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Welcome to the Sydenham School weekly e-newsletter: Edition 137
we have listened to what parents have said about what they want from the newsletter and made some changes….


Year 8 and Year 9 STEM day

On Wednesday 1st July years 8 and 9 were involved in their annual STEM day activities.

The Year 8 task was to design and build the most cost efficient, effective wind turbine. Pupils were placed into teams who worked on trying to balance the need for low mass blades (which would improve the turbines output) and costly high structures that are in clean air. The voltage generated by the wind turbines was recorded by each team with the winners decided by the highest output.
Year 9 had a day split into two. For one half teams represented rival nations in a race to develop prototypes of Mars Landers, Generation Stations and Exploration Buggies. They needed to  demonstrate that each design met progressive targets to ensure their nation has a chance to win the contract to build the Mars colony!  Every participant needed to select a job-role that matched their skill set and benefited their team.  Every team had to balance design ideals with cost effectiveness, as they bought and traded materials throughout the event.
The second half of their day involved learning about oil usage, peak oil and the environmental impact of millions of humans on the planet. They then designed and built a wind powered buggy which was propelled by stored air.


Maths Inspiration Lectures - Trip Review

On the 29th of June, 2015, a group of Year 8 and 9 pupils had the opportunity to attend an awe - inspiring, perplexing and very intriguing mathematics lecture delivered by Matt Parker, Hannah Fry and Rob Eastaway - three amazing mathematicians who have put together a great show. The lecture - titled 'What's the Point?' - answered the frequently asked question that withhold many students from believing that with Maths, you can truly succeed. It's not just a matter of knowing how to find the size of an angle in a triangle or using the quadratic formula to draw a parabola. Maths can be applied to everyday life in ways that, before the event, would never have crossed your mind.
The lecture was delivered in a series of short talks. Hannah Fry demonstrate how birds use averages to control their flocking, by using computer simulation to simulate real life footage. From her research, she has deduced that birds calculate the mean speed of nearby birds and use that to ensure that they all travel at the same rate. This creates interesting formations that are seemingly random, but actually have mathematical ideas behind them.
Our personal favourite short talk was from Rob Eastaway where he discussed the idea of logic, and how the Maths we are taught at school helps us think logically and rationally. To demonstrate this, he had a bag of three hats (two blue, one gold) and two volunteers on the stage. He placed a hat on each of their heads, but neither could see which hat they had on, but they could see the other person’s hat. Their challenge was to tell the audience what colour hat they had on, along with a valid reason. The logic behind this was that if the other person wasn’t able to immediately tell what colour hat they had on, then you definitely had a blue hat on your head.
After Rob and Hannah’s series of short talks, we had a short interval in which we were given a choice of two challenges. The challenges didn’t require a lot of mathematical knowledge, but we definitely had to think hard. That was followed by a talk from a special guest who worked in visual effects.
All in all, we had a lot of fun and learnt a lot. We would definitely go again, and we think that it was an amazing experience, never to be forgotten.

By Nada Baessa & Alice Miller

Doctors of Science come to Sydenham


This Monday four groups of year 7 students were fortunate enough to be given three different lectures by the London Innovation Society (LIS). LIS is a non- profit organization founded in 2014 by a group of academics and PhD students with the aim of fostering innovation by transferring scientific knowledge to the public, in particular, young people in secondary education. 
LIS volunteers, all of whom are PhD students at respectable institutions such as the University of Cambridge, UCL, Imperial College London and Queen Mary University of London, delivered three brilliant lectures.
The first lecture was delivered by 2 post graduates working on their PhD. Feyza and Ekrem are a husband and wife team who told the pupils about how they researched wonderful features found in nature (How does a lotus plant remain clean in dirty water AND not get wet?). They are now working on using this knowledge to produce self-cleaning surfaces as well as possible ways to clean up oil spillages.

Lecture two was by Dr Ebubakir. He got the pupils to consider how a Gecko can climb on vertical walls and ceilings. Pupils were shown electron microscope images showing the geko’s unique skin surface that allows such great contact with walls and surfaces. Using the knowledge gained from researching gecko’s feet he has been working on gecko inspired adhesives.

Lecture three was by Dr Fethi an astrophysicist at UCL. HE went through how light was actually bent by space and what gravity is and what black holes were. There was a few puzzled faces as he explained how time runs slower compared to earth as you approach a black hole! He concluded by showing some animations he has worked on demonstrating how two black holes could join together to produce a super massive black hole.
The event was a great way to enlighten pupils as to what research goes on in university and the fact not every Doctor is a medical one!

School performance  

This production runs from Monday 6th to Wednesday the 8th next week, there is updated ticket information on our website don't miss out on what will be a great show.


Exam results days

The exam results days will take place on Thursday 13th August for A-levels and Thursday 20th August for GCSEs. A-level results will be available from the sixth form common room, and GCSE results will be available from the school hall.

BTEC and other vocational qualification certificates can also be collected on these days. The remaining certificates will be available to collect from November onward.

If you are unable to collect results on the day, or have other questions, please contact Mr Lake, the exams officer, on 020 8699 6731 x533 or, or in the data office in room 230, Basil Spence building." 


Term Dates are on the website:

Lost property  

All lost property not claimed before the end of this term, Friday 17 July, will be disposed of. Students are encouraged to come and claim their belongings before or after school, during break or lunch time. Lost property is kept in the First Aid Office on the first floor of the STEM Building. 


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