Last Thursday, IB first years on the biomedical pathway were given the opportunity to attend “Science Day” at the Science Museum in London. Following a bus ride to the city from Oxford, we walked a short distance around the museum to the entrance, where we were surrounded by hordes of other school groups excited to explore whatever they wanted to see at the museum.
After we got situated with the program for the day, a guide directed us towards an escalator which would bring us to the lecture hall where we would be able to observe the lectures and films presented. This event featured speakers from Israel, which made it even more interesting, being able to see how scientists around the world are able to collaborate with each other to further a project. The first speaker, Dan Kaganovich, gave a very insightful presentation on aging, and how there have been certain experiments done to determine the effect of certain factors on aging. To further our understanding, he showed us examples of people who lived to be 120+ years old, and the effect of a low-fat diet on an increasing youthfulness for apes, as well as providing us with shocking statistics showcasing the drastic increase of 100/105+ years old in Japan and Sweden.
Following this first talk, there was a short break which allowed us to stretch our legs and discuss what we’d just seen. Up next was a talk by inspiring scientist, Mouna Maroun. Prior to her talk, she discussed how although she came from an underprivileged area, and an underprivileged family, she was able to rise to be a very successful neurobiologist, so we can too. She then went on to have a very interesting presentation on memory, and the effect that fear has on our actions, with one example being an experiment involving rats being given electrical shocks after hearing a certain sound. It was discovered that this sound made the rats extremely fearful, until there was a certain chemical cocktail added to prevent such connections being made in their memories. This was an extraordinarily interesting talk, especially as we were able to relate to it ourselves and think of real life events where we may have been affected in the same ways.
Overall, the ability to experience such events which are so insightful to possible career paths opens up your mind to what you would like to do in the future at university, and beyond.
Written by: Kiera Martin, IB Year 1 Student at EF Academy Oxford