For the third consecutive year St John’s will be celebrating National Science & Engineering week from 12-17 March, culminating in the Marlborough Science Fair on Saturday 17th, when the school opens its doors to the whole local community for a wide range of activities from 11am to 3pm. Last year almost 2,000 people visited St John’s to visit the exhibitions and take part in interactive activities aimed at the whole family.
Tom Nicholls, St John’s Director of Specialist Colleges has been planning the week for several months. “The whole week will celebrate science and engineering culminating in an exciting family day on the Saturday” he said. “This is the third year we have organised this event and we have more activities and exhibitions for people to enjoy than ever before. Thanks to Cadley Garage we are once again able to make the Science Fair free entry, and we hope to see even more people here this year”.
Throughout the week leading up to the Science Fair St John’s students will be participating in talks, quizzes and demonstrations throughout the day. In addition, two evening community events have been planned, each with an entry fee of just £1.
On Monday 12 March at 7pm Astronomer Nick Howes will talk about the discovery of the first Jupiter Trojan comet and his other major astronomical discoveries, along with his work with NASA.
On Thursday 15 March at 7pm Dr Craig Brakes will give a talk on Animal Migration. He will explain how animals undertake exhausting and potentially hazardous migratory journeys and how they are able to find their way around the world so precisely, without the aid of an Atlas or a Sat Nav.
At the Science Fair on Saturday 17th, which this year has been sponsored by Cadley Garage, activities will include “Cool Science” Shows aimed at children age 4+, presented by Dr Mark Bibbis, a Planetarium, Glass-engraving workshops, Lego Robotics and Solar Telescopes. Some of the many exhibitors include Wiltshire Heritage, who are bringing an inflatable copy of a Sarsen Stone from Stonehenge and will be giving people the opportunity to try to move a stone into place, Wiltshire Fire & Police, the Wroughton Science Museum, the Wiltshire Geology Group the Wiltshire Astronomical Society, and the Crofton Beam Engines.
The Science Laboratories will be open and visitors will have the opportunity to take part in a range of experiments. A code-breaking treasure hunt will have clues hidden around the school, with prizes for everyone solving the puzzles.
There is no entry charge to the Science Fair, although a small charge is being made for the Planetarium and Science Shows, and to take part in the glass-design workshop. St John’s is easily accessible on foot from the Town Centre, and limited parking is available at the school. A free shuttle bus will run every 15 minutes to and from the Children’s Centre in the George Lane car park. Refreshments will be available all day and lunches will be served in the restaurant from 12:00 to 2:00pm.
Tickets for the evening lectures are still available from Sally Bere at St John’s on 01672 519558 or email email@example.com or can be bought on the door. The Planetarium Show is already sold out and limited tickets are also available for the Science Shows on Saturday 17th, but Sally recommends that you pre-book these tickets.
Notes for editors
St John’s School & Community College in Marlborough has a catchment area of over 250 square miles from a primarily rural area of Wiltshire, and has more than 1,690 students age 11-18. In 2011 86% of students achieved five or more A* to C grade GCSEs and 75% achieved five or more A* to C Grades including English & Maths, placing St John’s as one of the top performing state schools in the country.
The ALPS (Advanced Level Performance Systems) data for 2009 ranks St John’s as Outstanding, placed in the top 10% of schools, based on the progress made by students from GCSE to A-level and the quality of teaching & learning.
Until December 09 the school was based on two 1960s sites in the town with half the students being taught in ageing “temporary” classrooms, some of which had been in place for over 30 years. Following a decision by the governing body to build a new school rather than waiting until 2020 for a government-funded new building, the new St John’s opened in December 2009. The development was funded by the school by selling land for development and by fundraising. The new St John’s is a single-site, purpose-built school with a wide range of excellent facilities that will give students, as well as the wider community, a place to be proud of.
For more information contact:
St John’s School & Community College
Marlborough SN8 4AX