DCSIMG

Girls show some dedication in bid to break record

EXPERIMENT From left, Olivia Hurst, Grace Gold, Louisa Harris and Kashmeera Nadkarni  taking part in the world record science lesson. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (123704-1)

EXPERIMENT From left, Olivia Hurst, Grace Gold, Louisa Harris and Kashmeera Nadkarni taking part in the world record science lesson. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (123704-1)

 

GETTING girls interested in science at school has long been a challenge.

So yesterday, teachers at Portsmouth High School decided to try and fire their enthusiasm by taking part in a world record attempt.

A total of 133 students and staff joined more than 2,000 girls at 21 schools across the country to measure gravity in a bid for the biggest multi-venue science lesson.

The schools are all part of the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST), which this year celebrates its 140th anniversary.

So to mark the occasion, they decided to try to break a world record to encourage more girls to take up physics at college and university.

Head of physics at the school Christine Williams said: ‘The most disturbing statistic from the Institute of Physics’ recent report was that nearly half of all co-ed maintained schools in England do not send even one girl on to do physics at A-level.

‘In the girls-only environment of the GDST, science subjects in general, and physics in particular, are hugely popular and successful.

‘The enthusiasm for this experiment, right across our school, shows the degree to which we’re bucking some of the less encouraging educational trends.

‘We are trying to show that science is for everyone.

Children aged between 10 and 14 took part, carrying out experiments to measure acceleration due to gravity, using different objects such as a yo-yo.

And Mrs Williams added that the experiment was hugely successful.

‘I’m very pleased with what’s happened.,’ she said. ‘The girls were all involved. Girls are interested in physics. Unfortunately peer pressure tends to put them off, which is one of the advantages of a school like ours where the girls have a full range of apparatus.

‘They were all incredibly interested and excited.’

Louisa Harris, 13, said: ‘I thought it was really cool. It was fun and a good thing to be a part of. It was good how we all managed to take part and do all the experiments together.’

Maddy Brooks, 13, added: ‘I thought it was good. It brought all of our schools together as well.’

And Xanthe Gould, 13, said: ‘It was a good way to celebrate the 140th birthday of the Girls Day School Trust.’

 

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