PUPILS have used the appliance of science to become world record holders. The students, from Central Newcastle High School, have entered the Guinness World Record books by taking part in the biggest science experiment.
The record attempt involved 70 pupils at the school, and they were joined by more than 2,100 girls at 26 schools and academies across the country.
Central Newcastle High is part of the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) and every one of the member schools, from Newcastle to Portsmouth, signed up to the challenge.
The record-breaking attempt was held as part of GDST’s 140th anniversary celebrations.
“We’re hugely excited to have been part of making science history,” said Andrew Morton, head of science at Central Newcastle High.
“Studies have shown that women who go to girls’ schools are more likely to study stereotypically male subjects like physics and chemistry, both at school and at university. We know this to be true from our own experience, with around 20% of our girls studying A-level physics, compared to the national average of 1.6%.
“Taking part in this world record has created even further enthusiasm around the importance of science in the school.”
Headmistress Hilary French added: “The most disturbing statistic from the Institute of Physics report was that nearly half of all co-ed maintained schools in England do not send even one girl on to do physics at A-level.
“There is a great demand by universities and employees for girls to opt for physics or engineering and, at Central High, girls are enthused about the opportunities that are open to them.
“Involving the girls in exciting projects such as this world record attempt, as well as giving the them opportunities to hear from both male and female role models, helps to break down the barriers for girls. How inspiring, for instance, for the girls to learn that one of our ‘Old Girls’, Alison Bruce, leads the Nuclear Physics Research Group?
“For a girl to choose physics in a co-ed school is often viewed as a risky or an unfeminine move but, at Central High, the girls feel able to make these choices without any fear or concern about choosing a subject traditionally dominated by men.”