Science as a second specialism for the school celebrates students’ success in this area and aims to promote excellent opportunities for young scientists both in and outside the classroom.
Science is part of the core national curriculum and over the last few years, Great Baddow High School have achieved exam results in the sciences over and above the national average.
First Lego League Team wins Core Values Trophy
On Thursday 16th January the Great Baddow High School Lego team, the ‘Engineering Eagles’, took part in the regional round of the First Lego League, run by the Institution of Engineering and Technology and were delighted to be awarded the ‘Core Values’ Trophy.
Matt, Daisy, Ethan (Year 9), James and Joe (Year 10) have been working on the First Lego League project since September.
As a team, they designed, built and coded a Lego robot that could move around a game board and complete a series of challenges. On the day of the competition, their robot scored a very respectable one hundred and seventy points on its best run of three and they were the only team to complete the final challenge of driving up a bridge and raising two flags. Read more
On Sunday 20th October, Great Baddow High School hosted the annual PhysicsFest run by the East Anglia Branch of the Institute of Physics. About 800 people visited the event with many Year 10, 11, 12 and 13 students together with staff and ex-students from Great Baddow High School and KEGs volunteered as explainers and demonstrators. Read More
British Physics Olympiad Challenge
On Wednesday 25th September our Year 13 physics students took part in the British Physics Olympiad ‘Physics Challenge’. This involved sitting an exam paper that is based on their knowledge from within the curriculum, but which requires them to think about problems and apply their knowledge in a different way.
Some of the aims of the Physics Challenge are:
- Have fun problem solving.
- Test their knowledge with stimulating questions.
- See the real world problem solving potential of physics.
- Practice open ended and unstructured questions, as seen at higher levels of study.
- Develop the skills required for admission to top universities.
All the students who took part enjoyed the experience and felt that they had developed their ability as physicists. It was an excellent activity for stretching and challenging some of our most capable learners.
Physics at Work
On Wednesday 18th September thirty of our Year 10 science students attended ‘Physics at Work’ at the University of Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratories. The event aims to stimulate interest and encourage wider participation in physics for 14- to 16-year olds by showcasing the many and varied ways in which physics is used in the wider world and it certainly achieved this.
Our students were exposed to a variety of talks and activities which showed them possible physics based careers they can aim for. These included, amongst others, a presentation from the British Antarctic Survey, a hands-on experience building a model Rolls Royce aircraft engine, performing their own soft-tissue scans, learning how materials break, and seeing the technology behind a real-life hover board.
World Space Week 2019
To launch World Space Week Mr Butcher delivered assemblies to year groups on the theme of ‘Careers in Space’. It was based on the United Launch Association’s ‘Cis-Lunar 1000’, the idea that in 30 years’ time there will be 1000 people working and living in space. Hopefully it inspired our students and has given them some ideas on possible future careers.
Mr Huartson ran the Space Week inter-house competitions including a bottle rocket competition after school and a model-building competition in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
Year 7 took part in special ‘Space Week’ lessons in the library, developing their research skills and finding out about space. They were then able to use their research as the basis of a poster to celebrate our knowledge of our solar system. There were some incredible pieces created, most notably a poster from Elena in Year 7.
Biology Week activities took place from Monday 14th October to Friday 18th October. Students could take part in a range of activities, including mini investigations in order to answer questions like ‘how do butterflies drink’ and ‘why do slugs need slime’, as well as specific quizzes aimed at KS3 and KS4 and ‘Name all these biological pictures’ competition.
Students were also especially excited to take part in our Dissection Workshop after school. A number of students took part in this activity which was designed to raise interest in anatomy and how it is all linked together, as well as in the medical sciences.
British Science Week 2019
Entries for the Science Week competition demonstrated, lots of creativity and superb scientific content. Highlights included 'Why our body has bones', 'Science behind slugs' and a video exploring the possibility of life on Mars.
