Skip to content ↓

Science Week 2023

Last week, pupils at Read School celebrated British Science Week 2023 by participating in a fun-filled and informative series of practical experiments, competitions, and lectures across all ages. British Science Week aims to raise awareness and spark enthusiasm for STEM subjects and their associated applications.

From our budding young scientist in LJS experimenting with milk and dye, to senior school pupils making fruit batteries and cheese in our science labs, there were plenty of hands-on activities for everyone to enjoy during Science Week 2023. Mr Stark had queues of students to be in the audience of his fantastic strobe light show, demonstrating the way views can be distorted by pulses of lights at different frequencies. Even the CCF got involved, by building bridges and launching rockets, as part of the event.

Whilst fun was in endless supply, our GCSE and A level students also attended a series of lectures intended to prompt discussion on the role of science in the wider world.

These comprised of:

  • An empowering career orientated talk from Elizabeth Thompson, chartered Civil Engineer on the role of STEM subjects on modern day infrastructure.
  • An inspirational Zoom call from Dr Jemma Milburn (a former pupil and postdoctoral research fellow in immunology), who advocated academic research in the sciences and discussed careers in biology.
  • A poignant and thought-provoking lecture from Dr Staves, on controversial Nobel Prize winner and German chemist Fritz Haber, who helped prevent Germans from starving during World War 1 – whilst also creating chemical weapons that would kill.

The week concluded in a spectacular finale, where students and parents went head-to-head in the battle to build the tallest tower. The competition was fierce, and participants were only provided with a small amount of tape, spaghetti and marshmallows to construct their masterpiece. The nail-biting competition was tense, but whilst every team worked put great levels of thought and skill into the design of the tower, the ultimate victors were the PFA team, who soared to victory with a tower constructed from spaghetti triangles.

Throughout the week the Science Department worked extensively to ensure all age groups could enjoy science in an accessible, engaging and age-appropriate way during Science Week, with the core objective to inspire pupils to understand the breadth of possibilities facilitated by STEM subjects.

Head Teacher, Ruth Ainley, commented:

“In so many ways, Science is more than a mere academic subject. Although we strive for our pupils to achieve the very best grades in Science examinations, even pupils who consider themselves ‘non-scientists’ get a fantastic grounding in Science from a very early age at Read School, Drax. It’s not surprising therefore that, across all our age groups, from Lower Juniors to Sixth Form, British Science Week has been a celebrated again this year in school as a real highlight of the academic calendar."

Read School would like to express its sincerest thanks to all the guest speakers, Draxonians, and parents who have supported the event; Emma Gregory, from Refill-It (Selby) who generously helped source and provide some of the items needed for our experiments; and to Read School PFA who generously provided the prizes for the various competitions which took place throughout the week.

If you would like further information on our science curriculum, or would like to offer your support to the Science Department in British Science Week 2024, please contact our Head of Department, Jaynor Bullock, via email at