Diamond’s science and engineering continued to inspire and excite in the UK in 2014, as we built on our successful programme of events and opportunities for the public and schools. With skill development in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) a key issue in education, our role in bringing young people into contact with science in the real world is more important than ever. For the public, as Diamond continues to produce amazing science with applications which impact on everyday life, having access to the scientists and engineers who make it possible is more important and more exciting than ever.
In 2014/15 we continued our strong and ever-increasing programme of schools events, welcoming more than 2,000 students to the facility.
Our long standing programme of schools visits for A-level students, the 'Inside Diamond' events, continue to provide an important and valued experience for students, and allows them to meet our scientists and engineers as well as see the machine and beamlines. We continued our successful collaboration with the Research Complex at Harwell’s Oxford Protein Production Facility (OPPF) and Imperial College’s Membrane Protein Laboratory (MPL) to deliver biology A-level days which allow students to undertake hands-on experiments in some of the UK’s most high-tech environments. This access to equipment and staff would be impossible inside a school classroom, and is a highly valued experience for students.
'Inside Diamond' public open day, June 2014.
As 2015 has been declared by UNESCO as the 'International Year of Light', Diamond is taking the opportunity to attend festivals and events around the region and beyond to celebrate the achievements and possibilities of synchrotron science.
At the Oxfordshire Science Festival we hosted a number of events, meeting members of the public at both the Oxford and Abingdon science fairs, and hosting a special film and discussion night entitled ‘Reflections and Revolutions’, co-hosted with the Nuffield Department of Medicine. We also hosted a talk in Abingdon with Chief Executive Andrew Harrison. Additionally, in March 2015 we continued to support the British Crystallographic Association (BCA) as they took part in the annual Big bang Fair, welcoming 70,000 students to the NEC in Birmingham.
'After Hours, Science Uncovered' event at the Natural History Museum, London, September 2014.
(Top) At the Oxford University Museum of Natural History for the closing of the Oxfordshire Science Festival, March 2015. (Bottom) Workshop for Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT) students, March 2015.
Over the last year, the programme of scientific and technical workshops and conferences has been busier than ever. During the summer of 2014 we hosted two large summer schools: the Synchrotron Radiation Summer School and the BCA-CCP4 Summer School; both of which were week-long residential courses providing students with introductions into synchrotron radiation and crystallography respectively. In total, the courses hosted 90 students and were oversubscribed by over 400%, illustrating the high demand for this type of practical-based course.
Diamond SR User Meeting, September 2014.
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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