News article

19th December 2018

It’s been another successful year for St Brendan’s and 2018 has ended on a high for our STEM department after the College has officially been accredited as a member of the Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS).

Founded in 2015 by an anonymous Philanthropist, IRIS works to make cutting edge research projects accessible to school students and teachers; allowing them to experience the excitement and challenge of live science projects. This recent accolade recognises the hard work and passion of our amazing STEM department and highlights the teachers as contributing valued members of the Scientific Community. St Brendan’s is the first state school in Bristol to be awarded with the title.

Through the partnership, we will have access to top teacher training and resources, new scientific research equipment and some of the world’s most exciting research data and projects. The year ahead will be an exciting one for the STEM department, with students being able to work on and contribute to a range of projects such as MELT, where they will investigate the melting of the ice caps and understand environmental changes whilst monitoring their carbon footprint. Meanwhile, Chemistry students will be delving into the world of Iconic Liquids.

Second year Physicists however, have already got started on an exciting new IRIS project. Assisting with the development of the James Webb Space Telescope, which will be launched by NASA in 2021, students will use data collected by the Spitzer Space Telescope, examine evidence and collaborate with astronomers to identify potential targets for ‘Webb’.

Physics Teacher and STEM Co-ordinator Christ Brasher commented on the partnership, “I am thrilled that we have been officially named as a IRIS Partner School and look forward to a future of exciting projects! The Institute brings an amazing opportunity for our students and staff here at College; to be able to use real data and work on some of the world’s most progressive projects is an amazing experience and will allow our students to gain a better insight into the world of STEM and the potential careers out there waiting for them. I am sure these projects will greatly inspire our students and I look forward to seeing how the College’s STEM department evolves with this exciting relationship.”

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