APS News

Girls in Physics

On Wednesday 4th October, a number of our girls attended the Girls in Physics Evening at Highgate School.  The fantastic speakers were Dr. Nadia Abdul-Karin who works in defence and security, Dr. Ozak Esu who is an enginer with Cundall, and Goody Gibbins who is a researcher and works to see how thermodynamics can be used to help combat climate change.  Although due to gender discrimination I was not permitted to attend, I was delighted at how enthusiastic the girls were the next day.  Our Y11 girls were particularly inspired by Dr. Nadia Abdul-Karin leading to them saying 'I didn't know doing physics could lead to such interesting jobs'.  I hope this enthusiasm helps these young ladies and others continue their enjoyment of the subject through A-Level and beyond!

I really enjoyed the event.  It gave me great insight into the world of physics and the part women play into it.  I loved hearing about the importance of women, in a field that is thought of as a men's field, and that is predominantly male.  I also found it interesting to find out about careers I had never heard of before.  I was very interested listening to different degrees and places they can take you.Lola Mcauley
I found the talks very informative and engaging.  The speakers also mentioned ways to get into STEM careers and provided links to scholarships and programmes which was very helpful.  I feel like I have a better understanding of the speakers' professions and of women's roles within STEM generally.  Overall, I thought it was a useful experience and one that I took a lot from.Ella Gregory
I thoroughly enjoyed the “Girls in Physics’ event at Highgate school and it introduced me to some interesting pathways into Physics careers. It helped me to start thinking about a future in science and opened my mind to sectors of Physics which I did not know about, such as physicists working closely with the law to identify and detect explosives and the way they work and physics within the study of climate change and the environment. The women who spoke were very inspiring and passionate about what their specific field and made me think about all the different avenues and options to choose from in Physics and science as a whole to fit you and your personal passions and interests. All of the events I have attended with Highgate have been of an amazing standard and I have learnt lots from as well as enjoyed and I would be excited to participate in future activities.Liliana Newsam-Smith

Read more about Dr. Nadia Abdul Karim


Queen Mary's Physicists of the Year

Two APS Physics students have been awarded the Queen Mary's University Physicist of the Year award.  Queen Mary University run this award to allow different schools across London to reward a GCSE student for their contribution and aptitude for physics.  Kelly Fitzgerald, year 12 and Liliana Newsam-Smith, year 10, attended an awards evening at Queen Mary University last week, which consisted of a lecture and several demonstrations.  Here are the reasons why Kelly and Liliana were nominated.

Kelly was nominated for her consistently impressive physics exam results and her enthusiasm for the primary school science club, where she planned and lead science club sessions at a local primary school.  Liliana was nominated for her impressive physics exam results and for her enthusiasm for the Highgate masterclasses.

Congratulations to both students.


Physics in Action day

23 Year 12 Physics students attended a Physics in Action Day at UCL.  This day consisted of a series of talks from experts in their field of research.  Our students heard from the science writer and broadcaster Simon Singh talking about the Big Bang, Andrew Steel from Cancer Research demonstrating the fascinating world of superconductivity, Lewis Darnel explaining how we could rebuild our world from scratch after an apocalypse.  After a short session on revision strategies and exam technique, Jen Gupta delivered a fascinating talk on the invisible universe and the final talk of the day was given by the wonderful Dr. Mark Lewney, who used the power of heavy metal rock music to explain the weird and wonderful world of string theory.  The students had a fantastic time and here are a selection of photographs and comments from our students.

The day was jam packed with a fantastic selection of talks on a variety of interesting topics. I found each speaker to be engaging and informative in their own right, delivering wonderful, cohesive explanations on equally thrilling subjects - rarely failing to elaborate on a particularly intriguing aspect of their talk.Tomasz  Mistela
The day held a range of interesting and intellectually extending talks about fields of physics that appear to be the solutions to the problems of the present and future. It provided an insight into the careers available to us as young physicists and has inspired me among many others to further research and pursue cutting edge areas of physics.George Burgess
The talks were very interesting and inspiring, they gave us better insight into physics beyond our textbooks.”Maya Vahidi & Mehmet  Avcil
I really enjoyed the trip and especially the talk about superconductors. I liked finding out how the maglev trains worked.Ava Mitchell
This was a very interesting trip to UCL. The man at the end was completely insane and that was pretty sweet!James Finn

Year 12 masterclass at Highgate

Five year 12 physics students have been selected to take part in National Space Academy at Highgate School.  Maya Vahidi, Khaled Saker, Philip Ilono, Raphaella Ridley and Alex Karayinnis took part in a series of workshops covering a range of space topics from 'The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence' through to 'How to Become an Astronaut!'  Here are a selection of comments from our students.

During our day at Highgate School we took part in a series of workshops and lessons which were all astronomy-based. My favourite thing that we learned about was how satellites and rockets were adapted to be able to re-enter our atmosphere. As well as this, we got to engage with other pupils with similar interests and overall, provided for an amazing day.Raphaella Ridley
At first, we were allowed to explore the room as there were pieces of meteorites and a fragment of the moon located around the room with small descriptions of how they got to the Earth and what they are. We then given a quiz about the outcome of certain physics scenarios and experiments in the space station. After that, there was a talk and video demonstrations about how astronauts live in space. To finish off, we made paper rockets that were launched into the air.
It was enjoyable because I learnt about how dangerous space could be and that it is very life threatening to go up into space and come back down. Launching the rockets was also good as they travelled very quickly and high in the air.  Thank you for a great opportunity.Philip Ilono