgar Kager, 13H, writes:

During half term Joseph Lowton and I were given the fantastic opportunity to spend time gaining work experience from one of the school governors.

Jon Earnshaw, CTO of Pi Datametrics, was more than happy to take us on for four days at his London based cloud software consultancy office to learn the practicalities of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

However, during our four days we were not just limited to that.

One of the major contributions from our time there was digging through a recently conducted research paper on the state of voice search. This is because it is predicted by artificial intelligence experts that by 2020 half of search volume will be voice search.

Jon described our ability to carefully extract data and information from this research paper as extremely useful for shaping how he will approach clients of Pi Datametrics and as a knock on effect how companies will more accurately cater to consumers using voice chat.

We also aided in the creation of a more comprehensive questionnaire that would be used to develop a deeper understanding of the uses of voice chat in cooking, such as searching up recipes and news.
In between these times we were also educated in some of the common issues of SEO and the elaborate and complicated software that Pi Datametrics uses to reverse engineer Google and improve the competitive edge of their clients on the platform.

In between this we were invited into meetings that involved massive brands such as Dyson and Whitbread (they own both Costa Coffee and Premier Inns). Here we were given a taster into Earnshaw’s pitch and presentation style and the key issues present in these companies’ websites that was losing them visibility on the search engine Google.

On our final day we were challenged to create a similar pitch presentation for the rising online investment management company Nutmeg. All our hard work certainly paid off because at the end of the day when we showed Mr Earnshaw our presentation he said he would personally use it and that it was higher quality than some of the work by postgraduates for his company that he has seen before. Principles of SEO that took months for some of his employees to grasp was condensed and learnt swiftly within those four days by us.


Art Workshop Y12 Nov2018 6w

Year 12 Art Workshop