Last week we took the First Years on a trip to the Glasgow Science Centre. As well as having fun and learning science in the Science Mall, they enjoyed a show and visited the IMAX cinema and the Planetarium.
A group of 37 Higher biology pupils, accompanied by Mrs Welsh and Miss Brennan, recently spent a day at Glasgow University. They took part in a workshop on PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) which was organised by the Glasgow Science Centre. The students had to amplify DNA from two different patients who were each presenting symptoms of a different virus. The pupils had to carry out a test to establish which virus each patient was displaying. They were also given talks by university staff on careers in Biological Sciences and developments such as the Human Genome Project. Students then discussed moral and ethical issues arising from the talks. The students thought the experience was invaluable and they all enjoyed the practical experiments.
We are very pleased to welcome three new staff to the department this session – Miss Brennan and Miss Clarkson in biology, and Mr Bryson in physics.
We are delighted to announce that five of our senior science students have qualified as STEM Ambassadors.
Alix Goodbrand, Allan Goodbrand, Lewis Houston, Aleena Nauman and Emma Ross have gone through a rigorous training programme.
They are now qualified to lead younger pupils in STEM activities (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).
We get involved in lots of STEM activities (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).
Last week Mrs Welsh organised a trip for some of our S2 pupils to a “Big Bang” event at New College Lanarkshire.
As well as doing lots of fun activities like Robotics and Animation, the pupils learned about some interesting careers.
Congratulations to Allan Goodbrand who has gained a Nuffield Placement this summer. This is our second success and Allan joins Aleena Nauman in representing the school in these prestigious placements.
While the rest of us wind down to the summer holidays, S6 pupil Allan is gearing up to go to Strathclyde University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He will work on a project to investigate how chemicals in the environment affect antibiotic resistance in bacteria.
Well done and best wishes to Allan and Aleena, and thanks to Miss Feighan for setting them up.
The Physics Department is organising a trip to CERN, the European Centre for Nuclear Research, for next year’s Higher Physics pupils.
CERN is near Geneva and is most famous for its Large Hadron Collider (LHC). This particle accelerator is at the cutting edge of modern physics, and was used in the discovery of the Higgs Boson in 2012. CERN is also where the World Wide Web was invented.
This will be our first trip to CERN but we know of many other schools who have told us it is a fantastic experience.
The trip, from Monday 4th to Wednesday 6th February 2019, will cost approximately £300. This includes flights, transfers, insurance and accommodation.
Information letters have been posted to the pupils who have opted for Higher Physics. The first 12 pupils to return a £50 deposit will get one of the 12 available places.
We are delighted that Aleena Nauman in S5 has been successful in gaining a research placement with the Nuffield Foundation. This is a tremendous achievement for Aleena and a great honour for the school.
Nuffield Research Placements provide over 1,100 students each year with the opportunity to work alongside professional scientists, engineers and mathematicians.
Aleena will spend her summer holidays working with Dr Mark Williams from Glasgow Caledonian University. The title of her project will be “Does sphingosine kinase 1 contribute towards bone marrow mediated chemotherapy resistance in Acute Myeloid Leukemia?”
A group of physics pupils enjoyed a trip to Hunterston B nuclear power station near Largs. Before the trip, the pupils learned about nuclear power. Some even made a model nuclear power station. The pupils agreed that the most interesting part was seeing the control room with the big red button used for emergency shut downs. One reactor was shut down for maintenance, and shortly after we visited it was announced that several cracks had been found in it.