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ScientistsPlus Tech Robert Gordon’s College Corporate Partner Program



Vice-President of Google inspires pupils

L to R Head of College Simon Mills, Ayesha Iqbal, Vint Cerf, Blair Dunbar-Smith, CEO of IFB Graeme Gordon

Internet and digital pioneer Vint Cerf, widely regarded as one of fathers of the Internet visited Robert Gordon’s College last June where he spoke to an audience of S4 and S5 pupils interested in Computing Science and Business Studies. As Google’s Vice-President and Chief Internet evangelist, Vint has become well known for his predictions on how technology will affect future society, covering areas such as artificial intelligence, environmentalism, and the transformation of the television industry and its delivery model. Pupils Aysha Iqbal and Blair Dunbar-Smith (now S6) were delighted to have the opportunity to interview Vint before he addressed the audience which included Computing Science pupils from Cults Academy and a selection of representative Gordonians.

MIT Learning comes to Gordon’s Robert Gordon’s College is very proud to be the first school in the UK to partner with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), to bring the Global Teaching Lab (GTL) programme to Aberdeen. In January two MIT students delivered lessons that complement the school’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) curriculum and highlight MIT’s hands-on approach to education. During the programme Nancy and Pratheek hosted a regional schools workshop together with pupils from Cults Academy to sharing knowledge and experience of how the American University application process works. Furthermore, Pratheek also hosted pupils from Aberdeen Grammar School for a Computing Science workshop. Mr Mills, Head of College said: “ Our partnership with MIT allows pupils in North East of Scotland to learn from global leaders in science and technology who expertly embed world class teaching and learning with leadership and entrepreneurship. Bringing international opportunities like this to the local classroom demonstrates our ambitious plans and commitment as a regional hub for science education.”

Pratheek Nagaraj

Pratheek Nagaraj

Pratheek is undertaking a Masters in Computer Science and his research examines digital security and privacy. Whilst at university he has spent time as an undergraduate researcher in MIT’s Computer Science and AI Laboratory and the Whitehead Institute of Biomedical Research. His work experiences have allowed him to intern at various technology companies that include Amazon, Facebook and Snapchat as a software engineer.

Nancy Lu Nancy Lu


ScientistsPlus 2015-2016

Originally from Florida, Nancy is undertaking research on water desalination and plans to pursue a PHD.

Sir Ian Wood and Jamie Seedhouse

Dr Dalgarno with S6 pupils

Hugh Little with S6 pupils

The new Inspiring Leaders series got off to an impressive start with lectures from Boston based Dr David Dalgarno (Class of '76) of Ariad Pharmaceuticals in September, Sir Ian Wood (Class of '60), Chairman of The Wood Foundation and Hugh Little (Class of '75), former Head of Acquisitions at Aberdeen Asset Management. This lecture series has been launched during the year of celebration events and is aimed at S6 pupils. Dr Dalgarno spent time in the S6 Chemistry laboratory providing practical advice on pharmaceutical career options; Sir Ian spoke to pupils about Business Success and Venture Philanthropy and Hugh talked about how companies use acquisitions to grow.

Astrophysics at Aberdeen

Dr Paul Roche, a renowned Astrophysicist from Cardiff University, visited Gordon’s last September to deliver a series of lectures and workshops to pupils. Dr Roche is the UK National Schools’ Astronomer, Director of the Faulkes Telescope Project, and the European Space Agency’s ‘Space Ambassador’ for Wales.

Former Pupil: Douglas Blake – Chemical Engineering. Douglas, 2008 School captain, returned to the College to deliver a talk to S6 pupils in the Stevenson Lecture Theatre. He spoke about his experience of Chemical Engineering at University and in industry.

Tech Talks David Dalgarno, ARAID Pharmaceuticals

David Dalgarno World Class Expert in Drug Design Former pupil, Dr David Dalgarno, Class of ‘76 returned to Robert Gordon’s College to deliver a series of lectures and workshops to pupils. Dr Dalgarno is Vice President of Research Technologies for global biotechnology company ARIAD Pharmaceuticals head-quartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He met with members of the Primary 7 Young Engineers Club, delivered a lecture to S1 pupils on “How do we design drugs?”, spent time with Advanced Higher Chemistry pupils working on practical experiments and S3 Biology pupils who were learning about osmosis terminology.

