Bolton School Senior Girls

Astrophysicist Inspires the Next Generation

Old Girl Dr Sarah Hutton who is now Ogden Science Officer at University College London returned to Bolton School to help inspire the next generation of Physicists. She gave two presentations to a couple of Girls' Division Year 9 classes, reflecting on her career path to date in the field of Astrophysics. Having studied a PhD in Astrophysics at the University of Durham, she then became a teacher via the INSPIRE course at Imperial College and taught at an all-girls’ school in St Albans. During this time she linked her school with the Ogden Trust partnership and inspired many girls to progress to A Level Physics and beyond.

After the presentations, Dr Hutton said: "I throughly enjoyed my visit to Bolton School, I have been back several times since I completed my first degree and each time has been great. The passion and curiosity evident in both divisions and across the years was fantastic to see. I enjoy sharing my passion for space with students and allowing them to see what an Astronomer does on a daily basis.  I hope that the students were able to reflect on what a career in a STEM subject could mean for them and if I gave any of them the confidence to turn that thought into reality then I will be delighted." 

Head of Physics in the Girls’ Division, Mr Ray Ball, said: “I'm sure it will have opened the eyes of the Year 9 girls to an exciting area of Physics where there is much still to discover. I expect some interesting questions during lessons in the weeks to come.”

Dr Hutton also addressed A Level Physics students from the Girls' Division and Boys' Division. She met all the Year 13 students and many of the Year 12 Physicists; a thrilled Mr Ball said: “She certainly gave them food for thought. I particularly liked her explanation of why during a Black Hole formation a stellar object must collapse to a singularity, at least as far as we know, because of the implication that matter would have to orbit at super-luminal velocities inside the event horizon, if it were not to collapse. I had not come across that argument before and will be able to bring it into lessons when we cover orbits and trajectories. I am sure Dr Hutton will have sown some seeds that may cause a number of our students to explore careers they otherwise may not have considered.”

Dr Sarah Hutton returned to her former school to inspire the next generation of Physicists

Dr Sarah Hutton returned to her former school to inspire the next generation of Physicists