The Science Department was a hive of activity last week as it celebrated the Royal Society of Biology's Biology Week. The theme of the week was "Work with nature rather than against it" (David Attenborough).
On Monday we were blessed with bright and dry weather so the girls were able to explore the School grounds and test their Biology knowledge with a fun scavenger hunt. Armed with paper grids, ingeniously incorporating double-sided sticky tape where needed, the girls were invited to collect and stick things in each box that matched the statement (avoiding destroying the entire organism or the habitat), draw in the boxes where requested and answer the questions.
On Tuesday we had a lunchtime talk by Yara Shennan-Farpón, a PhD student from the Institute of Zoology and University College London, who talked about her conservation work in the Atlantic Forest in Brazil. The talk was delivered virtually to girls in Years 9 and 10 in two of our laboratories and they were able to interact and ask questions. Akshayaa (Y10) commented, ‘The session was very educational and was thoroughly enjoyed. We learned about how climate change has impacted the agriculture of Brazil and how the farmers there have adapted and changed many traditions of farming. One of the major impacts of climate change to the agriculture in Brazil is how the soil has changed massively and has become dry which means that certain plants are not able to grow. We learnt about how one of the scientist's work involves an agroforestry site. This is where agriculture is mixed with forests, which can provide the wildlife with safe homes and does not damage the planet by cutting down trees for space for farms. Overall, the virtual talk was great and very informative.’
On Wednesday, Lower Sixth scientists carried out a variety of dissections over lunch break which was fascinating! They had eyeballs, kidneys and various other parts to dissect and learn more about.
Finally, to round off the week, we had the Great Biology Bake Off. This year the competition went virtual; cakes were still baked but they were entered as photographs rather than brought in. They looked spectacular and incredibly lifelike – we were just sorry we couldn’t taste them! The winners were: Naomi (Y11) and Sophie (Y8) for their 'Greta's Arc' which won first place, Eloise (Y9) for her 'Under the Microscope' Victoria Sponge which took second place and Amelia (Y8) and her third place entry 'How do trees make food?'.
We also held a poster competition, too. A huge thank you and well done to all the entrants - the standard of baking and creativity was fantastic!