• Question: where you the top pupil in science in your school years

    Asked by lotus59 to Aaron, Abbey, Keith, Natalie, Pete on 13 Nov 2015.
    • Photo: Natalie Garrett

      Natalie Garrett answered on 13 Nov 2015:

      We weren’t told who was the very top of the school, and I think that was a good thing – nobody wants to be singled out like that (or at least I don’t think I would!)

      I got A*s at GCSEs for the Sciences and for my A-Levels (before A*s were introduced for A-Levels) I got A in Physics, A in Biology, B in Chemistry and B for my AS in maths. I was probably in the top 15% or something like that.

    • Photo: Peter Burgess

      Peter Burgess answered on 14 Nov 2015:

      At primary and secondary school I probably was. Later on, in 6th form and especially at university, there were other people who were better than I was.
      I had a chemistry teacher who worried that when I went on to university from secondary school I would struggle because I wouldn’t be happy not being the best and I’d stop trying.
      I understand why he thought that might happen but actually, the opposite happened and I loved being around smart intelligent people all the time.

    • Photo: Keith Franklin

      Keith Franklin answered on 15 Nov 2015:

      Like Natalie we didn’t know if we were the top or not.

      You don’t need to be the top. What I have found interesting is that at school you have to remember lots of stuff, but at work you just have to remember where to look it up (and the internet is very very useful!).

    • Photo: Aaron Boardley

      Aaron Boardley answered on 16 Nov 2015:

      I was, although I have to admit that made me a little bit too smug. By the time I got to university, I was surrounded by lots of other people who were also top in their schools and I had to work a lot harder!

      Someone once told me that a good scientific mind is about asking good questions rather than having all the right answers. This really stuck in my mind – doing science as a job isn’t about knowing all the answers, because you’ll often be doing brand new experiments where there aren’t yet any answers! So, while it’s important to understand the ideas you’ll be tested on in school – I wouldn’t place all of the importance on this.

      Incidentally, it’s one of the reasons I’m really enjoying doing I’m A Scientist…you guys are asking great questions!