Conservation Science and Tropical Islands

By on Jun 18, 2019 in Blog |

We were delighted to welcome Dr Chris Kaiser-Bunbury to Nexus this week to give a lecture on his research into biodiversity and conservation science on tropical islands. Dr Kaiser-Bunbury spends a lot of time on the Seychelles, specially working on the Aldabra Atoll, the second largest coral atoll in the world. He inspired our students with images and stories of the wonderful ecology of this fragile ecosystem and shared some of his extensive research into how to keep these places safeguarded for the future. We would like to sincerely thank Dr Kaiser-Bunbury for his excellent lecture, and for answering so many questions from the audience.

A life in a multinational – careers and opportunities working as an actuary

By on Jun 18, 2019 in Blog |

What is an actuary? What do they do? Who are KPMG? What is it like working for a large multinational company? These are just some of the questions answered in the recent lecture by Eoin Seager, Senior Actuarial Manager at KPMG. The talk started with background into the world of actuarial sciences and included an engaging demonstration  of pensions calculations and lifelong planning with one of our own students; we learned how saving a little now can have a massive impact on our future financial health. Eoin also spoke of his journey into actuarial sciences and his training with KPMG and shared the experiences he has had throughout his career and the benefits of working for such companies. We are very hopeful that some of our own students may consider following in Eoin’s footsteps and joining the world of actuarial and finance and as part of the school’s enterprise links we are looking...

Nexus Greenpower Racers Learn The Secrets Of Aston Martin

By on Jun 13, 2019 in Blog |

On Wednesday 12th June 10 students from Nexus travelled up to the Aston Martin Factory. The students who were selected are part of the Nexus Greenpower Racing Team who are due to race their car in the Greenpower Championships on the 4th July. When we arrived the students were greeted in reception by Nick who showed them three fantastic brand new Aston Martins. The students were able to sit in them which they all thoroughly enjoyed. We then went through the history and development of the Aston Martin showing a car which was made in 1920 through to Daniel Craig’s James Bond car in Spectre. The students then moved onto the factory floor where they gained an insight into the manufacturing and designing of these fantastic cars. We watched a variety of different stations which included leather printing, sewing the leather together for the interior, a tour of the different engines, looking at...

Thinking through morality – Gifted PPE Club

By on Jun 13, 2019 in Blog |

Nexus was abuzz with moral questions and dilemmas at the latest Gifted Primary PPE session. The children engaged with ethical quandaries – from what they would do if they witnessed a grandparent bumping another car to how they would react if they were given too much change in a shop. We then used our powers of deduction to identify the moral message of the fable of The Sun and The Wind. The children completed this fascinating session with the creation of their own fable, complete with moral message. The children exhibited great thinking and reasoning skills in a session crammed full with their imaginative...

CSMS Student Wins Kelvin Science Prize

By on Jun 11, 2019 in Blog |

Sarah Pengelly, a Year 12 student at Cornwall School of Mathematics and Science has beaten over 200 other students to become one of the winners of this year’s Kelvin Science Prize, a prestigious essay writing competition organised by the University of Cambridge. Sarah, whose essay explored the role of Einstein’s Gravitational Constant on our everyday lives, was delighted to be invited to a winners event at Peterhouse College later this month. She said: “This essay was really fun to write. I had to carefully research the Gravitational Constant and think about the different ways it impacts on our lives without us even realising!” Mr Chapman, Deputy Director of CSMS, said: “Sarah’s hard work and effort has paid off. She really deserves this award and it is great to see our students really showcasing their abilities.” The judges of the award said:...

Cricket-powered energy to help save the planet

By on Jun 7, 2019 in Blog |

Nexus students are really fired up to help to reduce the impact of climate change. As part of their recent homework, students have been asked to come up with some practical solutions to solve the problems of overpopulation and climate change. Archie and Jack have been investigating alternative sources of protein to reduce the climate impacts of farming for meat. They came across a company, ‘Eat Grub’ that promotes the use of insect protein as a more sustainable food source. The company sent through three boxes of their ‘cricket bars’ for the Nexus students to sample. We can’t wait to try them! Well done to Archie and Jack for their brilliant engagement with this project. And look out for Eat Grub bars coming to a store near you. Apparently they taste delicious (and you can’t taste the...

