Science Week | Eureka: A journey of serendipitous discovery

Eureka! A word which is synonymous with grey headed scientists, bubbling chemicals and flashes of inspiration that strike without warning. But eureka moments happen more frequently than we appreciate, and they can indeed be serendipitous. Welcome to Wellington College International Shanghai’s third annual Science Week: “Eureka: A journey of serendipitous discovery”.

The week of 22nd-26th January at Wellington College International Shanghai is dedicated to science and discovery. It is a week for every pupil to see our world through a scientific lens, not just in science lessons, but in every academic and sporting discipline. Eureka moments are happening during every hour of every day at Wellington, as pupils make sudden and unexpected realisations of the solution to the problems set before them. Science Week is the ideal time to celebrate this exciting and deeply satisfying feeling.

We have a vast array of experiments and activities on offer throughout the week. Covering everything that is going on across all subjects and throughout all year groups would take up far too much space for just one single article, so allow me to give a flavour of things to come:

In Pre-Prep, there will be an assortment of activities led by the pupils’ home room teachers – all of which will be linked to their current curriculum on construction – as well as drop in’s from the science faculty with mini volcanoes and a Dr Seuss favourite, Ooblek. Years 3, 4 and 5 will be undertaking scientific research projects, culminating in the year 5 science fair, while year 7 will be visiting the Shanghai Science Museum. Pupils from Upper Prep and Senior School will be signing up to a host of events during CCA time, including a week-long crime scene investigation and a STEM competition run by the technology department, who will also be screen printing science-themed T-shirts with year 9. Two science-themed house events will also run throughout the week for both Upper Prep and Senior School, so there’s plenty of house points up for grabs. Our IB pupils will be supporting the event throughout this week, but they’ll also be having their group 4 investigation day.

Alongside the wide range of dedicated events, science will also be promoted throughout the week during curriculum time across all departments. For example, the English department will look into the future with some science fiction writing, while in history, pupils will investigate how the Vikings used scientific methodologies to discover distant lands. The economics department will be examining the ethics of Big Pharma drug companies and their business practices, while the MFL and the Chinese departments will allow pupils to get to grips with key scientific terms and experiments in Spanish, French and Mandarin.

Together, this incredible itinerary will doubtlessly add up to a whole lot of eureka moments! Vitally, this Science Week we will go beyond the boundaries of looking at science as a discrete subject taught within the confines of a laboratory. Instead, science will be considered in every aspect of what we do at school. We will see science not as a body of knowledge, but a process that we all use, whether consciously or subconsciously. What eureka moments pupils will have, when and where they will have them, we cannot say; that’s for each individual to discover and enjoy for themselves. 

We look forward to you joining us on our journey of serendipitous discovery and enjoying those all-important “eureka moment” breakthroughs that wait in store.

Get your safety goggles ready! Here is a look at Wellington College International Shanghai Science Week 2017.