PhysicsFest was a superb event which the school was delighted to host. Many members of staff contributed to its success, but Dr Ghoneim in particular, has led on this excellent initiative. Our own students and others from KEGS helped in different ways, including working on exhibits and demonstrations. The school fizzed in a frenzy of fantastic physics!
Biology Week took place from Monday 8th October to Friday 12th October.
Pupils took part in a range of activities including Anagram and Guess the Biologist Competitions. By far the most popular activity was our Dissection Workshop.
A number of pupils from Years 7-13 took part in an activity designed to raise interest in anatomy and the medical sciences.
The hour was informative, interesting and fun.
STEM Day - CSI Suspicious Blood
On Tuesday 10th July 2018 we hosted an event with ‘Thinkers in Education’, an organisation who lead competitive science activities to challenge and inspire students.
The theme for the day was ‘CSI: Suspicious Blood’, which is a blood analysis activity in which the students are trying to solve a crime based on the agglutination of blood cells in samples of fake blood. Our most able Year 8 scientists and Year 5 students from local primary schools took part throughout the day. They were given a range of samples from suspects and they had to run tests to determine which blood matched the sample from the crime scene.
Energy Quest Workshop
On Friday 6th July we hosted an Energy Quest Workshop session sponsored by ‘Tomorrow’s Engineers’.
The event involved an analysis of natural conditions and resources in different locations around the world, and a subsequent decision on which renewable energy resources would be most suitable for each location. This led to the topic of ‘greener’ energy and electric cars, after which each team had to piece together a model car that was powered by a capacitor.
|On 21st June we hosted a ‘Faraday Challenge’, a science and engineering activity led by the Institution of Engineering and Technology. Twenty-four of our ‘more able’ Year 8 students and twelve visiting students from Tabor Academy were divided into groups of six and were presented with the challenge of designing a new attraction for Thorpe Park. To add extra motivation, the teams were informed that the winner of the national competition would actually have their design built and installed at Thorpe Park.|
UKROC Rocket Challenge 2018
GBHS students have spent the last few months designing and building their rockets at STEM club, assisted by our STEM mentors Andy Boyle and Bill Kett. The challenge was to launch a rocket to a height of approximately 800ft, at which point the nose cone (containing an egg) should separate from the back section, with both sections then returning to the ground safely by using parachutes.
Students have designed and built the rocket within the rules of the competition, which change every year to prevent previous winners just turning up and firing a competitive rocket. To this end they modelled the rockets using a CAD system taking into account such complex concepts as centre of gravity and centre of pressure, weight distribution and aerodynamics. Once the models were built with the kind permission of Writtle University College, and Stow Maries Aerodrome, the rockets were tested. Results were variable, ignition systems worked and target height was achieved but not all the parts came down in the right place or in one piece!
British Science Week - Poetry Competition
|As part of our British Science Week celebrations, we held a poetry competition to enable students to demonstrate how inspired they are by science. Amongst the many entries were poems about space, chemicals, life, and a touching tribute to the late Stephen Hawking.|
First Lego League Competition
A group of GBHS students entered 'The First Lego League' competition and were delighted to win a trophy (made of Lego!) for the 'Best Robot Design'.
The annual Physicsfest event, run by the East Anglia branch of the Institute of Physics, was held at Great Baddow High School on Sunday 3rd December.
With students from Great Baddow High School, KEGs and New Hall School acting as explainers and demonstrators, Great Baddow High School, a Specialist Science College, welcomed the opportunity to host the annual event that encourages children of all ages to get hands on with Physics.
World Space Week 2017
As part of our World Space Week celebrations we held an inter-house model building competition. The brief was deliberately very vague, the only stipulation being that it couldn’t be a kit, it had to be something made from scratch. The decision to give so much creative freedom paid off, as a whole range of wonderful pieces were entered.
ELISA Testing with 'Thinkers in Education'
The activity for the day was ELISA testing, which is a scientific method used for detecting diseases. Our most able year 8 scientists and year 5 students from local primary schools took part throughout the day.
