2 August 2016
Malvern St James pupil Angela Liu, Year 12, has won Oxford University’s prestigious Corpus Christi College Schools’ Science Prize with an essay addressing the following subject: A rock recovered from the planet Mars has been found to contain a structure that resembles a cell normally found on planet Earth. The Martian specimen is no longer able to replicate, and there is only a limited amount of material available for studies. If you could do one experiment or test on the sample, what would it be and why?
Alerted to the competition by Miss Samantha Marfleet, Head of Careers at MSJ, Angela was immediately attracted by the subject matter. Although at that stage she was immersed in preparation for her AS exams, she found that she could not stop thinking about how to tackle this fascinating question.
Following extensive research on fossil experiments and theories and, with encouragement from her Biology teacher, Miss Briggs, she was able to finalise her hypothesis on whether the first life on Earth was brought by a meteorite from Mars. She validated her conclusions by designing a Thin Layer Chromatography experiment to perform on the rock sample.
Angela explains: “In this competition I was able to apply and extend textbook knowledge and develop my independent thinking outside of the classroom. I have thoroughly enjoyed my preparatory research and am more than honoured to receive this award.”