Nexus Success in Mathematics Challenge

By on May 24, 2019 in Blog |

Camborne students from both Nexus and the main campus recently took part in the prestigious UKMT Mathematics Challenge at Junior level and we are pleased to announce another year of record breaking results. The students have outdone themselves once again and received the highest number of certificates in the school’s history.  This set of outstanding results is testament to the drive, passion and determination for Mathematical problem solving shown by our excellent students. The competition is entered by students from top Mathematics classes from across the country and is a chance for the most mathematically able to pit their skills against other excellent mathematicians in Years 7 and 8. In Year 7 eight students achieved a Bronze award and two achieved Gold; in Year 8 twenty achieved Bronze, fifteen achieved Silver and six achieved Gold. Below is a table showing...

Is There Science In Art? The Difficult Question Explored In Lt Cdr Fuller’s Lecture

By on May 21, 2019 in Blog |

Can art be scientific? Is there some underlying logic to what we find beautiful? Steve Fuller, a member of the Royal Naval Reserve at RNAS Culdrose and committed artist, certainly thinks so. From the Golden Ratio to the use of mathematical shapes in paintings, Lt Cdr Fuller gave an impassioned argument that art can be inspired by, and improved with an eye on the scientific method. Our students were taken through numerous examples of where science and art meet and Lt Cdr Fuller showed some of his own works where his clever use of maths and science had led to successful pieces. We would like to thank Steve for his time and effort delivering this exceptional lecture to our students. Hopefully a number were inspired to pick up a paint brush and have a go at creating their own science-based masterpieces.

Greenpower car off the starting blocks!

By on May 21, 2019 in Blog |

This week saw our Greenpower team start their driver training and car testing in earnest. Although the team still have to finish off making and fitting the foam nose cone, you can see from the picture the car is now mechanically completed and sporting its school colours. We are incredibly proud of everything our students have achieved in bringing the project to this point, not only the final ten students who have been selected for the racing team, but also the almost thirty other students who have given their all throughout the year to ensure we have as good a chance as possible in this, our first Nexus Greenpower race! We have only six more sessions before the race heats on Thursday 4th of July at Predannack airfield just south of Mullion, and we have a packed schedule of training to get through but we are confident that our amazing students will deliver, as always. It is our great...

Bookworms get inspired at The KYBA Book Awards

By on May 2, 2019 in Blog |

Our avid Nexus Bookworms had a fantastic day immersing themselves in the world of literature at the KYBA Book Awards. Hosted at The Eden Project, the students had the opportunity to hear from five authors shortlisted for KYBA (Kernow Youth Book Awards). The authors, including Ross Welford and Chris Higgins, gave presentations about the inspiration behind their writing, their methods in putting pen to paper and valuable words of wisdom to would-be writers. Students also had the chance to get books signed and ask questions to the authors, who gave freely of their time. Our students found the day highly inspiring and engaging. Authors were keen to emphasise the power and pleasure of reading. Ross Welford, author of Bookworms’ favourite, The 1,000 Year Old Boy, was keen to stress the symbiotic relationship between reader and writer and that the magic of a story lay in connecting with the...

Dreaming Spires of Oxford Inspire Nexus 7

By on Apr 30, 2019 in Blog |

Twenty-four students from Nexus 7 and CSIA had an incredible opportunity to visit two Oxford colleges to get a taste of university life. The day was packed with activities; the students learned more about the courses and opportunities available at university. They were amazed to find that there really is a Quidditch Club already at Oxford University and a number were keen to sign up there and then! The Nexus students were guided around Exeter College by current undergraduate students which gave them a chance to find out more about life at the university and the application process. They were treated to lunch in the great hall before being challenged in a maths workshop delivered by Dr James Munro in the Maths Department. Finally, during the plenary session students were reminded that if they want to realise their big dreams and secure a place at a top university they need to work hard,...

Fantastic last day of Easter STEM Camp at Nexus

By on Apr 10, 2019 in Blog |

We’ve had such a wonderful few days with some exceptional young people over the three days of Easter STEM Camp. Today the children have made fractal sculptures and explored Fibonacci, honed their debating skills discussing science and philosophy, pondering questions such as “can a robot be ill?” and added the finishing touches to their 3D designs. Also a very Happy 9th Birthday to one member of the camp! If you would like to find out more about the Gifted Programmes at Nexus do visit our website at...

