Mixed Feelings

Today we had to get up early for the delicious breakfast. We met at 7 am so that we could leave our hotel on time which was placed very centrally and fulfilled all of our needs and wishes. After we had checked out a coach came to pick us up and transferred us to Heathrow Airport.

Now we have to leave this exciting but also exhausting week behind us. We want to thank everyone who was involved and has made this week unforgettable for all of us. These memories will stay forever and we hope that other classes in the future can experience something similar. Special thanks go to Janine Hermann, Thomas Flüeler and Sam Ginsburg who led us through the week. Also a very big thank you to Roche and all its staff for making this week possible. Last but not least a huge thank you to our teacher Per Antonsen who always stood behind us and also taught us: if you really believe in something and you do something with passion and fun you can achieve everything no matter how impossible it seems.

Farewell to everybody!

(Laurin and Stefan)

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The Highlight of the Week

The Shard
The Shard Tower

We started our day by visiting the “Shard Tower”. An elevator took us to the top of the 309 meter high tower. A guide told us some facts about the buildings that surround the “Shard Tower”. It was interesting to see London from another perspective. Even the high buildings looked like dwarfs. We also made a photo shooting up there. Afterwards we went to eat at “Strada” where we also had a magnificant view on the Tower Bridge.

View from The Shard
View from The Shard
Loo with a view
Loo with a view
In the Shard
In the Shard
In the Shard
In the Shard

After a tasty  lunch we traveled with the tube for the first time in this week. We splitted up in two groups – one group went shopping and the other to the “Natural History Museum”.

Ready for the musical
Ready for the musical

We had very little time to get ready for dinner in the “Number Twelve”. We had to hurry up so we would be in time for the musical “Thriller”. The show was full of energy. It was an amazing evening. One could say that it was the highlight of the week.

(Maria and Naomi)

Thrilling Thursday

Robert Kirby
Robert Kirby

Today the class 5G went to The Digital Office and listened to a presentation about 3D printing. We learned lots of new things about how three dimensional models are built with special printers. Robert Kirby, a very motivated scientist, showed us his big passion in fully conviction. We also took a look into the future of 3D printing. In some decades we could perhaps built parts of our body or we could rebuild broken glasses in our households. Rob showed in his exciting speech that he has specific ideas how he wants to develop 3D printing. 3D printing is still very young and we don’t hear as much anymore but it has a huge potential and we have to find out how we can use it. In his opinion the humanity should pay more attention to this technique so that we can build fantastic things in the near future.

School of Hygiene
School of Hygiene

In the afternoon we went to “The School of Hygiene and Tropical Diseases” nearby our hotel. There were some more presentations of two post-graduates who talked about Ebola and its spreading in Western Africa. The speaker told us about the experiences he had made when he served as a volunteer in Sierra Leone fighting Ebola. Afterwards some students presented us the the sights in the surrounding, the insectuary and we even got the opportunity to talk to a few local students.

School of Hygiene
School of Hygiene
Dans le noir
Dans le noir

The atmosphere among our students was tense as the evening came closer since the class 5G had a reason to be nervous. They had the unique possibility to go into a fully darkened restaurant where only blind staff was employed who knew the restaurant as well “as their jacket pocket.” Yes, we’re talking about the “Dans le Noir” in northern London. It might have been a bit frightening for some of our colleagues since we sat in pitch black darkness for two hours. I think we speak for the whole class, when we say that it was a memorable evening and something amazing to try out.

(Fabian/Julian/Philipp)

A Glance at our Future?

Science Center Cambridge
Science Center Cambridge

After a pretty exhausting but interesting day we were generously allowed to sleep in for  3/4 hour more than yesterday. Today we left the hustle and bustle of the big city to enjoy the cosy college city of Cambridge. We were introduced to all the research that takes place in this “bastion of science” by a charming team from the Science Center. We really enjoyed the morning, though time flew and it was already lunch time. We consumed some marvelous Italian food at Zizzi’s. After our hunger was satisfied we were ready for some more knowledge and went to the local Whipple Museum, where we learned a load of useful information about the scientific importance of Cambridge in the past. We refused to be daunted by the incoming rain and started to explore the lovely university complex. We also wanted to check out the King’s College, but it seems like we would have caused too much disturbance, what is obviously not true.

Clare College Cambridge
Clare College Cambridge

Nevertheless we still got to see a college from the inside when we went to an extremely fancy dinner at Clare’s College. But this extraordinarily delicate experience didn’t even turn out to be the best part of the day. Because we were actually able to visit Cambridge’s research station for astronomy and gazed upon some beautiful telescopes. After this great ending of the day we returned tired but happy to the hustle and bustle of the big city.