UKRoC Rocket Challenge 2017
On Monday 24th April we took two teams to the UKRoC regional competition at Stow Maries aerodrome. The students have spent the last few months designing and building their rockets at STEM club, assisted by our STEM mentors Andy and Bill.
Two teams from Great Baddow High School entered the Faraday Challenge this week, which is run nationwide by the Institute of Engineering and Technology.
They had to use problem-solving skills, creative thinking and practical ability to overcome engineering challenges. Our students showed great enthusiasm, teamwork and intelligence and came incredibly close to victory.
ARU Bridge Building Competition
Year 9 attend a Bridge Building competition at Anglia Ruskin University and finish in sixth place.
A group has been tasked with designing a shower and feeding facility for the elephants at Colchester Zoo. At the end of the project the school with the best design will actually have it made and installed at the zoo
Following a visit to Colchester Zoo to see the elephant enclosure and attend a briefing on the project, students are now looking at putting their design ideas together.
World Space Week Assemblies
In the week commencing Monday 3rd October Mr Butcher ran assemblies for all year groups to promote and celebrate World Space Week. The topic of the assemblies was ‘Life on other planets’. Students were amazed by the realisation of just how relatively small our solar system is within the Universe, and the potential for finding life elsewhere was a particularly exciting prospect. T
Seeds from Space at GBHS
Students at Great Baddow High School prepared to become space biologists and embark on a voyage of discovery by growing seeds that hadbeen into space.
In September, 2kg of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station (ISS) on Soyuz 44S where they spent several months in microgravity before returning to Earth last month. The seeds were sent as part of Rocket Science, an educational project launched by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and the UK Space Agency.
Great Baddow High School was one of the participating schools to receive a packet of 100 seeds from space, which were grown alongside seeds that hadn't been to space to measure the difference over six weeks.
The out-of-this-world, nationwide science experiment enabled the students to think more about how we could preserve human life on another planet in the future, what astronauts need to survive long-term missions in space and the difficulties surrounding growing fresh food in challenging climates.
CSI style Forensic Science workshops
Great Baddow High School spent the day investigating blood splattered crime scenes in CSI style Forensic Science workshops designed to inspire budding scientists during British Science Week.
Organisation, Thinkers in Education, tailored the day’s activities for sessions with both the Year 8 students from Great Baddow High School as well as Year 5 pupils from Mildmay, Meadgate, Baddow Hall, Chancellor Park, Beehive Lane, Writtle and St Michael’s C of E Junior Schools.
Science of Food
The Royal Institute of Science brought their one-man science show to the school and ran a series of fun and exciting demonstrations on the science of food.
The show aimed to show students the incredible amount of energy contained in the food that goes in their mouths and was kicked off with a screaming jelly baby that amazed students, when the energy from just one Jelly Baby created a massive fireball.
The demonstration formed part of a range of activities taking place at the school for British Science Week, including an evening of Stargazing with the North Essex Astronomical Society, a visit to the Big Bang Science Fair for some of their Year 9 students and a Forensic Science day, where budding scientists from local primary schools joined Year 8 students to undertake a CSI style suspicious blood analysis session.
STEM Family Challenge: September 2015
Great Baddow High School welcomed The EDT (Engineering Development Trust) into their school on Thursday 24th September to run a STEM Family Challenge, to show parents and students how interesting and rewarding a career within STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) could be.
UK Aerospace Rocketry Challenge
Having reached the UK final in the UK Aerospace Youth Rocketry challenge last year, students were planning on ways to improve the performance of their rocket in this year’s challenge and made the most of their mentor from Ford to design and build their rocket.
Teams from Great Baddow placed 4th, 10th and 14th nationally with one team being awarded the best looking rocket. A great time and valuable experience was had by all and a massive well done to "The Ballistic Bananas": Leon, Luke and Toby (all year 12); "Thunderstorm": Robbie, Alex, Lauren, Josh, Mollie and Tye (all year 10) and "Apollo Year 13": Josh, Sam and Andrew.