IRIS Wellcome’s LEH Physicists!
  • Sixth Form
  • STEM

The 5th Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS) Conference 2019, was held at the Wellcome, Genome Campus, Cambridge. Our two groups consisted of Aria (LVIK), Freya (LVIG), Ramandeep (LVIC), Michelle (LVID), Emma (LVIJ) and Kiyani (LVIJ). Both LEH teams gave supremely confident, well structured and engaging presentations on Cosmic Mining with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and the Radiation in Food, explored using the cern@school equipment. On arrival, we were struck by the beauty of the Campus grounds. The 100-acre parkland of Hinxton Hall contains a wonderful combination of stunning flowerbeds, lawns, and trees that have been impacted surprisingly little by the installation of advanced research facilities and large spherical metallic sculptures. Following registration and the introduction to the day we received our first keynote lecture from Dr Julian Rayner. He explained the history and the incredible genomic work of the Wellcome Sanger Institute, which has made the largest single contribution to the gold standard sequence of the human genome. We then made our way to the main hall for the poster display. The LEH teams had brought a variety of materials, but settled on two A0 sized posters. Our teams took turns to discuss their work with delegates and view the other displays. They drew a lot of interest and received a great deal of positive feedback.

Lunch provided an opportunity to network, at which our girls were highly effective: swapping names and numbers with other schools and visiting academics. On returning to the conference room, all of the teams presented their research. Each group stood behind the lectern to address an enthralled audience. Voices amplified by the microphone, their research was displayed on two large screens as a professional camera crew filmed every moment. A series of challenging questions were posed to each team following their talks, but this was not a problem for LEH - they had an answer for everything! The second keynote lecture was from Dr Ed Turner of the Department of Zoology at Cambridge University. He gave a fascinating talk on the importance of insects in the global ecosystem.

In summary, the conference was an amazing success. Following a year of incredible research commitment, our physicists presented their discoveries in a manner fully befitting professional scientists. They have set a high bar for next year’s researchers: luckily LEH has an abundance of talent coming through the ranks.

By Mr Brittain - Teacher of Physics and Stem Co-ordinator