UTC Oxfordshire news round-up May 2016

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Chance encounter offers students industry insights

A chance encounter led to an inspirational science Laser visit 1masterclass for students from UTC Oxfordshire.

A group of 15 students from the school visited the Harwell base of Laser Support Services in April.

The company, which specialises in the distribution of opto-mechanics, electro-optics and laser safety products, hosted the event which included a tour, product demonstrations and three industry speakers.

It was made possible when two of our Year 10 students came across the company’s offices by accident, when looking for somewhere to buy a drink after playing football. The students, Faraz Kashif and Luke Nobes, went on to organise the event with Laser Support Services Director, Grahame Rogers.

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Students race ahead of schedule with extended projects

Eight of UTC Oxfordshire’s hard-working sixth form IMG_4587students have completed their Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) an impressive 12 months ahead of schedule.

The EPQ is an additional qualification, taken alongside A-levels or a BTEC Extended Diploma course. It is a skills-based qualification allowing students to choose between writing an academic dissertation, designing and carrying out an experiment or design and building an artefact.

UTC Oxfordshire’s first cohort of sixth form students have chosen a wide variety of fascinating projects, which they are researching or creating over two years. Eight students have already completed their projects and are now working on a final presentation to the rest of their class.

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Rocket seeds study takes off

On 27 April four sixth form students planted our rocket seeds Image-3provided by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening.

Students Olivia Garner, Ben Warr, Josh Green and Rui Alde Lopes planted the two packets of seeds, anonymously labelled ‘red’ and ‘blue’. One of these packets had spent six months on the International Space Station with Tim Peake.

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Students presented with wealth of engineering opportunities

Last month we were visited by Kate Forster, lombard-medical-technologies-plcHR Director at Lombard Medical, who delivered a fascinating talk to our sixth form students.

Kate spoke about Lombard’s biomedical engineering developments which includes creating the revolutionary Aorfix and Altura stents to treat complex aortic aneurysms.

Lombard is leading the world in this aspect of biomedical engineering; their inspiring demonstration increased our students’ awareness of a whole new area of engineering opportunity.

Last year we held one of the UTC open events at Lombard, so it was particularly interesting to hear how the business is growing and now looking for additional part time workers to finish off the stents with “stitching under a microscope.”


Winning students tour Heart FM

Four prize winners from our science communication heart_400x400competition spent the day at Heart FM learning more about media communication in the real world.

The day consisted of three sessions. The first was Unlocking Radio’s Creativity, which gave a quick overview of how Heart can get creative with radio. This was followed by Broadcast Live, a studio based session where students were shown how a radio show is put together. Finally, in Finding Your Voice, students learnt how the Heart team writes and produces creative audio. This included the chance to write a commercial and have it recorded by one of the UK’s top voiceover artists.

It was a highly interesting and enjoyable trip and a great way to reward our winning students.


Science in your Future Day with STFC

Our female Year 10 students were invited 9d69e89a202e41764861c627cc89d5eeto Science and Technology Facilities Council for a day of activities, designed to help them find out more about careers in science.

The day was co-hosted by Diamond Light Source, Oxfordshire’s very own synchrotron, with an exclusive tour of Diamond during the day for all students and teachers. There were also interactive workshops led by various science employers in the local area, with guidance on how to move from education into science employment.

Student Sharmaine Iles commented: “The trip was very interesting and it was great getting to try all the different stations; seeing that there are many things which fit into science – more than I thought. The part I enjoyed most was making the ball out of carbon atoms. Anya, Holly and I were the first group to finish.”


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