Year 7 and Year 8 Students Attend LabLive at Hartlepool Borough Hall

On Wednesday 20th November 30 Y7 and Y8 students attended a spectacular science show: LabLive at Hartlepool Borough Hall.  LabLive is a lecture put on by Cheltenham Science festival with the aim of engaging inquisitive young minds and inspire students to consider careers in STEM.

Students heard from Antonia Forster who presented the first talk named “Hidden stars of the space race”. Antonia spoke about the important role female scientists, engineers and mathematician had in the race to space in the 1960’s. Students learnt how the company Playtex (known for making bras) actually made the astronauts space suit using their knowledge of textiles.  She also informed the audience of the importance of programmers and demonstrated how programming had changed over the years. Students were shocked to see the size of the memory card used in the computer on board the rocket, which took Apollo 11 to space compared to modern day memory sticks.

Simon Watt presented “Cracking the code” in the second half of the show, which focussed on the importance of genetics and mutations. Student’s left Simons talk knowing the 4 base nucleotides of DNA and were able to articulate how they form genes and are transcribed by mRNA to make proteins.  Students were shocked to find out how tiny changes in the nucleotide sequence could cause mutations. Joe from y7 bravely volunteered to become a transgenic organism and demonstrated how a  bacteria’s DNA could be altered through genetic engineering.