If you think you saw an alien or a NASA Scientist on school grounds last week, your eyes were not deceiving you!

We celebrated British Science Week from Monday, March 11th through to Friday, March 15th with an action-packed, fun-filled programme of learning activities and experiences, all themed around space.

In true King’s fashion, pupils from Nursery right the way through to Sixth Form were involved in Science Week, however this post is dedicated solely to events which took place at Senior and Sixth Form.

The programme was launched with our Head of Science, Mr Ned Kittoe, leading our Monday morning Cathedral Service with a talk entitled, ‘Space – Where is God?’. That same day there were talks by Skyla White, a PhD student at the University of Cambridge, entitled ‘The Origins of Life’, and by Ian Kilsby, Director of Security at SaxaVord – UK Space Port, who spoke about the story of the Shetland-based launch site and ground station.

On Tuesday, Dr Gleb Aleshin, one of our Chemistry and Physics Teachers, led an assembly in which ‘Colonising Mars – Can we do it?’ was debated. There were then two talks that day – one from Natasha Freeborn and Alice Overend, from BAE Systems (Aerospace) via Microsoft Teams, and the other from Richard Dyer, a PhD student at the University of Cambridge, entitled ‘Black hole mergers and gravitational waves’.

On Wednesday, we welcomed Andrew Green and his StarDome into school. The StarDome experience in the Old Palace Lecture Theatre and Andrew’s expertise, having been actively involved in astronomy and space for almost 50 years, was a brilliantly fun and interactive way for students to learn more about the solar system, the life cycle of stars, space exploration, and more. In the evening, students and staff attended a stargazing themed lecture at the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Astronomy.

The highlight of Thursday was the ‘Spacey Science Fair’, which saw our Science Teachers and Technicians going all out with space-themed experiments, displays and costumes! Just some of the activities included water rocket launches, a working radio telescope, astronaut food, and a livestreaming of the SpaceX rocket launch. Thursday also featured a Sixth Form assembly by Dr Aleshin, entitled ‘Improving solar panels in Space – Can we do it?’; a talk by Dr Andrew Bateman from the University of Essex, entitled ‘The effects of space travel on the human body’; and an after school lecture by Dr Matthew Bothwell from the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Astronomy, entitled ‘Just how fast is the universe expanding?’.

Friday saw Professor Helen Mason OBE from the University of Cambridge talking to students about ‘Solar Physics’, before Astronomer and Science writer, Dr David Whitehouse, concluded our Science Week celebrations at our annual Osmond Lecture. Dr Whitehouse fascinated students, staff and guests with his talk, ‘Exploring space and looking for life’.

The Osmond Lecture is an annual event established and endowed by the Old Eleans’ Club to commemorate the career of Leonard Osmond, who was a Science Teacher at King’s from 1930 to 1972.

What a week! Thank you to Mr Kittoe, our Science Teachers and Technicians, our visiting speakers, and of course our students, for making Science Week so engaging, fun and memorable. Look out for Science Week fun at Acremont Nursery, Pre-Prep and Prep over the coming days!

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