Last week students in years 10, 11 and 13 were entertained by an audio-visual presentation Dr. Katy Sheen along with Siobhan Moran, both who have just come back from a seven week scientific expedition to the Antarctic with British Antarctic Survey. Whilst in the South Atlantic these two scientists were among a team investigating the ocean currents that circulate the continent and how water moves according to the depth.
This was all linked to how this particular ocean stores Carbon Dioxide and in particular how it may release this gas due to the Greenhouse Effect. A few years ago, this team, had released a dye into the water at a depth of over 1.5 km. In subsequent expeditions the team has been sampling water at different depths tracking how and where this dye has dispersed.
The presentation gave pupils an insight to the demands of working at the bottom of the world, dealing with the harsh and unpredictable weather whilst living together in a close knit group on board a ship for such a long time. In a hands-on presentation several pupils too part in simple demonstrations & wearing standard protective clothing.
Perhaps also it widened their perspectives as to possible jobs for scientists, making a career in Physics more “sexy”. More details about their expedition can be found at:
Dr. Katy Sheen is in fact an ex-pupil of the school, leaving some 13 years ago to study Physics at Cambridge. Since then she has done her PhD again in Physics before moving to Southampton University to work as a research Oceanographer.