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Making science fun

PUBLISHED: 09:19 28 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:26 30 June 2010

Just how does a rocket manage to make it into space and what is it really like working in a science lab all day?

Those were just some of the questions being posed by students from six Norfolk schools taking part in a science event held at the John Innes Centre in Norwich yesterday.

Just how does a rocket manage to make it into space and what is it really like working in a science lab all day?

Those were just some of the questions being posed by students from six Norfolk schools taking part in a science event held at the John Innes Centre in Norwich yesterday.

The aim of the fair was to encourage more students to study the sciences and go into science-related careers after finishing their education.

The event was hosted by Norfolk-based science education charity, the Teacher Scientist Network, and a cluster of Norfolk schools which have formed The East Norfolk Triple Science Network, including Hobart High School in Loddon, Flegg High School in Martham, Caister High School and Gorleston-based high schools Cliff Park, Oriel and Lynn Grove.

The event included a science demonstration exploring the principles of jet propulsion and also workshops delivered by biologists and chemists from the University of East Anglia.

There was also a quick-fire, 'speed-dating' session with eight young researchers from across the Norwich Research Park talking with the students about life in and out of the lab.

The co-ordinator of the Triple Science Network, Sandra Shelley, from Lynn Grove High School, said: “We hope the event will really inspire pupils with regard to science and underline the fact that studying science subjects can be exciting and fun.

“Evidence shows that pupils have decided by the age of 14 years about whether or not they wish to study sciences further. We hope that this event, together with good science teaching in our schools, will help them to choose triple science at GCSE and beyond.”

The day also offered an opportunity to explore careers and future study with staff from employers, colleges and training bodies.

Imogen Lawson, 14, from Hobart High School, said: “I think the demonstrations have been really interesting; it has made me want to find out more, especially about rocket science. After being here today, science is definitely one of the things I would think about taking further.”

Dr Phil Smith, co-ordinator of TSN, added: “We shouldn't underestimate the responsibility of those engaged in STEM subjects (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) to work together with schools on this challenge.

“I hope that having had the chance to talk to young people at this event, many of the scientists will be inspired to engage more with schools in the future.”

Dr Smith is looking for any business or organisations or individuals who would like to be STEM ambassadors and pass on their passion for science to others. For more information, contact him on 01603 450304.


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