Astronaut Scholars' Forum presented by Mr Timothy Gregory

On Tuesday 16th January, Mr Timothy Gregory visited Clifton High School to present the Scholars’ Forum ‘From PhD to the BBC and back again’. Mr Gregory is a PhD student at the University of Bristol who recently participated in BBC Two’s series ‘Astronauts, do you have what it takes?’, making it through to the final.

Mr Gregory explained how participants in the competition were not all scientists and astronomers: there was a marathon runner, a beekeeper and a dentist, to name a few. Mr Gregory spoke to pupils about how they should not set upon one career goal yet, for instance, a vet, a teacher or an engineer, but should keep their minds open and explore extra hobbies outside school because they are likely to develop skills that are useful further down the line.

Mr Gregory justified that an array of skills were needed throughout the BBC Two competition: from physical fitness and dexterity, to personality and teamwork. Participants were even tested on how quickly they could learn new skills such as basic Russian and flying a helicopter!

Pupils also learnt in detail about the difference between meteoroids, meteors and meteorites and debated what the consequences would be if such a rock were on the path to earth. To demonstrate the scale of the damage that could be caused, Mr Gregory described the Chelyabinsk meteorite (2013) which was only slightly over a metre in size and caused an explosion similar to that of an atomic bomb!

Thank you to Mr Gregory for an intriguing talk, which captivated all pupils.