The Linnean Society visit Science Club

On Thursday 7 November, Year 7 science clubbers participated in a workshop led by members of The Linnean Society of London (the world’s oldest active biological society).

The students learnt about cryptograms – plants and fungi that reproduce using spores rather than seeds. This was then followed by students using the age old textile art of felt-making to create a wool cloth to represent various cryptograms. The resulting work will be entered into the society’s annual competition.

Dr. Matthew Aldridge Physics Lecture

On Wednesday 18 April, Dr. Matthew Aldridge from UCLH Foundation Trust, delivered a lecture on the topic of Medical Physics.

The lecture opened with an overview of the new Proton Beam Therapy Center, a multimillion-pound project that will be able to offer proton therapy, a new highly precise and effective form of radiology.

From X-rays to PET scans or Gamma cameras, Dr Aldridge took the interested audience over the different imaging techniques which allow medical practitioners to “see” inside our bodies. He explained how Physicists are closely involved in assessing and treating patients.

Medical Physics is one of the fastest growing areas of employment for physicists. Students received a detailed explanation of the different career options and the requirements to enter into the profession. Dr.Aldridge also told the students about the training programs which could lead to a to a career as a clinical or medical technologist.

The lecture ended with an invitation to visit the medical physics facilities of UCLH which was very much appreciated by the students.

Dark Matter Lecture

Students and staff were treated to a lecture by David Smith, who gave an introduction into the knowns and unknowns of Dark Matter.

“There are things we know that we know. There are knowns unknowns, that is to say that there are things we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns.”
This intriguing quote by Donal Rumsfeld, US Secretary of Defence (2002), was used to open the Dark Matter lecture and captivated the interest of the audience from the start.

David Smith is a fellow of the Institute of Physics and the Royal Astronomical Society and he sits at the editorial board of the IOP Journal Physics Education.

Mr Smith explained how the idea of Dark Matter started as a crazy way to explain some irregularities in the motion of stars around a galaxy.
In the carefully prepared presentation, Mr. Smith, teacher of the year (2000), unveiled some of the evidence for the existence of Dark Matter and described some of the current attempts to find it.

The well-attended event, showed once more the interest at Kingsbury for Science in general and Physics in particular.

Institute of Physics Awards Dinner

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Kingsbury High School’s Sixth Form student, Jade Constantinou, was selected to co-host at the Institute of Physics (IOP) annual awards dinner which took place on Wednesday 15th October 2014.  Jade spent her summer volunteering at, and signing up to, various Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) organisations including the Science & Technology Faculties Council; spending a day at the University College London’s Observatory with Teaching Fellow in Astronomy, Dr Steve Fossey; a two week internship at Laing O’Rourke; and applying to the Social Mobility Foundation’s Aspiring Professionals Programme, where she was introduced to the possibility of becoming an orator for the IOP’s prestigious awards ceremony.

The selection process involved an interview where Jade was up against students from various colleges. Jade was successful and was selected alongside, A Level Physics student, Renato from Woodhouse College in Finchley.

Jade said “I received an email informing me that I had been chosen to be one of the orators for the event. The institute had never used students to present the awards before, so we had a lot of preparation in rehearsals. We wrote our own introductions and we had to know how to say all of the technical terms and names of the award winners correctly. It would have been quite embarrassing if we had mispronounced any names in front of all these great physicists and scientists.

“It’s been an amazing experience. Most people wouldn’t get the opportunity that I had and I’m really, really grateful that I got it. It’s been a really good insight into making connections; working; building up my skills; and knowing how the real world works. In the future I definitely want to pursue something in the Physics sector. It has really inspired me to represent Physics more and to represent women going in to Physics.”

Dr Frances Saunders, President of the Institute of Physics, said “We were delighted to have Jade and Renato join us for the dinner.  It was wonderful to have two such enthusiastic physics students with us for the evening.  They did an incredible job and we’re very grateful.  Kingsbury should be proud to have such a confident ambassador. I wish them all the very best in their future endeavours.”

Photography: The Institute of Physics. View more here.

STEM talks at Kingsbury High School

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On Tuesday 8th and Tuesday 15th July 2014, former students, who are now working or training in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) industries, were invited back to Kingsbury High to speak to current students about their experiences.

Former students spoke to students from Years 7 and 8 to share ideas about what inspired and enthused them to follow STEM routes at A level and beyond. Mr Cumbers said “Each had their own tales to tell, some straight forward and ‘easy’, others a little more complex and at times feeling unlikely in the extreme. We were very grateful to them for their freely given time to support their own science teachers in spreading the word about STEM and the wonderful opportunities it can hold.”

KHS Wins STEM Competition

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Kingsbury High School has been selected as one of just twenty five schools chosen to receive free LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) resources worth £3,000 as part of a pilot of the Elite Engineering Programme (EEP).

Kingsbury High School was chosen following an application and video entry to the EEP Schools Competition, followed by a campaigning process in England, Scotland and Wales.

The judges prioritised schools that would benefit most from the new resources. They then considered how enthusiastic the school was and how much community support had been shown for the video application.

Kingsbury High School will receive LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 resources for Key Stage 3 students (aged 12+ years) and will also receive free training for teachers, which will explain how to use the materials to deliver the STEM National Curriculum. Students will have the chance to use the LEGO® resources to build sophisticated programmable robots to compete against others, at regional and national contests.

Gareth Boldsworth, Director, LEGO Education Europe explained; “We’re keen to make LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 available to young people who might not otherwise get the opportunity to discover that they have a real flair for engineering. For the EEP pilot we were looking for schools that would work hard to make the pilot a success but currently lacked resources. We had some fantastic entries so the decision process was really tough. Kingsbury High School’s application stood out to the judges and we’re looking forward to working with them.”

Kingsbury High School’s KS4 Co-ordinator for Computer Science, Roshan Bhuwa said “Being one of 25 schools in the country to be selected to take part in the EEP program is a fantastic achievement for Kingsbury High School. Universities are currently not producing enough engineering graduates to satisfy demand and often there are vacant positions left in industry. By winning access to over £3000 worth of state of the art equipment, we hope to inspire Kingsbury High School students to take up a future in STEM in order to help produce the forward thinkers and innovators of tomorrow.”

Watch our winning video:

Key Stage 5 Excel Day


On Monday 30th September, Kingsbury High School hosted one of its periodic enrichment days or ‘Excel Days’. As part of this ‘Excel Day’, Kingsbury High’s A level Science students engaged with a number of professionals who have either taken up, or are on the path to take up careers, in the field of science.

Presentations, demonstrations and advice were given throughout the day by scientists and post-graduates, many of whom were former Kingsbury High students.

Parus Pindoria, a Graduate Optometrist, who left Kingsbury High in 2009 and graduated from City University, now works at Specsavers opticians in Wembley. Parus showed students how to use an ophthalmoscope to examine retinas and check eye health. He said “I think it’s a great idea to have these career talks to give the students an idea of the qualifications they could attain at university which perhaps they may not have realised were available.

The students were great, I think they were a little quiet to begin with but as the presentation went on and they learnt what it’s like to be an Optometrist they warmed up a little more. The practical experience that some of the students volunteered for really was an eye opener for them! As well as giving them an insight into university life they had a chance to follow the journey of reading optometry and what it’s like to practice in real life with real patients with real problems.”

[photography by Steve]