Staff from the University of York were helped by four school children from Teesside when promoting a new scheme to motivate children to study science met MPs and business leaders at the House of Commons.
The four pupils, aged 12 and 13, from St Michael’s Roman Catholic School in Billingham, worked on a Future Scientist Programme pilot with CIEC Promoting Science – a group based in the University of York’s Department of Chemistry, and Johnson Matthey Catalysts of Billingham.
The event this week at the House of Commons, was hosted by Esther McVey, Chair of the Chemical Industry All Party Parliamentary Group, on behalf of CIEC Promoting Science, and marked the launch of the Future Scientist Programme for secondary school children – an expansion of the Children Challenging Industry scheme which has targeted primary school children since 1996. CIEC Promoting Science aims to increase the effective teaching of science, inspire and enthuse school children and their teachers about science, and enable schools and industry to work in partnership.
Gayle Pook, Director of CIEC Promoting Science at The University of York, said, “The event provided the perfect platform to explain how this exciting new project is expanding on the excellent work of the Children Challenging Industry project in primary schools. Feedback from the children involved in the pilot was extremely positive, with many commenting on what a difference it made to learn through real-life scenarios rather than textbooks.
“The children we took to London are enthusiastic ambassadors for the scheme and were able to explain to MPs and industry leaders how they have been inspired and motivated to become more involved in opportunities to study science.”
Ellie Redhead, 12, one of the children attending the event at Westminster, said, “This project has shown us what real scientists and industry are about. It has reminded us of our first industrial experience in Year 6.”
Fellow student Max Bover, also 12, added, “I had not thought about a job in industry before, but I am now. There are so many exciting jobs in industry that I had not thought of before.”
The involvement in such schemes only serves to further The University of York as a renowned centre for innovation and research in science education.