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Sixth Form pupils ignite understanding of science
Millfield Academic Society hosted the school’s first ever Ignite event in February, with Sixth Form pupils tackling an evening of tricky topics.
The Ignite format is intended to facilitate the concise explanation of complex subjects. Speakers must talk for exactly five minutes, using 20 slides programmed to advance every 15 seconds. Millfield participants were tasked with enlightening their peers on various science topics.
To get audience brains in gear, every event begins with a technical challenge. Millfield pupils faced the Marshmallow Challenge; randomly assigned to teams and instructed to build the highest free-standing tower supporting a marshmallow.
They were given 18 minutes and 20 sticks of spaghetti, one metre of tape and a metre of string. Several creative solutions tested the definition of ‘free-standing’, but most showed a good understanding of structural design and the winning team managed a very respectable 67cm high tower.
Gathered back in the Meyer Theatre, Craig McAuliffe, Oscar Shipley, Alex Gould, Will Radford and Rajiv Devani-Tilden's chosen subjects demonstrated the varied interests of Millfield’s A level science pupils.
In an entertaining and immaculately timed presentation, Craig explored the relationship between memory and synaesthesia, a neurological condition in which numbers are associated with colours. Equally well-rehearsed was Alex, who described how theories of evolution had developed since Lamarck’s first attempt to explain the development of species. Oscar bravely explained what everyone needed to know about the Large Hadron Collider, making it very clear how complex the underlying mathematics could be. Finally, Will and Rajiv dealt well with challenging questions, after explaining why psychology doesn't respect Freud’s theories any longer.
Ignite is a global series of events initiated by O’Reilly, best known for its technology guides and ‘...for Dummies’ series of books. For more information please visit the Ignite website.