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City showcases Glorious Measurement to school students

More than 150 students from several schools explore the multifaceted nature of scientific measurement in a full-day programme.
by John Stevenson

On 6 March, City University London hosted more than 150 Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 students in a full-day outreach event titled Glorious Measurement.

nullThe science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) event was held under the auspices of the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers (WCSIM) and the Institute of Measurement & Control (InstMC), with a morning programme made up of exhibits for Key Stage 3 students and a more mixed afternoon programme of talks and exhibits for Key Stage 4 and 5. The exhibits came from a range of UK and international companies in the field of measurement and instrumentation and one from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the home of the UK's measurement standards. 

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) also provided significant support for the day's events.

Glorious Measurement also featured talks delivered by President of the Institute of Measurement & Control (InstMC), Lord Ronald Oxburgh and Loughborough University's Professor John Tyrer.

Khalid, from Northumberland Park Community School in Haringey, was impressed with the microscope activity kits displayed by the Royal Microscopical Society:

"I really liked the microscopes and the way everything was explained to us. It would be great if this could come to our school."

Other exhibits included EDT's 'Fingerprint Recognition' which drew attention to the uniqueness and ethics around biometric data; Europac's 'Reverse Engineering using lasers', which demonstrated the use of the Eva hand-held scanner for capturing human body form; the National Physical Laboratory's (NPL) exhibition, 'Dolls of Confusion', in which participants were asked to correctly assess the weights of dolls varying in density; and the exhibit from the Royal Academy of Engineering, 'Programming an Arduino', which creatively illustrated the concept of microcontrollers used in everyday objects such as mobile phones, microwave ovens and dishwashers. 

For Ross, preparing for his A Levels at St Joan of Arc Catholic School in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, the quality of the speakers in all of the exhibits made a great impression:

"All of the exhibits were of a very high quality but what stood out for me was that the speakers made their topics and concepts come alive."

The Glorious Measurement day ended in a Q&A session with Sir Paul Nurse, Nobel Laureate and President of the Royal Society. This was chaired by Connie St Louis, director of City's Science Journalism MA programme.

Professor Ken Grattan, Professor of Measurement and Instrumentation and Dean of the City Graduate School, said: 

"The day brought out the importance of instrumentation and measurement in the UK and its enormous value to our economy together with the career opportunities for our young people graduating in these areas of specialisation. City is proud of having pioneered scientific instrumentation as an academic discipline over many decades. This has had a marked effect on the breadth and quality of activity of City's current research and a positive impact on our Bachelors and Masters degree programmes."

Master of the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers, David Kent, said:

"My livery colleagues at City responded favourably to my initial idea of a Glorious Measurement programme for school-aged students. It is a mark of City's 'can-do' attitude and the excellent support of its academics and support teams that the full day of activities came off so successfully."

Photo courtesy of Adrian Dutch.

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.