King Edward’s Witley looks at powering the future

King Edward’s Witley hosts a science symposium to discuss the future of energy

Powering the future, alternative energy and harnessing the forces of nature were among the topics discussed at a recent Science Symposium at King Edward’s Witley in Surrey.

Part of the school’s highly developed enrichment programme, the event was designed to encourage young people to engage in science and consider STEM career opportunities.

The conference aimed at science pupils in Years 10, 11 and 6th Form was organised through the Oxford International Biomedical Centre (OIBC) and the school welcomed three eminent speakers, each experts in their field:

  • Dr Phil Coker from University of Reading, talked about factors that drive energy demand
  • Matthew Smith from University of Reading, discussed topics including  wind, solar and biomass
  • Stevie Wray from the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy’s lecture was entitled ‘fusion power – within our grasp?’

The day was introduced and facilitated by Dr Charles Pasternak, president of the OIBC and each lecture was followed by breakout sessions, which generated lively Q&A sessions.

Commenting on the symposium, Mrs Ann Hill, Head of Science at King Edward’s, who organised the event said, “It makes sense for schools to forge close links with local universities, working together to inspire young people and encouraging them to consider STEM careers.

“Energy security is a complex challenge. Our quality of life depends on a reliable supply of energy and currently there are a number of sources, however the majority involve CO2  emitting fossil fuels. The symposium was aimed at looking at the alternative sources of energy, their design, the engineering challenges and the progress that has been made in the field to date.”

The ‘Powering the Future’ symposium represents the second year that King Edward’s Witley has hosted this type of event.


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