From atoms to the stars: Students share ideas and research at Tonbridge Science Conference

Posted: 5th March 2024

There was an air of collaboration and discovery during Tonbridge School’s latest Science Conference, which took place on Friday 1 March.

More than 150 students from schools across the UK gathered in the award-winning Barton Science Centre to present and share their research at this popular annual event.

The conference featured two student presentation sessions, in which authors briefly summarised their work before fielding questions from delegates, encouraging further discussion and exploration of topics.

Presentations covered a wide range of subjects, from quantum tunnelling to the ways in which gaming affects the neuroendocrine system, with one student even questioning whether we are all living in a simulation.

Posters were on display for delegates to view and discuss, showing various research projects conducted by the students at their respective schools. Visitors from Jishukan High School in Japan, and presentation slides on display from Los Altos High School in California, gave the conference an international context.

UK schools taking part, in addition to Tonbridge, included Sevenoaks, Woldingham, Epsom College, St Gregory’s, Judd, Benenden, Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar, King’s Canterbury, Winchester, Westminster and Weald of Kent.

Keynote speeches from three leading scientists were given in the School’s EM Forster Theatre. Professor Stephen Rauschenbach from the University of Oxford, an expert in mass spectrometry, spoke about Imaging at the atomic level in Biophysics.

Neil Allan, Professor of Physical Chemistry, University of Bristol, discussed Electrons at Play: From structure prediction to combatting heavy metal pollution; and Dr Gray Turnock, special advisor to the European Space Agency, concluded the talks with an account of Sustainability in Space.

Tonbridge’s Head of Science, Nick Waite, said: “We have been staging the Science Conference for the best part of a decade and this year has seen the greatest number of visitors, bringing with them an extraordinary range of wonderful projects. It has been exciting to witness the students’ enthusiasm and eagerness to ask questions of each other.

“They responded very well to our encouragement to broaden their horizons and be curious about the world around them.”

James Priory, Tonbridge’s Headmaster, gave a closing address, thanking all students for their contributions, ideas and insights.

Categories: Tonbridge School