Langton School of STEM Research

Welcome to the webpage for the Langton School of STEM Research, the home of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) based research projects at the Langton.  In this section you will be able to find out background information about the student led research projects we currently have running at the school.  If you are interested in our research, look out for our annual symposium held in late June every year, where our students present their research as talks and posters.

CERN@School

Our CERN@School projects make use of a MediPix Chip to monitor background radiation.  In the past we have used this to detect Muons, tiny subatomic particles that form when cosmic rays strike the upper atmosphere.  We have also taken the chip on several of our school trips to CERN and monitored the ambient radiation as we travel across France and Switzerland.  We found that radiation counts measured across France and Switzerland on 2017 school trips to CERN, Geneva, indicated a positive correlation with altitude and higher radiation levels outside compared to inside.  Data from subsequent trips (in 2018) suggests that radiation is detected from nearby radiation sources: regression analysis and t-testing supports this conclusion.  It is also speculated that exposure to sunshine may affect the measurements, which were made using a CCD (charge-coupled device) chip.  Current research aims to test these three main ideas.

Graphs showing how particle counts varied with altitude and also between indoor and outdoor locations on our recent CERN trips.

Astronomy

We have a large astronomy group here at The Langton who are based at The Langton Observatory.  We have a variety of optical telescopes and a radio telescope that the group use.  The astronomy group are able to access the observatory during the evening at weekends and also organise and run our Stargazing Live events, where the public can visit the observatory on the first Friday of every month from October to March.  Recently the astronomy group have used our radio telescope to hunt for radio waves from Jupiter and this year they have started to hunt for Muons, particles from cosmic rays, to see if their number are affected by solar activity.

Earthquake Detection

There is evidence that prior to an earthquake an electric charge can build up in certain types of rock, this causes an electric field.  The two students working on this project are trying to find out if this could affect the paths of charged beta particles in the atmosphere, with a view to making an inexpensive early warning device for earthquakes.  This project won the 2018 KM Bright Spark awards.

MBP2

This is a long standing project that is now located at Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar School and investigates the causes of Multiple Sclerosis.  Multiple Sclerosis is caused by the breakdown of the Myelin Sheath, a protective layer around nerves.  Students engaged on this project are investigating the role of the Myelin Basic Protein (MBP) in the Myelin sheath.  To go to the main MBP2 page, click HERE.