A Brilliant Day Out

19 May 2017
Brilliant Club Trip to University of Southampton
The Scholars Programme
Y9 & Y10 Graduations


A Brilliant Experience for Magna Students

UniSoton & Brilliant Club

On 19 May, The Brilliant Club team under Dr Hugh Munro created a marvellous Graduation Day experience for Magna Academy and four other schools taking part in The Scholars Programme. And the University of Southampton were terrific hosts in creating a warm and welcoming environment for us.

After registration at 10:30am and a brief Opening Ceremony, we were taken to a lecture theatre in Engineering to enjoy a wonderful 45-minute taster lecture on Acoustic Engineering. Now, you may be thinking "wonderful?" "really?". Well, in all honesty, yes it was.

Our lecturer was Pina Gruden from the Institute of Sound & Vibration Research.

Pina (pictured, left)  is a PhD student researcher who specialises in marine acoustics. Specifically, the noises made by mammals in water. Pina shared some interesting facts with us. That sound in air travels at about 770mph (340 metres per second) and that, in water, it travels at twice the speed. Also, that light travels a million times faster than sound. We learned that sound both reflects and is absorbed by different surfaces. That bats and dolphins use this to judge their different environment.

We learned that the sperm whale can dive up to an incredible 2km deep hunting with little click sounds for giant squid. And Pina played a challenging game with us, trying to recognise the very subtle differences in the sonar signals made by a baby dolphin looking for food, at the sound bounces off objects like plastic containers, naval mines and shoals of fish. Getting the signal wrong can mean going very hungry for a dolphin.



After lunch, and a welcome chance to stretch our legs on a guided tour of the university campus, we assembled for the Graduation Day ceremony itself, recognising the students for the studies they had worked on and for a gruelling 2,000-word essay at the end of the course.

The first Magna group to receive their certificates (pictured above) studied with Abaigh McKee (pictured 5th from the right) on the subject: "On The Brink Of Destruction: Music, Art and Literature During the Holocaust, 1939-1945"

The second group (pictured below) received their graduation certificates from Conor Power (3rd from left) for their work on: "Injury Prevention Using Movement Analysis".

Both sets of students were keen to praise the Brilliant Club team, led by Dr Munro, and both of their invaluable tutors. They also wanted to pass on their thanks to Mrs Bishop, who works tirelessly to make these Brilliant Club events... well, brilliant!