Official Launch of the Supernova Science Lab
Official Launch of the Supernova Science Lab
On Monday 18th June, staff and students welcomed guests from Marshall Wace Tech to officially open the Supernova Science Lab. Marshall Wace is one of the world’s largest global alternative asset management companies. Two of the founders; Ian Wace and Paul Marshall, are founding trustees of Absolute Return for Kids (‘ARK’) and have been active members of its board since its launch in 2002. To date, Marshall Wace have donated a significant amount to Ark schools, most notably for Bolingbroke Academy, with an extremely generous donation to refurbish and upgrade the newly named ‘Supernova lab’ and provide new equipment.
Such a generous donation has had a fundamental impact on Bolingbroke. The new lab is both modern, innovative and provides state of the art equipment for students of all ages to learn from. As Ms Edis Stated “We are enormously grateful for such a generous donation, this provides an advanced learning experience for the students who can be really hands on with the new equipment. We have already had incredible and positive feedback from the students who are benefitting so much.”
Marshall Wallace chose the name Supernova Lab “as the material from a supernova can end up triggering the formation of new stars”. Due to this, the Science department and science students wanted the first mural for the lab to be Astronomy themed.
Betty Smith proudly presented our reasons behind this and was quick to note that “This mural is that it is not to scale in terms of either sizes of the objects or the distances between them. If we were to make it to scale, it would either be so big it wouldn’t fit on the wall or the planets would be so tiny you wouldn’t know there was a mural there at all! One of the sixth formers first comments when he saw the new mural was “Surely this can’t be to scale as Earth has been drawn really big and it should be the same size as Venus?”. So already, this mural is doing what we hoped it would and is stimulating really interesting conversations about Science.
The second mural is very different. It shows some traces of particles passing through a cloud chamber. A cloud chamber is a piece of equipment allows us to view ionising radiation and is one of the pieces of equipment we were able to buy with the donation. The quote included in this mural, really highlights this. The quote is from Niels Bohr, who is widely acclaimed for proving that electrons orbit the nucleus in many discrete energy levels, rather than one single shell. Bohr said “How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.” This quote emulates our underpinning values as a Sixth Form – to be curious, to think critically and to have the courage not to be perturbed when we come across something we don’t understand. Instead, we remain resilient and ultimately aspire to find better solutions.
Following Betty’s presentation, Conor Kiernan, Chief Technology Officer, Marshall Wace cut the ribbon to officially open and launch the Supernova lab.
After an introduction to the equipment from Ms Manisier, guests were shown how some of the new equipment worked by students and were able to experiment with it, apparatus included the following:
- Cloud chamber (for viewing ionising radiation)
- Air track, light gates and data loggers (for demonstrating mechanics examples such as Newton’s Second Law, Conservation of Momentum or proving the strength of Earth’s gravitational field)
- Fractional Distillation Apparatus (For separating substances by their boiling points)
- Melting Point Machine (For determining the melting point of a solid and determine its purity)
- Colorimeter (For measuring the absorbance of light and determining the concentration of a coloured solution)
- Discharge Tubes and Spectrometers (for viewing the wavelengths of light emitted by particular elements)
- High resolution microscopes with greater magnifying power so Sixth form students are able to watch live organisms and see microscopic cell structures they about in depth e.g. chromosomes inside the nucleus
- Biology models (of meiosis, mitosis, eye and ear))
We are absolutely thrilled to be able to show donors how and where they have supported us, similarly it is insightful for them to visit Bolingbroke, as one guest mentioned “It is so great to meet the students and see first-hand how we have helped. The equipment is great – it is sadly such a long time since I left school that I can’t remember what it’s all about though!”