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Inspiring future scientists in British Science Week

(19 March 2020)

Our researchers have been inspiring the next generation of scientists as part of British Science Week. Experts in physics, chemistry, biological sciences, anthropology, climate change and space science visited schools and ran events in a week-long outreach campaign (March 6-15).

What happened?

At Ushaw College, nearly 40 young people from three North East schools took part in workshops on topical environmental issues: food security, climate change and biodiversity.

The workshops were aimed at showing how ecology can help solve global challenges and informing the young people about careers available in ecology.

We ran the sessions with the British Ecological Society, and they were developed along with Southampton and Leeds universities.

Pupils from Bishop Barrington School and Woodham Academy in County Durham and High Tunstall College of Science in Hartlepool took part.

How did it go?

Cameron Drinkwater, a year 8 pupil at Bishop Barrington School, said: “The day was incredibly fun and increased our knowledge of ecology a lot.”


One teacher said: “It was a fascinating event looking at many aspects of ecology from food webs to climate change, in fun hands-on ways. It was also inspirational and got pupils thinking about their future and the possibly of going to university and science careers.”

What else happened?

Dr Pete Edwards, our Director of Science Outreach, visited Chilton Primary School and Bishop Barrington School to talk about space science.

Researchers in Biological Sciences and Anthropology contributed to Easington Academy’s Science Fair, talked with students at Boldon School in South Tyneside about careers in biological science and judged West Cornforth Primary’s science competition.

A full week of events on a Harry Potter theme took place at Oxclose Primary Academy in Washington, where chemist Dr Jacquie Robson amazed pupils with “magical science”; and the Durham University Electric Motorsport (DUEM) team, world-leaders in solar electric vehicles, took their car to Ings Farm Primary School, Redcar.

Earth Scientist Dr Paula Street visited Harton Primary School and helped students complete the 'Practical Action Floating Garden Challenge' at Consett Academy.