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Top Physics prize for Katrina

Top Physics prize for Katrina

Blackpool sixth student Katrina Parker has won a national competition for female first year A level physics students. The prize is a week’s fully paid-for experience at one of the world’s top physics laboratories, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France.

The XMas Scientist Experience competition, organised by the University of Warwick, aims to promote careers in physics for women. Students were asked to write about the legacy of Rosalind Franklin, who made a decisive contribution to our understanding of DNA amongst many other achievements.

Katrina who is 16 and is from Bispham commented,  “I think it’s immensely important to encourage people to aim for careers in science, technology, engineering and maths, if that’s what they want to do. After the college told me about the competition, I thought it would be incredibly interesting to research Rosalind Franklin – a remarkable scientist. Finding out I got a place was a welcome surprise and I am thrilled to have been given this opportunity.”

The former Montgomery High School student will travel to Grenoble in July and the visit will give her privileged access to a facility which conducts world-leading research in the use of X-ray radiation in fields as diverse as protein crystallography, earth science, paleontology, materials science, chemistry and physics.  She will follow in the footsteps of a number of Blackpool Sixth students who have won national physics competitions which have taken them to different parts of the world such as the US and Australia.

Blackpool Sixth plays a vital role in promoting and developing physics education in the region through its leadership of the Fylde Coast Ogden Trust partnership and its strong links with universities and the Institute of Physics.  The college with the Ogden Trust hosts a series of public lectures on a wide variety of fascinating topics in physics.