The section below hardly does justice to the success of the 2018 Gloucestershire Schools' Christmas Lectures; a more detailed and lengthy (9 illustrated pages!) report provided by Cheltenham Festivals, which manages the event on behalf of the Honourable Company of Gloucestershire, is available here.
The Ninth Annual Gloucestershire Schools' Christmas Lectures took place at the Bacon Theatre, Dean Close School, Cheltenham, on Monday 10 December 2018, when 485 students from 14 Gloucestershire schools discovered the benefits of studying science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) at GCSE.
The aim of the Lectures continues to be to inspire young people through an enjoyable experience (feedback is always overwhelmingly positive) to consider taking STEM subjects both through and beyond school – reflecting concerns about skills shortages and the need to produce and retain more scientists and engineers in the years ahead.
The pupils from Balcarras School, Beaufort Co-operative Academy, Belmont School, Cheltenham Bournside School, Cheltenham Ladies College, Chosen Hill School, Cirencester Kingshill School, Dean Close Prep School, Dene Magna School, Rendcomb College, St Edward’s Senior School, Stroud High School, The Cotswold School and Westonbirt School were fascinated by the presentations on cyber security and aspects of marine biology.
All three presenters have appeared regularly on TV and are popular science communicators.
Dr Jessica Barker and FC demonstrated the importance of choosing a strong password and how easy it is for hackers to discover passwords using particular software. They also talked about the work they do helping businesses keep their data secure physically and online.
Russell Arnott talked about his work as a marine scientist and oceanographer. He explained in an engaging way the importance of plankton to our planet as well as many other species within our oceans.
Sponsorship. The sponsors of this year's lectures were:
Gloucestershire Engineering Training,
Harrison Clark Rickerbys,
the International Food Information Service,
Randall & Payne,
Renishaw plc, and
the Royal Society of Chemistry (Bristol and District Section).
The Honourable Company is extremely grateful for their generous and unstinting support. Past Warden Patrick Brooke, who established this initiative, is already looking to secure support for the 2019 Lectures; they take place on Monday 2 December, once again at Dean Close School.