News & Media

Young scientists at UCEA investigate Berlin - 27/11/2017

Young scientists from University Church of England Academy (UCEA) have returned from an overseas experience in the capital city of Germany, Berlin. Educational science tours provide students with experiences outside of the classroom to give them better access and understanding of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, allowing them to bring their discoveries back into the Academy. 25 students from Years 11 to 13 were immersed for four days into a range of scientific related activities to challenge their own understanding and the influence of science across all areas of life. Investigations were underway as the group visited The Berlin Museum of Medical History, which covers 300 years of medical science. Students viewed a range of pathological-anatomical specimens, which prompted a lot of questions and in-depth discussions. At the Museum, the group learnt about the history of medical developments and saw fascinating exhibitions on how crime scenes are processed for evidence. Investigations continued at the Glasnernes Labor Laboratories, where the group took part in a hands-on degree level Chemistry session, based on the manufacturing of polymers, where students produced various long-chained molecules such as polyurethane (expanding foam used for insulation) and polymethylmethacrylamide (Perspex), as well as a Master’s level Physics session, where they carried out a range of practical experiments exploring radioactive decay of samples of mineral water, toilet water, Caesium, Uranium, Barium and Krypton. In addition, the group visited the German Museum of Technology, where they looked into the history of light and electricity, allowing them to find out more about the history and science behind the household appliances we use every day. Students also had the time to visit the captivating Menschen Museum, the world’s first museum dedicated to preserved human bodies, which allowed students to embark on a journey through life and contemplate what makes us human. The group were eager to ask questions, allowing them to extend and challenge their understanding of the biology of the human body. During their time in Berlin, students were also able to discover some of the iconic and important historical sites including the Reichstag, one of the city’s most significant historical buildings, the Jewish Holocaust Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin Wall and the Berlin Zoo. Students also enjoyed observing the capital city at night and reached heights of over 200m from a viewing platform at the Fernsehturm TV tower. Miss Clare Howlett, Science Teacher at UCEA said: “The trip gave students an in-depth understanding of science. I am extremely proud of how they positively and proactivity engaged with the activities at the Glasnernes Labor Laboratories, which were challenging, and prompted the students to learn new scientific skills and techniques.” Frederika Hudakova, a Year 12 student at UCEA added: “The city of Berlin was an incredible experience for us and we can now bring what we learnt back into the classroom. I particularly found visiting the Menschen Museum interesting, as we could investigate the organs of the human body and how they are arranged.”

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