This week Blackburn Central High School took part in the UK’s largest science and engineering roadshow.
Organised by BAE Systems, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, the nationwide roadshow was put in place to help curtail the shortage of scientists and engineers in the UK.
Nafisa Shafi, science teacher at Blackburn Central commented: “We’ve welcomed the Roadshow to BCHS with Crosshill every year since we opened in 2012; it’s always a huge hit with our students. The presenters are enthusiastic, encourage the students to take part in demonstrations, and leave the students buzzing with enthusiasm.”
The whole of Year 7 and 8 were treated to the visit as part of a STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics) activity day. The theme of this year’s roadshow was the science of ‘waves’ – highlighting sound and light. The practical demonstrations used in the show help students understand how the physics of waves and engineering are used in the real world by aircraft and naval engineers, assisting teachers in tackling a difficult part of the national curriculum for science. The demonstrations included lasers, light reflection and refraction, sound pitch and volume, and how it’s possible to see sound.
Year 7 student Thomas said: “I like the roadshow because it was really interesting; the things they showed us were amazing. My favourite bit was when the white sand moved into patterns because of the sound waves.”
Fellow Year 7 student Jasmine also enjoyed the Chladni plate demonstration: “I thought that it was brilliant. They changed the tone of the sound and the sand made different patterns each time.”
Corporal Alex Worrall of the Royal Air Force was on hand to answer any questions the students had about aircraft engineering and commented that: “The quality and behaviour of students was absolutely spectacular.”
Air Commodore Chris Elliott, Director of Ground Training for the Royal Air Force, said: “The Royal Air Force’s theme for 2016 is Innovation, Inspiration and Youth. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are at the heart of this and are central to the Royal Air Force’s role as a Service operating with cutting edge technology. This enterprise with BAE Systems and the Royal Navy allows us to demonstrate this and inspire the next generation.”