School students explore science and creativity at Creative Quarter 2017


A female visiting school student takes a selfie with a small white and red robot

Local school students flocked to Imperial to shake hands with robots, create art from milk and soap, and learn about the Bionic Man.

During Creative Quarter 2017, visitors also had the opportunity to attend demonstration lectures, take part in interactive exhibits, and find out about careers in science, technology, engineering and medicine (STEM) at career insight sessions.

Creative Quarter is an annual event in South Kensington which offers young people the chance to explore the latest developments and find out about career paths in art, science, design, technology, music and drama.

Dr Annalisa Alexander, Head of Outreach, said: “This year was our biggest ever Creative Quarter event with over 400 pupils exploring this incredible corner of London.

“The event gave them a valuable insight into what we do, what career options are out there and also what it is like to study science and art at a higher level. There was a real buzz around Exhibition Road and it was wonderful to see so many pupils enjoying the activities.”

School students taking part in an experiment using milk, soap and watercolours

In demonstration lectures Professor Steven Rose talked about how he and his colleagues have discovered how to turn light into matter, a feat thought impossible when the idea was first theorised 80 years ago. Professor Dario Farina told visitors about the latest development in bionic limbs, and asked the audience to consider what might happen if robotic technology gets so advanced that humans start demanding robotic limbs over their own healthy ones.

STEM career talks gave students an insight into a range of science and technology careers, including what it’s like to be a chemical engineer, a biomedical researcher, a doctor, and even a plasma physicist.

Students interacting with a mechanical experiment

In the College’s Main Entrance, visiting students could take part in interactive exhibits, exploring how zebrafish can help us to understand human biology and disease, how urban green spaces can benefit cardiovascular health, and how computer aided control can prove more reliable than our own human instincts.

At one exhibit, students conducted a simple experiment with milk, watercolours and soap, showing how fat molecules in the soap and the milk interact with each other. At the end of the experiment the students could make colourful artworks with their results.

Chris Markou, a visiting student from Caterham High School, said: “So far my favourite activity has been seeing how the fat in soap reacts with milk. The colour and the way that it moves is so unusual, and it’s fascinating.”

Visiting school student Ahona Islam with the outreach robotVisiting school student Ahona Islam (pictured left) enjoyed meeting the College’s outreach robot: “I’ve seen YouTube videos about robots before, but I’ve never seen one in real life, so I get to show off to my friends now!”  

Ahona is a student at George Green’s School in East London. “I want to be a doctor,” she said. “I really enjoy biology and I find the human body really complicated so I want to be able to understand it more.”  

Creative Quarter is organised by Discover South Kensington, and this year’s event also featured talks and demonstrations from the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Royal Albert Hall, Royal College of Music, V&A and Goethe-Institut.


Images credit: Danny Fitzpatrick


Jennie Rawling

Jennie Rawling
Communications and Public Affairs

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