On Monday 20 November, we were delighted to welcome over 40 members of the First, Second and Third Forms to the Seminar Room for the first ever RGS Junior Scholarship Conference. Much of the credit for organising the event must go to this year’s Senior Scholars’ Council, led by president Alexander. The Council were keen to find ways to encourage scholarship among the younger year groups as well as creating an opportunity for older students to share their academic interests and passions with their younger peers. The Junior Scholarship Conference evolved from these discussions. Not only did the Council play a significant role in conceptualising and marketing the event, but also offered their services as speakers.
In total, five Upper Sixth Form students gave presentations on topics ranging from the origins of space, to the ‘superstar effect’ in baseball, to deglobalisation. The presentations were based either on recent research that the students had done for their ILA (Independent Learning Assignment) or ORIS (Original Research in Science) projects, or on topics that were of particular interest to them. Each of the speakers had tailored their presentations to take account of the younger age of their audience, including explaining the expansion of space using the analogy of a blueberry muffin and hand actions to illustrate the hydrophobic properties of amyloid proteins! The presentations were followed by a lively Q&A session, during which the presenters dealt admirably with a wide range of delightfully inquisitive and challenging questions.
Based upon the success of this year’s event, I hope that the Junior Scholarship Conference can become a firm fixture in our Scholarship for All annual programme of events in the future.