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St Francis de SalesCatholic Junior School

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29/06/2018: Year 6 Blue Planet II Exhibition with Professor Steve Simpson

Lecture by Professor Steve Simpson

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Year 6 Blue Planet II Exhibition with Professor Steve Simpson

 

This morning, a group of our talented scientists were privileged enough to go to the Capstone Theatre at Liverpool Hope University to experience a talk from Professor Steve Simpson all about his career as a marine biologist and the work he has done on the set of Blue Planet II.

 

Professor Steve Simpson began his talk telling the pupils all about his time at Liverpool University, where he studied to be a marine biologist due to his love of fishing and the oceans from when he was a young boy. After his undergraduate degree, he was so fascinated by the sounds of the different fish in the oceans and how they communicate with each other that he went on to complete a PhD and conducted research all around the world.

 

During the exhibition, the pupils learnt all about the different sounds made by dolphins, humpback whales, coral fish and how these sounds are used to communicate with each other. The pupils were intrigued by the way the fish would use different sounds to make other fish aware of predators or if there was food nearby.

 

Many years into his research and studies based around the ocean, Professor Steve Simpson was given the opportunity to work alongside David Attenborough on Blue Planet II. Steve told the pupils how it was an amazing experience to work with someone who had so much experience in exploring and researching and how much he learnt from him. During his work on the Blue Planet show, Steve Simpson and David Attenborough would go out into the ocean with all their equipment and spend thousands of hours researching the different sounds fish made. They found out how the sounds of the fish is different in the night compared to the evening and how noise pollution from humans is affecting the way the fish can communicate with each other.  

 

After Steve had told the pupils all about his research and career so far, there was an opportunity for pupils to ask some questions of their own. One of the questions that a pupil asked the professor was what his favourite animal is. Obviously as a marine biologist, who has a passion for many animals, this was a difficult question; however, his answer was an ‘octopus’. The pupils were surprised by this answer but then Steve went on to tell the story how they had conducted a science experiment when they had left an octopus in a room with lego. They left the octopus for hours with the lego and when they returned to the room, they discovered the octopus had learnt how to stick all the lego pieces together. We were all amazed by this!

 

Pupil Voice:

 

I had an excellent morning at the exhibition and learnt so much about the oceans that I was totally unaware of. It was a brilliant experience. We learnt that one of the problems of the world’s oceans is the amount of plastic in the ocean. It would be great if we could go to the beach and pick up some of the plastic and if everyone picked up some plastic, it would help the environment. - Summer

 

Meeting Professor Steve Simpson was a fantastic opportunity and I was amazed at how much he had travelled the world and carried out so much research. He was so interesting telling us all the stories of when he was underwater listening to the different sounds the fish make. - Thomas

 

Blue Planet is a fantastic show and when Professor Steve told us he had worked alongside David Attenborough and showed us pictures it was amazing. It is interesting how there is so much out there in the world that can be discovered. - Emily

 

This morning was amazing. My dream job is to be a marine biologist so listening Professor Steve Simpson was a fantastic opportunity for me. I learnt so much about all his studies and where his career has taken him. It was amazing to learn about all the places he has been to around the world and I thought it would be great if in the future, I could travel the world as a marine biologist. - Evie

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