Tag Archives: Engineers

Senior Physics conference – July 13 2017

The Trafford Ogden Partnership is just over a year old and AGGS is proud of its status as the Ogden hub school. Like all of the partnerships sponsored by the Ogden Trust, its aim is to “make physics matter”, and brings together physics departments from local schools. We decided to finish the academic year with a day’s celebration of physics and to show Y12s some possible “destinations” provided by their A level physics.

The venue for this event was Altrincham Grammar school for Boys’ spectacular Physics centre and presenters were asked to lead a 30 minute activity as opposed to delivering a lecture.

Several of the presenters were recent AGGS students who were “gently” persuaded to come along and with their stories of: research at CERN, using neutrino detectors to monitor and prevent developing countries building nuclear weapons, building stable structures and polymer research. Maria Violaris and Clarissa Costen provided a Q and A session about studying physics at Oxford, and gave a talk on entropy. Tamzin Owen demonstrated a cloud chamber using dry ice and Kerry Abrams provided a hands-on activity about extruding polymers.

There was a local theme with Salford’s Acoustic Engineering Department being represented by Professor Trevor Cox who demonstrated some cutting edge sound technology used by the media. The Graphene Centre at Manchester University sent along two PhD researchers, Georgia Kime and Fiona Porter, who showed how this material will change the future. Professor Ian Morrison from Salford explained how important hydrogen will become as a future fuel. Paige-Marie from Cavendish Nuclear led a discussion group on the vital subject of assessing and limiting risk in nuclear power stations.

Lloyd Cawthorne introduced students to the Isaac Physics website which aims to develop problem solving skills on-line. Some of the girls from AGGS had met Lloyd at the physics master class in Cambridge earlier this academic year.

The Institute for Research in Schools, already familiar to several AGSB students (who have plans to launch a particle detector by balloon), was introduced to the wider Trafford audience.

Other presenters were: Dave Cotton (astrophysics), Laura Thomas (IRIS), Laurie McClymont (CERN), Jen Wilson (spectroscopes); Toby Lord and Clive Humphries (Civil engineering and structures.)

The day ended with Dr Kerry Abrams (ex AGGS) talking about her educational journey from abandoning A level studies, through FE with young children, study for degrees and now a post at Sheffield University in materials, with a consistent love for learning.

The whole event was extremely well received by the 120 or so participants and there was a real buzz in the atmosphere during the event with students getting to know each other and getting involved in the activities. The water rocket launches were particularly well received. Some quotes from students were “engaging, challenging, inspiring”; “I had a really good day; I was able to talk to current people in STEM careers, met like-minded people and had an insight into A2 physics, as well as participating in fun challenges”.


Raza Nisar
AGGS physics department

Engineering Day

Engineering Day, June 2017
Engineering Day, June 2017

On Thursday 70 year 8 students spent the day as engineers. They first learnt about how our growing human population means non-renewable resources will run out and we need to think of creative ways to generate enough energy without impacting any more on the environment. They used the knowledge they had gained to recommend a source of energy for a particular country. Then in teams they spent time building and charging a solar powered car with which to race against the other teams. This took much alteration of the components and design for it to work effectively and they showed great teamwork skills. At the end of the day the winning teams’ car went so far it had to be turned round at the end of the racetrack! The students involved had a great time and we hope they may be inspired to think about engineering as a future career.

Energy Challenge

Enery challenge

Last week 41 Year 8 students attended the Energy Challenge event in the hall.

Energy-challenge-1After looking at questions such as ‘What is engineering?’ and ‘Why is an increasing human population a problem’; they began the practical task of working in teams to make and test solar powered cars. At the end of the day two races were held; the accuracy race where their cars had to stop as close to the line as possible and the speed race to see whose car could make it across the hall first. All teams worked hard together, testing their cars and making adjustments to try to claim the prizes.

The winning teams were ‘No Name‘ consisting of Ellie, Dani, Shereen, Hedye and Hrishika from 8-7 and ‘Bob the Builder‘ consisting of Arya, Sara, Imaan and Eisha from 8-1, with their car ‘Winner’.