Tanni truly inspired our students. With experiences like this, they become hooked and were saying, "Ah, now we get it. This is why we do practical experiments, and this is how it impacts on people in the real world.” It’s having the opportunity to give pupils that real interest.
We also entered the GSK Fast Forward Challenge in 2013, where pupils had to design a test to help improve Formula 1 drivers’ reaction times. Jenson Button was involved and our team had the experience of working with McLaren, as well as face-to-face discussions with scientists at GSK.
The icing on the cake was a visit to the McLaren Technology Centre with GSK. McLaren introduced a range of their female engineers to our students, who talked about their work with Formula 1 cars. And that, for my pupils (and me) was absolutely priceless. This particular Challenge actually inspired one of the girls to go into engineering, and that’s fantastic! We couldn’t have done that without the inspirational catalyst from GSK. The powerful thing about the GSK annual schools challenges and science resources is that they help bring the curriculum to life.
Waldegrave is a girls’ school, and back when the government gave money for specialist subjects we were a science college. Although we don’t get the money for that anymore, we keep it going.