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Orion laser facility

Orion is one of the most powerful lasers and largest laser facilities in the UK.

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AWE support National Science and Engineering Week

AWE has supported several events during the British Science Association’s National Science and Engineering Week.

The theme this year was ‘our world in motion’, something which AWE’s Physics at Work team fully embraced to the delight of dozens of pupils at Highdown School in Emmer Green, Reading.

The pupils were thoroughly impressed with the demonstration of sound and pressure waves with two experiments, one using exploding custard powder and the other making flame waveforms with a 1.5-meter gas burner called a Rubens tube.

The tube was attached to a speaker, and pre-set sound frequencies were played through the tube to illustrate how sound waves affect the gas pressure within the tube and therefore the shapes of the flames.

Dr. Sara Capaldi, curriculum leader for science at the school, said: “AWE has supported us over the last decade by providing money to enhance revision materials, mentors for the students and visits to the school to enrich curricular activities.

“We have a firm link with AWE and its outreach work is very supportive of the local communities. It’s brilliant that they could join us here for the science fair.”

Gareth Owen, who is part of the Physics at Work team, said the team was impressed with the positive reactions from pupils, and added: “I hope our demonstration will inspire pupils to become even more involved in science and question the reasons why observed phenomena occur in the universe.”

The popular Girls Engineering Challenge took place again, this year held at Tadley Memorial Hall, The Green, Tadley.

The event saw pupils build a bridge to withstand a variety of weights, and design a device which was capable of successfully catching an egg dropped from either one or two meters.

In the final task, the girls, aged 12-13, were challenged to build mini rafts which were judged on buoyancy and speed.

Zoe Lambden, from AWE, was one of the challenge organisers and said the event was very successful, and that the tests showed the girls the importance in engineering of sticking to deadlines and completing projects within specified timescales.

She said: “The tasks were designed to test and demonstrate different aspects of engineering, including innovation, and ingenuity. It was great to see the students having fun and putting all their engineering skills into practice.”

The overall winning school was Denefield, Long Lane, Tilehurst, and team leaders were presented with a gold trophy and a cheque for £300. The silver trophy went to The Kennet School, in Thatcham.

The other schools which took part were: Little Heath School, Tilehurst; The Clere School, Newbury; The Willink School, Burghfield Common, and The Vyne Community School, Basingstoke.

Other prize winners, praised for creativity, timekeeping and teamwork, received high street vouchers.

AWE also sponsored a trophy for The Hurst Community College, at its Science and Technology Awards evening on Thursday (March 15). The winner of the competition for best science project was 11-year-old Chloe Tyler for her entry on planets and the solar system.

 

Notes to Editors

1.     AWE plays a crucial role in national defence by providing and maintaining warheads for Trident, the UK's nuclear deterrent

2.     AWE is contracted to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) through a Government-owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) arrangement. Whilst our sites and facilities remain in government ownership, their management, day to day operations, and the maintenance of the nuclear stockpile is contracted to a private company AWE Management Limited (AWE ML). AWE ML is a consortium comprising three equal partners: Serco Group plc, the Lockheed Martin Corporation and Jacobs Engineering Group.

3.     For further information contact Media@AWE.co.uk or 01189855888.

 

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