We were thrilled to have hosted Sir Martyn Poliakoff, Professor at the University of Nottingham and the creative mind behind the popular YouTube channel @periodicvideosm, at Friesland School. Sir Martyn’s visit has left lasting mark on our Year 7 and Sixth Form students, igniting their passion for science and leaving them inspired to explore the science industry further.

During his visit, Sir Martyn introduced himself and engaged the students in a thought-provoking discussion about the most important scientists of the last century. After considering various suggestions from the Year 7 students, he expressed that science teachers hold immense significance as they inspire countless scientists.

The students valued the opportunity to interact with Sir Martyn and ask him questions about his career and scientific perspectives. The range of questions spanned from his decision to become a Chemist, his thoughts on nuclear energy, to his observations on the evolving science industry throughout his lifetime.

The entire experience brought science to life for the students, as Sir Martyn shared fascinating stories, including an incident involving a highly poisonous bottle of liquid. As a token of his visit, Sir Martyn generously gifted Friesland School and its students a signed University of Nottingham periodic table, a cherished memento that will inspire and educate for years to come.

It is worth noting that Sir Martyn Poliakoff’s visit was made possible through an invitation from Year 7 student Alice Vere. This year, the Key Stage 3 science classes were named after renowned scientists, with her class being named after Sir Martyn Poliakoff, who coincidentally worked alongside her mother at the university.

The impact of Sir Martyn’s visit was expressed by Freya Hind, a Year 7 student, who shared, “It was very interesting to hear from Sir Martyn Poliakoff this morning. I’ve learned things about the science industry I didn’t know before.” Nathan Haywoods, another Year 7 student, found the experience truly inspirational, stating, “Personally, I’m interested in becoming a scientist when I’m older, so I found it fascinating when he spoke about the possibility of new elements.” Bethany Dean, a Year 12 student, expressed her motivation, saying, “I found the talk this morning very motivational. It’s made me realise that there are many areas within the science industry, which means there’s something for everyone.

We are immensely grateful to Sir Martyn Poliakoff for bringing science to life for our students and for his acknowledgment of the significant role played by science teachers. Leonie Bilbie, Head of Science, shares her heartfelt appreciation, stating, “Sir Martyn Poliakoff has truly brought science to life for our students. Listening to his stories and understanding that science is not merely a collection of facts, but a process of questioning and problem-solving, was truly inspiring. I was particularly moved by his recognition of the significance of science teachers.

At The Two Counties Trust, we are committed to fostering a love for science and empowering our students to become the scientists of tomorrow. Sir Martyn Poliakoff’s visit has undoubtedly motivated our students to embark on their scientific journeys with curiosity, passion, and a deep appreciation for the incredible world of science.