British Science Week – Careers in Science / STEM – Year 8 Reflects

Year 8 reflects on the presentation by outside speaker, Heather King

On Tuesday we continued our Science Week activities. We like to look at potential careers and companies working with science both locally and globally. It is useful to see STEM in the larger community and work-place. Students in our small, independent school in Yorkshire are often looking outward beyond school and it is helpful to understand potential careers in STEM and science. They then see how to apply science in the wider world.

Heather King from Anglo-American came to talk to us about the connections between the local environment and the Woodsmith Mine. She discussed the potential careers – from traditional STEM to marketing and creative areas. Connections were made between Polyhalite being mined 1600m below the ground, and our global food security today and in the future. “I found the assembly this morning reassuring because it was talking about how they are trying to make farming and mining more eco-friendly. It shows the connection between us and the environment and how much we impact on food and habitats for wildlife.” said Tabby in year 8.

The Formation of Polyhalite

Polyhalite was formed from the salts left behind when the Zechstein sea evaporated 250 million years ago. Heather spoke about the impact of mining on our local environment and how this could be made more sustainable. She also spoke about the impact on our local economy. 

Students found the assembly interesting, particularly learning about polyhalite and how it was formed. “I learnt that polyhalite is a mineral that was formed around 250million years ago when an ancient sea dried up.” – Gabriel year 8.

Henry learnt that they “mine polyhalite which is 250 million years old and 1 mile underground.” and Maisie commented, “I enjoyed the assembly this morning because it was interesting. I have never seen or heard about polyhalite, and it has 4 of the 6 nutrients that plants need.”

The students listened to Heather speak about the company’s sustainability policies. Florence in year 8 noted, “I learnt the mines also try to make the area look more enticing by designing their mines underground and placing farm buildings on top of them.” Students found it interesting to hear about future plans, what the company is mining, and how it is doing it. “I enjoyed this morning’s assembly as I found out there is going to be a tunnel from here to Teesside. It was interesting as they are digging up polyhalite which is over 250 million years old.” explained Belle in year 8.

Cross-Curricular Science

Curriculum Enrichment, including learning from visiting experts is important at Fyling Hall, and British Science Week is a wonderful opportunity to extend science learning across the school. Please contact us if you would like to know more about the curriculum or science teaching at Fyling Hall.