Westminster Horizons Programme Delivering the Cutting Edge

"we are excited to expose Westminster pupils to university-level research"

Last week, 20 or so Sixth Form pupils were given the opportunity to join an online discussion with Harvard University’s Bryan Hunter, gaining unparalleled insight into life as a chemistry researcher at Harvard (and a virtual glance at the most powerful laser on campus). This opportunity has come as one of many academic seminars offered by Westminster’s new Horizons programme, an initiative championed by the Head Master and designed to open the door for Westminster pupils to engage with the cutting edge in global academia. Charlotte Houghteling, Westminster’s US Universities Advisor, has played a critical part in the programme’s evolution, and here she has provided her summary of what has been on offer so far, and what the School has to look forward to from Horizons:

“Westminster is delighted to have launched the Horizons programme this winter to connect pupils with global scholars in order to expand their academic horizons. The virtual series kicked off with Art History Professor Sylvia Houghteling of Bryn Mawr College, Political Science Professor Matt Grossmann of Michigan State University and Economics Professor Simon Lee of Columbia University. As part of the Horizons series, through Westminster’s US university guidance from A-List Education, we have developed a unique partnership with the Rowland Institute of Harvard University. The Rowland Institute is an experimental scientific research centre that hosts the world-renowned Rowland Fellows, a group of young scientists who are given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dedicate five years at the Institute to their cutting-edge scientific research in a wide range of fields.

The inaugural Rowland Institute Horizons lecture was given by the Director of the Rowland Institute, Harvard’s Herchel Smith Professor of Molecular Genetics and Howard Hughes Medical Institute professor, Professor Andrew Murray. Following on from Professor Murray’s enlightening lecture, Westminster pupils have had the opportunity to participate in Zoom laboratory tours and discussions hosted by Rowland Fellows. Thus far, pupils have attended Ye Tao’s nano-engineering presentation and Bryan Hunter’s electro-chemistry and materials synthesis lesson. Looking ahead for the Horizons programme, Christian Reece will speaking with the Remove Chemists about his research utilising transient pressure pulses and kinetic modelling to understand catalytic reactions, Shabnam Raayai will meet with the Engineering Club to discuss her work on the response to fluid flow for textured surfaces, and Katya Taute and Sasha Rayshubskiy will be giving a lab tour and talk next week to biologists on their research on neural circuits and animal behaviour. The Rowland Institute workshops, as well as Horizons lectures from universities around the world, will continue next term.

This is just the beginning for the Horizons lecture series, through which we are excited to expose Westminster pupils to university-level research and learning and to help them access a global network of academics across all disciplines.”

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