(Julian, Pascal)

Meet and greet

After a short night most of us were enjoying the English breakfast. But it was way too early to eat a lot. After an awakening coffee or tea everybody dressed up. Good looking we were waiting in the hotel lobby for the coach to pick us up. Now a little tiring part was following. We had to drive to Welwyn, where Roche was expecting us. It took a long time to get out of London because of the morning traffic, you know how it is…

Upon our arrival we met some chosen students from the local High School. While having another delicious breakfast we started to chat with our new acquaintances. When we entered the hall we got divided into groups so that we would pair up with the students we just met.

Scott Etherington – an accountant who just got to be a father told us about his thrilling adventure. He took part in the adventure known as “The Atlantic Challenge” . He first got the idea to take part in this challenge in January 2013 and then only had eleven months to find a rowing partner and prepare everything. Even though there were many obstacles such as him not being too fit he was determined to take up the challenge. The first step was finding his rowing partner Viktor who was a Swedish butcher. He spent several months finding sponsors, raising money for diabetes and getting fit. The two of them eventually got their boat which was especially constructed for such an Atlantic row. Unfortunately not everything went properly. Starting with their boat getting a leak while still being in the harbor and going on with bad weather conditions and further destruction of their boat. Even though these times were really hard for the two guys they kept going and eventually reached their final destination Antigua. So one of the things we learned was: never give up and sometimes leave your comfort zone because only by doing that you can achieve your goals.

Sir Tim Smit (the founder of the famous Eden Project)- who according to us is one of the best speakers we have heard so far, told us about his life and what advice he would give to young scientists like us. Many of his stories were about how he wanted something and ended up doing something utterly different. He showed us how every act in life is connected to another. He did not hesitate to tell us about controverse subjects such as “white lies”. What he thought would be really important for us to know was that we had to be nice and honest pupils but that sometimes you got to lie in order to make good changes happen. Overall it was really important to him that we – as the future generation of scientists – have to change what needs to be changed.

After these informative speeches we got a break for lunch. During this break we started bonding with the other students. Exactly as Sir Smit had said, people who would have never met, if Roche had not organized this event, got to know each other and who knows what this will lead to…

In the afternoon we took part in the innovation workshop which was organised and leaded by the Roche staff. We tried to get our minds free and be creative, innovative and thinking outside the box. The challenge was to make going to a museum more attractive. After we exchanged our ideas in groups, we had to work them out more properly which also led to us tinkering all together. In the end we showed our ideas to the other groups by acting which was a lot of fun. Before we left for dinner group pictures were taken inside and besides Roche.

Tewinbury Farm
Tewinbury Farm

Shortly after we headed to the Tewin Bury Farm were we got to enjoy a tradition English meal which is known all over the world – “fish and chips”. We ate, laughed and made friends with the English students. It was a successful and lovely evening. Unfortunately time run out faster than we wanted and we had to say goodbye.

The coach which had brought us to Welwyn took us back to the hotel where we are now, exhausted but happy and looking forward to tomorrow – Cambridge we are coming!

(by Benjamin and Elena)

Learning by doing

At the Royal Chemical Society
At the Royal Chemical Society

At first we learned a lot about ourselves in the Science Museum. We performed loads of modern experiments and attended a great show about explosions. Afterwards we ate lunch at the campus cafeteria with some students of the famous Imperial College.

Then we moved on to the Outreach Laboratory which is supported by the Royal Chemical Society. Four young Chemistry students introduced us into the field of modern spectroscopy. In groups we did an interesting workshop about CSI techniques where we tried to find out the deadly substance.

Rainforest Cafe
Rainforest Cafe

In the evening we enjoyed a delicious and funny dinner at the Rainforest Cafe which is located in the City Center. On the way home we discovered “Hotspots” of Downtown London like Picadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Covent Garden, SoHo and even the legendary Swiss House.

Tomorrow there is waiting another full program for us that’s why we say goodnight.

(Javier, Sabrina, Saskia)

Sunday is Funday!

Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens

Our day began with a typical English breakfast including black pudding and porridge. After that we were taken to the Kew Gardens (Royal Botanical Garden) with minibuses. There we enjoyed beautiful plants including huge water lilies which made it in the Guinness Book of World Records.

London Eye
London Eye

We had our lunch under the famous London Eye where we also saw a big variety of street performers.

Duck Tour
Duck Tour

In the afternoon we had to use our big brains to solve nearly impossible riddles on the Duck Tour. On this tour an amphibious vehicle from the Second World War took us on the river Thames. We passed famous landmarks like the Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and the MI6 Headquarters. After all the hard work on the tour we were taken to the Pizza Express where we enjoyed delicious Italian food. In the evening we wanted to go on a Pub Crawl but they refused to serve us because of underage. So we ended up strolling around the area. Eventually we returned to the hotel and summed up the day thanking the Roche representative for another exciting day in London.

(Ben, Christian, Leandro)