Research Projects are timetabled on Wednesday afternoons:
Biojoversity is a website for nature, the climate and for innovation. Students who work as part of the development team research project write blogs, bids, news items, social media posts and organise local and national projects to protect nature and the planet as part of the biojoyversity initiative.
The Orchard Project
Students involved in this award-winning project will have the opportunity to:
- Carry out conservation and maintenance activities within the Orchard such as planting trees, weeding, maintaining the pond, pruning hedgerow etc. The area devoted to wildlife has been increased due to the demolition of the old school building
- Set up trail cameras and use the footage to produce short video clips to upload to the school website
- Take part in a research project to study the impact of biodiversity on psychological well-being of SLGGS students. The research involves measuring the impact of taking a walk in different environments on feelings of well-being (measured using a questionnaire) and physical factors such as pulse rate and blood pressure
- Work with our science partner for this project, Dr Turner. He is a highly regarded entomologist and conservationist at the University of Cambridge
The Orchard Project has recently won a Green School Award in the Nature Conservation Category.
Students use a particle detector from CERN to carry out autonomous research including the angle at which the sensor affects the number of muons detected or, more recently, the award-winning research conducted into the radioactive properties of tea.
Working with the School of Physical Sciences at the University of Kent, students will be attempting to make some crystals of new phases from alkylammonium chlorides and transition metal chlorides. The structures of any suitably grown crystals will be determined by researchers using a single crystal diffractometer at the University.
When you discover your interesting phases, students can then try to tweak the synthetic conditions, for example, changing reagent ratios, to make a pure phase. It is hoped that any new phases could have the potential to demonstrate piezoelectric properties in the future.
This is an excellent research opportunity for students to collaborate with experts in their field, developing skills in planning, teamwork, problem-solving, creativity and resilience.
Death by Space Dust
Aim: Use simulation software to assess the effects of space dust on impacts with the ISS (International Space Station)/Other man-made space objects.
Detail: Soon there will be an experiment being sent to the ISS (International Space Station) via the CAPS (Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Science) research group from the University of Kent. They are looking to some students to be use some simulation software to act as a calibration for the experiment. The work has every possibility of publication and could lead to some excellent results which could help our travels to planets beyond the moon!
Research Opportunities: Students are given complete autonomy on this study and can change many variables of the projectile including but not limited to velocity, size, density, shape, angle etc.
This group is learning the techniques to analyse different soil samples for microbial communities. This research is part of a wider research project of the University of Kent where understanding our soil is vital for understanding ecosystems and capturing carbon within them.
Poor air quality has a wide range of negative effects on people’s health but also their cognitive ability, including pupils’ educational outcomes. Pupils may be subjected to poor air on their walking routes to school, whilst on buses or even whilst in school itself.
Research carried out by Tim Hopthrow and his colleagues at The University of Kent has shown that psychologically derived messaging can reduce engine idling at long wait stops by up to 38% and decrease harmful pollutants. Students signing up for this project will work closely with Mrs Homerston, Tim Hopthrow and his colleagues to carry out a similar study.
Students will have the opportunity and design and carry out the study themselves, wearing air quality devices to examine air pollutants. The research is being funded by The Royal Society and there may be opportunities to present findings at a conference at the end of the year.
A Creative Approach to Community, Future Living and Sustainability
The project is designed to offer insights into the way in which scientists, artists and designers are reshaping sustainable future living, working sympathetically with our environment and enhancing our communities. You will have the opportunity to explore ideas and develop a project of your own that will be entered into the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) Pupil Design Awards.
You will get to have a go at making biomaterial for building yourselves and create architectural designs and models which could then be selected by the team to take as examples to the iGEM Grand Jamboree in Paris at the end of October. The synthetic Biology team are also working on an educational book for primary school children. If you are interested in illustration you could contribute some of your own drawings to be part of the book!
Working with lecturers that teach stand-up comedy at UKC, students work to obtain a platform to deliver their own material and investigate the ways in which comedy can empower young people; giving them a voice, defusing tension and stress, creating friendships and connections.
The Philosophy Project has been designed to introduce you to some of the most influential thinkers of our modern world and to engage with life’s ‘big questions’. Philosophy can be defined as ‘the study of the ultimate nature of existence, reality, knowledge and goodness, as discoverable by human reasoning.’ (Penguin English Dictionary). In the Philosophy Project you will be challenged to explore your own morality and understanding of the nature of knowledge and existence.
Students engage with the theory of archives and analyse materials and artefacts that have never been accessed by academics before, based at the First and Second World War archives at the PWRR Museum at Dover Castle. Students have taught sessions on the purpose of archives; how archives have the power to boost previously marginalised voices and the dystopian connotations of the archive in literature. They will also take part in workshops delivered by our partner archivist where they learn how material is curated and presented to the public in museums. This year, students will be collating their projects as part of an innovative online exhibition.
In conjunction with Canterbury Museums students in this project will research the Roman impact on Canterbury (Durovernum Cantiacorum) and Kent as a whole. Students will do this through the analysis of the archaeological sources of evidence for Roman Britain which is plentiful in the area. By the end of the project students will have synthesised their research to present back to the museums and produced educational resources for local primary schools.
Publish a Book
In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf. A mouse took a stroll through the deep, dark woods. We’re going on a bear hunt.
The stories we read and hear as children shape our minds and imaginations from a young age and influence our future in more ways than we think. If you are a keen and imaginative writer, a skilled artist, or have always dreamed of being an acclaimed author or illustrator, come and start your journey with this project. Join us as we investigate the ingredients that go into making a successful children’s picture book, learn about the process of publishing from industry experts and experience each stage first-hand as we grow our ‘little egg’ of an idea into the ‘beautiful butterfly’ of a published book.
Langton Language Centre (LLC)
A hub of excellence for languages, students can learn to Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and a plethora of languages like Korean, Arabic, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Mandarin or Polish.
Ab Initio courses in Spanish, an increasing portfolio of lectures on topics such as Austrian literary culture and the Cuban Revolution sit side by side conferences, trips and the work our students do with academics from the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church.
The ‘Active Minds’ Project, in conjunction with completing a language leaders course explores the effect of learning a language on the mind and dementia. An exploration of the linguistic heritage of the British Isles gives students the opportunity to find out about why Latin, French and German phrases exist in our society today. Research into the use of standardised English and ‘Aylesham-onics’ – an exploration of the language history of Aylesham and their particular ‘dialect’ – are other areas that our Sixth Formers have investigated.
The Greenpower Project is an electric race car designed and built to enter the Greenpower Electric Car Championships against other schools nationally. The car was built by alumni of the project (chassis, motor, seat, steering, wheels etc and it drives!) and our Year 12 cohort are currently fitting and refining (telemetry, safety, brakes etc) the set-up – the car drives well and we have had fun this year already! You will be part of a team of approximately 12 and will need to be keen, hands on with tools and have an interest in engineering. Sessions will be workshop based with some testing on the school field. We also want to attract some local sponsorship to brand the car with and help support us financially for the next stage – racing!