• Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

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NE school is only one chosen for Royal Society exhibition

Students are making final preparations for a unique opportunity to showcase their science at a prestigious exhibition in London.

The King’s Academy, Coulby Newham, will be the only school taking part in The Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition, which is expected to attract at least 13,000 visitors.

The academy teamed up earlier this year with the University of Teesside in a project supported with a partnership grant from The Royal Society, the country’s national academy of science.

The culmination of months of experiments and analysis is the chance to exhibit at The Royal Society headquarters alongside 21 other exhibitors that will include university researchers, Microsoft and AWE, the atomic weapons establishment, with topics ranging from galaxy formation to ocean pollutants.

Steve Simpson, outreach officer with The Royal Society, said: “The unique thing about The King’s Academy’s involvement is that they are the only school to exhibit. They have been carrying out relevant research which we consider to be as good as the other exhibitors’ and that’s really impressive. Visitors will be really interested to hear about it.”

The students have worked with Dr Anna Reynal and Dr Joseph McGinnis from Teesside University, along with their chemistry teacher Dr Brian Casson, on the project called Artificial Photosynthesis: the challenge of mimicking plants.

Their research has focused on developing a renewable energy source by recreating the natural process of photosynthesis.

Dr Casson said: “The students have given up a lot of their free time after school and at weekends to do some really meaningful research with results that are looking very promising. The project has given them a chance to work in the university’s facilities with equipment you don’t find in schools.

“At the exhibition, they will have to explain their work and tailor their answers to questions from a range of visitors from Royal Society Fellows to the media to primary school children and the general public, which will give them some valuable experience.”

The students will spend all week at the exhibition, which runs from July 4-9, working in shifts on their stand that incorporates games, challenges and information for visitors. They will also get to meet celebrity scientist Professor Brian Cox.

Student Ollie Young said: “I’m looking forward to it and, especially, to seeing and hearing about the other exhibits.”

Antoinette Kalambo added: “It’s been really interesting to work with the university research scientists and to see science in practice.”

The exhibition, which will feature cutting edge science, visionary technology and revolutionary research, is free. The King’s students feature on a video on The Royal Society website, which gives more information on the exhibition, at https://royalsociety.org/science-events-and-lectures/2017/summer-science-exhibition/exhibits/

By Emily