A rainbow of indicators, a Maths Mystery and a bouncy investigation

By on Apr 9, 2019 in Blog |

…It must be Day Two of Easter STEM Camp! It was another exhilarating day, kicking off with an enthusiastic game of Wizards, Elves and Giants. Today the children perfected their 3D objects, made their own indicators using red cabbage and made a rainbow of colours by testing them with a variety of solutions. They also used brilliant maths to solve a murder mystery, and investigated bouncy problems with springs and elastic. Bungeeeee! A bouncy...

Sciencetastic first day of Easter STEM Camp!

By on Apr 8, 2019 in Blog |

Day one of Easter STEM Camp took place today, with fifty-two Year 4 and 5 children from all over Cornwall joining us for three days of exciting STEM-themed activities. Children used their imagination to devise clever ‘portmanteau’ words; these words are a ‘mash-up’ of two other descriptive words. Inspired by the story of Frankenstein children designed their own monster and then described it using prose containing portmanteau words. The children wrote some fantastic descriptions. “On a dreamal night in November, in a lispark, the cronster was born. It has drear ears, teeth as green as a grapple, arms as thick as a grick and lips as straight as a strake.” The children also had their first taste of 3D design; using Tinkercad to create their own models to be 3D printed. The children were hugely creative with their designs- everything from rabbits wearing...

The algorithms that drive artificial intelligence

By on Apr 2, 2019 in Blog |

We were really lucky today to be treated to a lecture by Dr Joan Casas Roma, Research Fellow at Falmouth University. He spoke about his research into the way that mathematical algorithms can be used to help machines that use artificial intelligence (such as self-driving cars) to make moral decisions. The debate that this generated was lively; students were full of questions! A stimulating and very enlightening talk and we would like to express our thanks to Dr. Casas Roma.

Cutting edge research into evolution taking place at Nexus

By on Apr 2, 2019 in Blog |

This week Nexus students from Years 7-9 are taking part in a study run by Exeter University. The study is investigating ‘cultural transmission’; how ideas and behaviours can be passed between individuals within and between groups. It has been proposed that effective transmission of ideas between learners has been very important in allowing humans to become such a dominant species on the planet. We look forward to seeing the completed work when it is published!

Drones, GPS and Glacial Lakes

By on Mar 26, 2019 in Blog |

We were delighted to host Tom Chudley today from the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge. Tom delivered a really interesting lecture on his research into how glacial lakes drain into crevasses during the year. He shared some amazing photos of his fieldwork in Greenland which involved the use of autonomous drones to take high resolution footage of lakes. The students were amazed to hear about how the research team had to move their tents every few days to avoid the melting glacier and that some glaciers can move over 30 metres a day! We would like to thank Tom for making the journey down to deliver this lecture, our students gain a lot from these amazing opportunities.

Nexus Students Enjoy Canadian Challenges from Exchange Teachers

By on Mar 22, 2019 in Blog |

As part of CSIA’s extensive international programme we have very close links with Fort Richmond Collegiate, a Science-specialist high school in Winnipeg, Canada. Last year Mr Chapman travelled to Winnipeg to see how teachers there engage their students in enquiry and scientific research and this week we have been hosting two teachers in return. Both 7 STEM and 7 PPE have had the opportunity to experience some difficult and exciting challenges set by the visiting teachers. Yesterday 7 STEM were taught by Mr Kellough, a maths teacher from Fort Richmond, about famous unsolved mathematical problems and given the opportunity to try and figure out brand new ways of approaching these complicated issues. Today 7 PPE were put through their paces by Ms Longobardi who set up a palaeontological challenge where students had to try and work out the shape of a dinosaur from a limited number of...

Poetry, Rap and the Principles of Practical Criticism

By on Mar 19, 2019 in Blog |

The students at Nexus enjoyed a fascinating lecture from Dr Ewan Jones from the University of Cambridge on Monday. Students were introduced to the concept of practical criticism, an approach that enables students to read a text without considering contextual factors such as autobiographical details or sociohistorical factors. This was developed at the University of Cambridge in the 1920s.  Dr Jones invited the audience to investigate the impact rhythm has on a variety of poems from William Wordsworth to rap artist, Eminem. Dr Jones showed us how exploring rhythm in poetry is often a pertinent way of getting to the emotion of a poet’s work. His message was an empowering one about the importance of accepting ambiguity in poetry and the value of multiple interpretations. Celebrating 100 years of English Literature at Cambridge, Dr Jones addressed a number of questions asked by...

