More than 110 students from schools across the region will be gathering at Royal High School Bath on Wednesday 18 May for a ‘Gifted and Talented Conference’ for high achievers in Years 9, 10 & 12.
This will be the first time Royal High School Bath is hosting the conference in person. Last year’s event was hugely successful attracting 580 students from 29 schools from around the country but had to be held entirely online due to Covid restrictions. This year, the organisers are encouraging schools to attend in person and have invited schools all around Bath to send five representatives each to enjoy a wide-ranging series of speakers.
Schools taking part include Beechen Cliff, Oldfield School, Hayesfield Girls’ School, Monkton Senior School, Writhlington School, St Gregory’s Catholic College, Ralph Allen School, Kingswood School and St Mark’s CofE School. In addition, around 80 students from Royal High School Bath will be attending the event. The school travelling the furthest will be Portsmouth High School which is a sister school to Royal High, both part of the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST), the same leading network of 25 independent girls’ schools across England and Wales. Five further GDST schools will be joining the conference online.
The ‘Gifted and Talented Conference’ is a day of lectures designed to stretch and challenge the students’ thinking and knowledge of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Featuring key-note speakers covering topics as wide ranging as plastic pollution to time-travel, students can look forward to exciting talks full of visuals and the latest scientific thinking.
Certain to deliver a big bang is a live interactive chemistry demonstration by Dr Zoe Schnepp, Senior Lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Birmingham. Astronomy author, Colin Stuart, is planning to take the students on a journey to Mars while getting them to consider questions such as how the astronauts would live and what food would they grow. Other speakers include David Jones, a well-known environmentalist and Founder of Just One Ocean posing the question, “Is it too late to save our oceans?”, while Olivia Coombes, a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh whose research focusses on the freedoms and abilities of time travellers will be getting the students to consider ‘The Philosophy of Time Travel’.
Emma Hilliam, Royal High School Bath’s Head of Academic Extension, said, “We are so pleased to be offering this amazing opportunity not just to our own students, but also for students looking for stretch and challenge from so many schools across Bath. We have a fantastic line-up of visiting speakers and our hope is that all the students go away feeling inspired and excited by all the ideas, insights and expertise that have been shared.
“The day is about giving students the chance to interact with experts in their fields, to excite them about the subjects they are studying, broadening their horizons, and encouraging them to think outside the box. I have seen first-hand the positive impact conferences like these can have. It really goes a long way in helping foster confidence and ambition in young people and shows them how they too can pursue their passions and apply what they are learning at school in the real world.”