News and Events

SRWA opens new STEM research hub

Schools from across the county joined the Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS) on Tuesday evening at The Sir Robert Woodard Academy to celebrate the opening of a new hub for student led STEM research; one of only four such hubs in the UK.

Darren Harman, Director of Science at the Academy welcomed teachers from twelve schools along with local councillors and the Director of IRIS, Professor Becky Parker MBE, who delivered a passionate key note speech about the amazing opportunities the new hub will bring to both SRWA students and others across the south of England.  

The IRIS hub school here at SRWA will provide access to projects at the cutting edge of science research and related subjects. Students will become Carbon Researchers analysing data from the European Space Agency (ESA) Sentinel-1 satellite that has taken previously unseen images of the icecaps and helping polar explorer Robert Swan in his Global Climate Force challenge, which aims to remove 326 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere by 2025.

Students will also become Genome Decoders, helping scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge University decode the genome of the human whipworm parasite. Once complete, the results that our students contribute will be directly used by scientists to develop new treatments for a parasitic disease that afflicts hundreds of millions of people in mainly developing subtropical regions, most of whom are children who would otherwise be prevented from attending school and even lose their lives to this horrifying parasite.  

These are just a few of the truly unique and inspiring research opportunities that our students will now have the chance to take part in – something that will certainly help prepare them for attending top universities and future careers in the STEM sector.