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Specialist Science LogoGlebelands School became a Specialist Status Science College in September 2004. The specialism allows us to promote the STEM subjects within the local community and to enrich these courses for our students. Glebelands School runs a number of outreach programmes throughout the year. These include community science shows three times a year where we are able to attract high quality science and mathematics communicators from around the country. We offer opportunities to local feeder primary schools that bring in students to study areas of science they cannot access at their school as easily. We also offer a community science week that see over 400 students from local primary schools who come to complete a science challenge. All of these activities are to promote and engage students, and the community, with the STEM subjects which is a real passion of the school. 

Glebelands School Community Science Show with ‘Gastronaut!’

On Thursday 1st February 2018 Glebelands School hosted its Community Science Show, ‘The Utterly Revolting Science Show by Gastonaut, ‘Stefan Gates’. Stefan started out as a food writer but is now also an internationally recognised science communicator, being on a number of BBC channels with shows such as Gastronauts and Incredible Edibles. Stefan is a prominent author producing a number of books on food related matters, as well as some very different cookbooks.

His talk at Glebelands was a journey through the digestive system, starting with bogies and it continued in this vane throughout. The talk lived up to its name, looking at the chemical reactions that occur throughout the body. Experiments included exploding milk powder to show energy in food and using vomit to cook an egg to show what happens in the stomach. The show ended with the process of excretion at the end live on stage – much to the audiences delight.  We were also shown what it takes to be a super taster and how eating insects could be one future sustainable food source. Stefan managed to get three volunteers from the crowd to sample dried locusts, crickets and fat-ass-ants (real name).

The talk was highly engaging and helped to highlight some of the incredible tasks that the body carries out to keep us alive - and why some of the “not so incredible” are also key to our survival.

As Glebelands School is a Science and Mathematics specialist school we pride ourselves on the promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to our students and wider community.  Our Science events allow everyone to see the opportunities available through these areas and why they are so important.

It was a very enjoyable evening and a great end to a fantastic Community Science Week at Glebelands School.

Glebelands School Community Science Challenge

Glebelands School ran its annual Community Science Challenge in January. This saw over 400 students in year 1-6 from our local primary and infant schools competing to produce the strongest paper bridge. Glebelands School pupils also had the opportunity to compete in an inter-form challenge in year 7 and 8.

This year’s challenge saw the students taking on the role of structural engineers. They had to build a bridge spanning 50cm using only paper, thin card, string and paper straws. The students had a budget to purchase materials and the bridges were then tested for strength. The strongest bridge came from a Glebelands School tutor group 7KJS, holding an impressive 1.3kg of mass. The groups were then awarded points on strength, use of science, budget and the math challenge they also completed. It was incredible to see the range of different structures produced from the limited number of materials available and how all the participants thought about how to overcome the challenge, with varying degrees of success.

What we love about these challenges is the creativity that the students have in designing and working together with such enthusiasm to complete the task. It gives the teachers a real chance to see the pupils working in a different environment and you can see a real engagement in order to try and build the best bridge.

As Glebelands School is a Science and Mathematics Specialist College we take the promotion of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects very seriously. We find the Annual Community Science Challenge a great experience to give students the opportunity to carry out some experiments that they may not get to do on a day to day basis in their school; hopefully inspiring some of the future generation to take a real interest in the field of Science and Engineering.

Stefan Radwanski

Head of Science