THE CAR’S THE STAR: British Science Week at Brockenhurst College

2 April 2024

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A DAZZLING Formula 1 car turned the heads of Sixth Form students and local school pupils when Brockenhurst College hosted its biggest ever programme of events marking British Science Week recently.

The Oracle Red Bull Racing car, which is similar to the one driven by World Champion racer Max Verstappen, was loaned to the College by Red Bull race partner ExxonMobil.

And it even came complete with trackside technical advisor Fiona McEwan, who explained how the car functions and how team member works together to achieve optimum performance at every race.

British Science Week 2024 at Brock saw Sixth Form students joined by groups of Year 9, 10 and 11 pupils from Ballard School in New Milton and New Forest Academy on the Waterside.

Together they selected from a diverse itinerary of learning opportunities, set up across the college’s main campus in Brockenhurst to mark 30 years of the national learning initiative.

Other attractions included Operating Theatre Live – a surgical performance delivered by external providers.

This unique learning opportunity gave aspiring vets and medics a ringside seat to witness modern surgical practice.

Also on campus was the Local Skills Improvement Fund’s promotional vehicle, TECH:TRUCK, which is packed with leading edge technology including VR headsets and AI robots.

In addition, there was a series of talks by local STEM employers such as ExxonMobil and several guest lecturers, including physics expert Dr Hooshyar Assadullahi from University of Portsmouth.

He led a session covering Einstein’s theory of relativity, cosmology and the challenges that lie ahead for researchers.

Other events included workshops in psychology, cyber security, engineering, physiotherapy, chemistry, geology, engineering and pharmaceutical development.

Head of Sciences at Ballard School, Aaron Markar, who attended alongside his pupils on three separate days, said: “The variety of activities offered throughout the week was truly impressive.

“The organisers did a fantastic job of providing a diverse range of events that catered to various interests and student preferences, ensuring everyone could engage with something.

“What particularly stood out to me was the overwhelmingly positive response from the students. Their enthusiasm and participation were quite evident, reflecting a genuine excitement for science and exploration.

“It was truly heartening to witness their eagerness to discuss the subject matter presented during the workshops, demonstrations, and discussions. I also feel that the supportive and encouraging atmosphere cultivated during the events was commendable.”

The week climaxed with the Brockenhurst College STEM Awards ceremony, where top achievers were recognised and celebrated.

Hosted by Assistant Principal Steve Jenkin, the event saw 27 awards presented to outstanding learners.

Each winner received a formal citation from their nominating teacher, a certificate and a cash prize donated by event sponsor Ultra Energy.

Brockenhurst College Principal Helen Odhams said: “At Brock we are committed to inspiring the next generation of STEM innovators and leaders, and British Science Week has been an incredible platform for us to showcase the extraordinary breadth of opportunities available to students in these subjects.

“This year, as we celebrated the 30th anniversary of British Science Week, the array of engaging activities and events put on for Brock students, as well as those from our local partner schools, provided students with a deeper insight into STEM subjects, capturing their imaginations and revealing possible career paths.

“I would like to thank all staff at the College who coordinated and led events, as well as our external partners, most notably ExxonMobil, who played a crucial role in the week’s success. Their efforts have brought STEM to life for our students, making this an exceptionally positive and inspiring week.”