Prep School science lessons for Year 5 took on a fascinating twist last week when Dr Joy Watts, a microbiologist from the University of Portsmouth, came to visit.
The girls explored a completely new world visible only through the microscope. Dr Watts showed pictures of the different types of microbes, many of which were found to be ‘miraculous’ as they are capable of performing so many important tasks we take for granted such manufacturing antibiotics, creating oxygen, breaking down waste and making bread rise. The unique flavour of chocolate was found to be due to bacterial fermentation, another reason to be thankful for the role microbes play in shaping our lives.
The wonderful shapes and structures of microbes were seen in class from pictures taken using both light and electron microscopy. The girls were surprised to find out each of us are 90% microbes and 10% human in composition.
Dr Watts encouraged the girls to think about science and engineering as a future career. The huge variety of specialisms such as robotics, engineering, space, climate change, microbiology and biotechnology mean there is something to spark everyone’s interest.
Alexandra In Year 5 said ‘I had no idea about what a microbiologist does, but now I want to be one’.
Her friend India added ‘I wasn’t sure if bacteria are good or bad but I found out they are good for you in so many ways’.
Year 5 pupil Isobel enthused ‘Dr Watts has inspired me to learn more about my favourite topic in science which is space’.
Dr Watts told the girls ‘Work hard and keep reading about science. Being a scientist is the best job in the world. You get to do what really interests you – and you get paid for it’.