Balcarras
School

STEM Week Lunchtime Lectures

As part of STEM Week, our school has been holding a lecture each lunchtime, run by the Science department.  Today’s lecture is ‘The Extinction of Species - the real cost of conserving the planet’, run by Mr Butler – one of our Biology teachers

 So far this week we have had talks on Cryptography – the maths behind the murder, Catalysts, Self-Healing Aeroplane Wings and the History of Aeronautics.  Tomorrow is ‘The Overly Ambitious Demo Challenge’ – teachers embarrassing themselves by trying to do a big demo in a short amount of time!

Surrounded by good friends, I am reporting from the comfort of the front row – should get some good pictures!

Here we go…

This lecture is going to be rather more sombre than previous lectures (why didn’t I bring any tissues?!).  This really is an important, real-life topic that will affect us a lot in the future.  To start with, an inspirational and moving video about extinction – to those who will live with the problem that we’ve caused.  It really made me think about what it would be like to live in the future – with no trees or animals.  ‘Most of us today don’t even care about tomorrow’ – that’s what he said and, I hate to admit it, but it’s true.  All we care about is getting what we want, when we want it.  When do we stop and think about how what we’re doing will impact future generations of people? Never.  We are still discovering new species, yet we are happy to let existing species go.  Based on current estimates and studies, the current extinction rate is 10,000x the rate than it would be without human interference.   Mr Butler also explored the benefits of eco-tourism to us as well as local economies in areas with high extinction rates. Overall, this was a really interesting lecture that was incredibly thought-provoking at the same time.

Here’s what Louis thought of the STEM week lunchtime lectures:

“I thought it was very interesting to see that within 50 years the amazon Rainforest will be gone and that we can preserve all the bio diverse areas in the world for 4000 years with all the money that America has spent on the Iraq war, it’s quite scary if you think about it!”

These lectures are a relatively new thing here at Balcarras.  They started during STEM week last year – and already they are one of the highlights of the year.  Last year we also had some really interesting lectures – a pig’s brain dissection, the physics behind music and ‘How do colours work?’ among others.

These lectures are, in my opinion, a great way of celebrating STEM week, along with trips, visitors during lessons and assemblies crammed full of demos run by the Science department.  Only about a year to wait until next year!