Appointment of Poet Laureate

By on Mar 12, 2019 in Blog |

We are delighted to announce the appointment of the school’s first Poet Laureates. Arina West, a Year 7 student on the PPE programme at Nexus has been awarded the title of Poet Laureate Junior. She will be mentored and supported by three Year 12 students: Alex Green, Tilly Barker-Hall and Holly Smith. They will alternate the role of Poet Laureate Senior between them. These important roles will help shape the future of creative writing within the school. The students will be writing about important events, both on a national level and within the school. It is also anticipated that they will celebrate the work of other poets and co-ordinate events to promote creative writing opportunities within the school. Look out for the poetic efforts of our budding wordsmiths in the next newsletter.

Success with Youth Speaks

By on Mar 12, 2019 in Blog |

The area competition of Youth Speaks took place at CSIA last week. A total of ten teams took part in the Intermediate Competition from seven different schools. The standard of the competition was incredibly high and the quality of the presentations were polished and persuasive. The subjects of the presentations felt current and relevant and it was clear that we were hearing from committed students who spoke with integrity and belief. We were thrilled that one of the teams from Nexus made it through to the next round along with a team from Penair. Josie (chair), Lily (main speaker) and Isla (vote of thanks) made it through to the district competition which will be held in Saltash later this month with their fascinating and stimulating talk about ‘throw-away fashion’. This was a fervent call for us to reconsider our flippant and trivial attitude towards clothing. Our other team also...

Magnificent Performance in Mock Trial Competition

By on Mar 12, 2019 in Blog |

On Friday 9th March students from Years 7, 8 and 9 took part in the Citizenship Foundation’s Mock Trial competition at Truro Magistrates’ Court.  This competition gives students the opportunity to demonstrate and practise their skills in communication, evaluating evidence and making a persuasive argument.  It also gives them a unique insight into the ‘courtroom experience’ and the opportunity to learn more about our legal system. This time, the team narrowly missed out on the winning trophy but they all agreed it was an invaluable experience.  Both the lead Magistrate and Deputy Lord Lieutenant described the students as a credit to the school and commented on how well the students expressed themselves, and performed, despite being much younger than their competitors. A special mention should be made of Millie and Aaron who stepped in very last minute to new roles due a team member’s...

Seashells and the Climate – Stella Alexandroff Surprises our Students

By on Mar 11, 2019 in Blog |

Our academic lecture today was delivered by Stella Alexandroff, a research fellow at the University of Exeter. Stella, who is working towards her PhD in Ocean Sciences visited to share her research into the changing marine conditions and the impact this has on the shells of marine organisms. Much like the rings in tree trunks, seashells contain layers of calcium carbonate laid down each year – by examining the precise composition of each layer it is possible to get very precise measurements for marine temperature, carbon dioxide concentrations, pH levels and much else besides. Climatologists are able to use this information to improve their models for future climate change and to provide the most reliable predictions for future climate conditions. Our students were amazed at how much information can be gleaned from a simple shell and a number who were already considering a career...

Asthma and Airways – Future Doctors Train Nexus Students

By on Mar 8, 2019 in Blog |

On Wednesday this week trainee doctors from the Peninsula Medical School visited Nexus to deliver a workshop for our Future Medics. Students in Years 9 and 10 were taught about how our airways work and how asthma can be a significant factor in respiratory distress. The students were taught using a common teaching technique in medical school known as ‘Problem Based Learning’. In these sessions the medical students are given a patient presenting with a set of symptoms and by asking questions and carrying out research the trainee doctors have to find the answers themselves to the challenges posed. The students gained a valuable insight into how medical school works and for our hopeful medics this was an amazing experience. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the trainee doctors who gave up their time to deliver this brilliant...

Greenpower Engineers get a Helicopter Sized Boost

By on Mar 6, 2019 in Blog |

Students who are part of the Greenpower challenge, who are building an electric racing car from scratch, yesterday received a visit from the Royal Navy who brought with them parts of a Merlin Helicopter. The students were able to get up close and hands on with a tail rotor, an exhaust pipe and an air intake vent from the military aircraft. By learning the steps taken by the Naval engineers to keep the weight of the vital components down while ensuring the parts are strong enough for their purpose, our students will now be able to revisit their designs for the Greenpower car. Our students are hoping to have their car running by the end of term ready for the regional heats this year.