Written by Eleanor Theakston – Budehaven A Level scientist:
On Thursday 24th January, thirteen Year 12 students attended the Science and Technology Fair at Plymouth University. In the morning we each attended a lecture of our choice, focusing on a subject we were interested in; they ranged from Engineering and Physics to Geosciences and Biology. The talk I attended focused on paleo thermometers and how, by using the DNA of microorganisms alive millions of years ago, scientists can discover the temperature of the earth at that time. This comes in useful when attempting to predict the impact of climate change in the years to come and is an important part of scientific research for the foreseeable future. The lecture was really interesting and it gave an insight into what attending a university lecture may be like.
After a quick lunch at Nando’s we came back to attend the marquee session. The marquee was split into three sections, each focusing on a different type of science.
There were stalls set up around and all of them were interactive, meaning we could try a topic that interests us, whilst gaining valuable information about the subject, how it is taught at the university and how it would be beneficial for future careers in science. The stall I found most interesting was Forensic Science, and how the use of a few simple chemicals can determine whether the suspect has fired a gun or not as the solution binds to the metal compounds and if you have fired a gun the compound turns blue. It was a simple test and only took 2 minutes yet is still used today. The engineering section was also interesting, learning about how robotics and AI can be used not only by large companies or the police but is prevalent in everyday life as it is used in all of our phones and CCTV for example.
Overall the day was really interesting and I would definitely recommend to others if they are looking for a career in any science or maths based field.