Archive for December, 2011

What’s the link between zebras, climate change and giant lasers?

The answer is they’re just a few of the topics discussed by some of the country’s top scientists at the GCSE Science Live! Event on the 25th November. Mr Bilton and Mrs Camm took 32 members of 11 Sci 1 to the talks held at the Dominion Theatre, London.

The event attracted around 1600 GCSE students from across the country, who had gathered to listen to five scientists discuss a range of fascinating topics.

Prof. Steve Jones, a geneticist, talked about the relative merits of the nature vs nurture argument. Prof. Sir David King, who was once the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, spoke about Climate Change and the problems that will need to be tackled in the future. The infamous Prof. Richard Dawkins posed the question ‘Is Evolution Predictable’ and Dr Kate Lancaster explored the use of high-powered lasers to trigger nuclear fusion reactions – a source of incredible energy. The talk was concluded by chemist Prof. Andrea Sella, who looked at the connection between chemical reactions and the patterns found in the skins and fur of animals.

The talks were delivered in a thoroughly engaging manner by scientists that conveyed their passion and love of the subject. The students really enjoyed themselves and were still discussing the lectures several days later.

The 5 scientists who spoke at GCSE Science Live!


Dryhill Quarry

Posted: December 14, 2011 by Mr Bilton in Field Work, Geology, Trips
Tags: , ,

On the 30th October, Miss Vine and myself took a group of seven budding Geologists from Year 11 on the first Geology Club trip.

Despite a little confusion about the departure time (I thought it was an hour earlier than it actually was…) we were soon underway, heading towards Dryhill Nature Reserve in Kent.

Dryhill was once an active quarry but has since been turned into a nature reserve and also recognised as an area of geological importance.

Once we had arrived the group had the chance to look carefully at sedimentary and structural features at the numerous exposures, make careful observations and then attempt to piece together the geological story preserved in the rocks.

Dryhill is a great location to study folding and the group was able to identify features such as anticlines and synclines and even predict (with some accuracy) what they expected to find at the next exposure. We were even lucky with the weather – the rain held off until we were back in the minibus.

Clearly exposed layers of limestone and sandstone

Hello and welcome,

This is the official blog for the Science Department at Loreto College, St Albans.

Once it gets going properly, we hope to have lots of activity here – reports on projects and activities done in lessons, photographs and accounts of trips and extra-curricular events, articles about exam technique and revision, and news and explanations of topical science.

Hope you enjoy your visit!

Mr Bilton