SERC recently welcomed local schools from across the south eastern region to celebrate the NI Science Festival. The pupils from Bangor Academy and Sixth Form College and Dromore High School were treated to workshops on areas including biodiversity, epidemiological investigation, water purification, aerodynamics and thermal protection.
The workshops included patient zero, lesser spotted woodland, aqua squad and to infinity and beyond.
‘Patient zero’ saw students undertake an epidemiologist search for patient Zero modelling how the outbreak of the deadly “SERC VI VIRUS” is spreading. Each Student was given a sample of simulated body fluid, one being infected with “SERC VI VIRUS” and asked to test their sample to determine the infection rate.
In the exciting ‘Lesser spotted woodland’ workshop, students got to explore the award winning SERC Woodland and its area’s vast biodiversity. Students were asked to investigate different aspects of biodiversity including bees in decline, native wildflower species, tree, bird and water species identification and the ongoing struggles between the Red squirrel and the Grey squirrel. Students then suggested ways on how to improve biodiversity in their school and garden.
During ‘Aqua squad’, students learned about parasitic and bacterial diseases and the resulting mortality due to lack of access to clean water. Students were tasked with evaluating practical results of percentage organism removal, filtration Rate and the amount of water that can be filtered.
Finally, ‘To Infinity & Beyond’ tasked students with designing and building a rocket to fly the furthest, taking into consideration aerodynamics. Students were then asked to design a thermal protection system for a rocket which included them testing and evaluating their design.
The Festival was opened by Collette Carson (Head of School) who stated, “This is was an exciting opportunity for local school students to take part in different science experiments as well as experience what life is like at college.”