On Monday 18th March, three student scientists from Chipping Campden School joined with students from across the UK in showcasing their cutting-edge research findings at the third anniversary celebration of the Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS) at The Francis Crick Institute in London.

Charlotte Gravelsons and Charlotte Johnson both in Year 11, and Charles Thomas in Year 13 presented their work to an audience of scientists, journalists and business people. It was a fantastic opportunity for them to have their work recognised and celebrated by the scientific community

Charlotte Gravelsons’ project (analysing data from satellites on glaciers to see the impact of global warming) caught the attention of the BBC Science editor, David Shukman, and he spoke to her about her research for 20 minutes, describing her work as “phenomenal”.

Charles has previously presented his work to a conference of top physicists at Oxford University, supported by IRIS, as part of the Higgs Hunter project which is linked to the CERN research on the Higgs-Boson particle.

Charlotte Johnson’s work was designed around her keen interest in cycling. She analysed how different positions of a cyclist affected their performance and used equipment supplied by IRIS to help her measure this.

This was all made possible by the Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS) who exist to give students first-hand experience of cutting-edge research, and the passionate teaching staff at Chipping Campden School, particularly Joanne James who mentored all of the students in this project.

Director of STEM at Chipping Campden School and Teaching and Learning Lead for The Ogden Trust, a charity that promotes the teaching of Science, Jackie Flaherty was full of praise, “These students did amazingly well presenting their academic posters on their science research at The Crick Institute in London last night. It was a most high profile event and they spoke eloquently and with huge enthusiasm to top science academics, business people and journalists.”

Professor Becky Parker MBE, Director of the Institute for Research in Schools, said:

“Huge congratulations to our student scientists at Chipping Campden School. It was wonderful to celebrate their important contribution at our third anniversary event.

We know from working with almost 250 schools that students need first-hand experience of scientific research for it to ‘stick’. Now is the time to nurture these young scientists if we want to bridge the gap between supply and demand in the industry.

STEM education should give students the opportunity to work on genuine problems facing our communities. Coming face to face with real science is the way to make children fall in love with science - so much so that they continue their studies at A-level, on to university and then out into the world as passionate scientists.”

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