A selection of Wigan & Leigh College’s aspiring female scientists had the unique opportunity to participate in a science extravaganza with leading academics at the University of Cambridge.

The Women in Science Festival, held at the University’s Robinson College on 24th and 25th September comprised of talks from several leading female Scientists, Mathematicians, and Engineers, and practical sessions in some of Cambridge’s Science departments.

Students also visited the Science Fair with interactive sessions and exhibits from Directors of Studies and Phd students and were able to choose an activity from engineering, materials science, and anthropology.

Mia Johnson, A Level Biology student at Wigan, said “In anthropology, we were able to examine bones to determine the sex of the individual, and were able to observe evidence of disease.”

Throughout the day, students were able to chat informally with fellows and students about the admissions process and life as a science student at one of the most prestigious universities in the world which boasts alumni of some of the world's leading thinkers and practitioners in the field, including Stephen Hawking.

The following day, the talks were opened by Professor Valerie Gibson, Head of the High Energy Physics Group at the University of Cambridge, who spoke on her life in science and her career to date. This was followed by presentations from researchers and teaching fellows, who talked about their work in immunology, materials science and virology.

Katy Robinson, A Level Biology student at Leigh College, said, “The most inspiring part of the day was finding out about the variety of really exciting projects that the speakers were working on.”

As well as the academic parts of the day, the students took part in a quiz and came in an impressive third place, and watched the film Hidden Figures which is about three African American female scientists working at NASA in the 1960s.

College Principal, Anna Dawe said, “We are giving academically-talented students the confidence they need to become competitive applicants to universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. We are continuing to raising aspirations of our students, particularly our female students in STEM careers.”

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