Gordonian Student Leaders S6 pupils Katy Gordon and Morgan Povey have been elected as Gordonian Student Leaders. Their role is to strengthen connections between pupils and former pupils of Robert Gordon’s College. This is the second year when S6 pupils have attended Gordonian Association (GA) Executive Committee meetings and they are actively involved in the creation of a new mentoring programme and assisting extend the reach of former-pupil events with those who have left Gordon’s within the last 10 years. Their ambition is to create a framework to allow former pupils to pass on their knowledge and expertise to possible future workers and contribute to the school’s desire to create effective and strong leaders.

P7 Young Engineers Club The P7 Young Engineers Club raised over £1200 with their bring and buy sale in November to raise funds for the Greenpower Car project they are entering this summer. The pupils will build two electric cars to compete against other school teams across the region, learning about aspects of engineering science, design and electronics ahead of their transition to senior school.


ScientistsPlus 2015-2016

Eddie Anderson, Sam Whittaker (Mercedes) and Simon Mills

Tech Talks Rachel Spatz lecturing Computing Science pupils

With the opening of The Wood Foundation Centre for Science and Technology a new ‘Tech Talks’ series has been launched. Former pupil Rachel Spatz (Class of ’04), demand Generation Marketing Manager at Cybereason spoke to S2 pupils about Cyber Security and participated in a workshop with S6 Computing Science pupils during her visit from Boston. With the support of Corporate Partner ARR Craib Transport Ltd, Mercedes hosted Engineering Science lectures with the P7 Young Engineers and also pupils in S3-6. The pupils were able to look first-hand at two of the latest model of Mercedes trucks which were brought in to the back playground during the lectures.

Full STEAM Ahead Pupils at Robert Gordon’s are adapting STEM capabilities to involve the use of Art and Design as part of the new enthusiasm for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) to increase awareness that the ability to cross-fertilise ideas is essential for businesses who are continually innovating. We are proud to celebrate the team of S1 and S5 pupils that won the Robot Game of the First Lego League as they programmed Lego Mindstorm to creatively problem solve the set challenge. A second group of S2 pupils used their Computing skills in the international ‘Hour of Code’ programming challenge to win through to a live webchat with No 10 Downing Street. A further group from the Computing Club For Girls (CC4G) won a recent competition to have a Google Hangout session with a technological entrepreneur. The blend of contrasting skills is enhancing our pupils abilities and adds value across a multiplicity of challenges. The future will be complex and subject to rapid change. In this context both breadth and depth are essential and so we will maintain full STEAM ahead!

Entrepreneur Live Entrepreneur Live is an annual event that offers pupils across Scotland to learn from, engage with and even pitch to some of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs. This year pupils had the opportunity to connect with Arnold Du Toit, inventor of Rolley Golf and crowned Britain’s Best Young Entrepreneur by PC World among other young entrepreneurs each with very different and inspiring experiences to share. Pupils were also given the opportunity to exhibit their own entrepreneurial talents by taking part in the ‘Great British Snack Off’ which required pupils to create and pitch a new healthy snack.

Tech Talks

Left to right: Mary McDonald Class of (‘12), Sadman Chowdhury (Class of ‘12), Eilidh Bruce (Class of ‘12), Flossie Hibbert (Class of ‘12), Kathryn Scott (Class of ‘12), Caitlin Rees (Class of ‘13), Greig Torpey (Class of ‘13)

Former pupils advise Medicine and Dentistry applicants Seven former pupils returned to the College to spend the day coaching current applicants as they prepare for University interviews. Interesting talks, question and answer sessions and mini interviews under pressure put the applicants through their paces.

The Science in the Quad series is a Cafe Scientifique style lecture on current and often cutting edge research delivered by experts in their field of science. The series is aimed to provide pupils with an environment of learning that emulates industry or university practice. The series includes pupil-only lectures and others that are available to the wider community and held during the evening. To date speakers have travelled to Aberdeen from the University of Oxford, Heriot Watt University and the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh as well as local speakers attending from the University of Aberdeen and local companies.

Tech Talks

ScientistPlus 2015-16  
ScientistPlus 2015-16