We have been delighted over the past two days to be hosting Professor Tom McLeish, A Professor of Physics from the University of Durham. Professor McLeish also chairs the Education Committee at the Royal Society. He has come to see the outstanding practice in research and STEM provision at the school. On Thursday afternoon he gave a fascinating lecture on the Medieval Science of Light to Nexus 7, 8 and 9. Max B from Nexus 7 commented “It was amazing to hear how well developed Science was in the Medieval period. I didn’t know they were so interested in Science back then!” Ben McG from Nexus 7 said “I was really intrigued by the lecture. I was stunned that the Professor’s team discovered that 800 years ago, someone understood about how three different colours of light could come together to form all the colours we can see.” Professor McLeish commented that he had given a similar lecture in many institutions, including many Universities, all over the world including Harvard and that he had never, until Nexus, encountered an audience who all knew about Aristotle’s four causes. We have Miss Perry, who runs our lively and popular Philosophy Club to thank for that! The lecture was entertaining, thought provoking and the students had lots of excellent questions for Professor McLeish.
Professor McLeish then joined us for tea and visited our STEM Club to learn about the research projects the Year 7 and 8 students are working on this term. Professor McLeish then spent over an hour meeting with some of our Nexus VI students to discuss the work they have carried out as part of their Extended Project Qualification.
On Friday, Professor McLeish toured the school and visited a number of lessons. He then met with students who had carried out research in conjunction with the Institute for Research in Schools on their own data from the IRIS carbon monoxide detector and data from the Trace Gas Orbiter currently orbiting Mars. He later delivered a lecture to VI Form students from the Humanities and Sciences entitled ‘The Poetry and Music of Science; a study in Comparative Creativity in the Humanities and the Sciences’. The students were entranced by the lecture, and he was inundated by questions at the end of his talk.
We were very fortunate and honoured to be visited by Professor McLeish, and we look forward to continuing to work with him into the future.