St. Mary's Host The Festival of Thinking

As a tonic to the assessment process, F7B were asked to attend a Festival of Thinking in science today. Based on a program from the University of Michigan called ‘What’s the Answer? Who Cares?!’, pupils were encouraged to work together to discuss and explore ideas without the pressure of being right or wrong.
The 12 pupils formed 4 Institutes, such as the Institute of Dimensions and The Knowledge Nuggets, and gave themselves names, like Professor Wolfgang and Dr McMuffin. They were then asked to ponder three questions without being expected to come up with the ‘Right’ answer.

festival of thinking nov 19

They were asked:
Why is the sky blue? (We do know the reason for this, but I did not tell them that!)
Do we live in the only universe or are there multiple universes? (BIG question, still up for debate)
Is there life on other planets? (We all have an opinion on this one, but no one knows for sure)
At intervals, we shared our theories along with justifications for them and then asked each other questions to further expand our thinking. Aside from stimulating some really interesting discussions, and producing a great deal of dramatic chin stroking, it gave us the opportunity to talk about the way in which scientist publish work, the concept of peer review and the importance of scrutiny in the development of new scientific theories.
Our next Festival of Thinking will be held on Friday morning with F8A. Perhaps we will finally answer some of the most perplexing questions in science!

Mrs Mwara Stuart


Jules Birdsall, 19/11/2019