A lucky group of local students have taken part in a prestigious Science Summer School at St Paul’s Way Trust School, London, hosted by world-renowned physicist Brian Cox, who recently made the TV documentary ‘The Planets’.
The event aimed to inspire young people in the exciting opportunities available in science, engineering and manufacturing industries.
Six prize winners from Ballymena Academy took part in interactive workshops, lectures and experiments with 400 other students from London and the north of England.
The inspiring lectures covered everything from ‘Black Holes’ to ‘When Baking meets Engineering’ with interactive workshops as diverse as ‘Robotics’, ‘The People’s Moon’, ‘Meterology’ and ‘Augmented Reality’.
The students won the opportunity to attend the Science Summer School as part of the Year of Engineering Initiative hosted by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Manufacturing Task Force (MTF).
The Taskforce was formed in the wake of the economic loss of both Michelin, JTI-Gallaher and others in recent years.
A key focus of the MTF is to support young people make informed career choices and to explore opportunities to progress careers within the manufacturing sector.
Chair of the Borough’s Growth Committee, Cllr Gregg McKeen, said: “Mid and East Antrim Borough Council held a Year of Engineering event last year which brought together leading local manufacturing companies to engage directly with the next generation of budding engineers and entrepreneurs.
“The Professor Brian Cox Science Summer School is now in its eighth year and sees an inspirational programme mixing the best of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects through a series of seminars, discussions and hands-on experiments.”
“What better way than to inspire the next generation than through exciting and innovative experiences and this fantastic prize shows council’s commitment to nurturing this talent for generations to come to ensure the survival, and growth of the manufacturing sectors.”
Erin Moore, Year 10 from Ballymena Academy, said: “It was amazing: The Science Summer School really opened my eyes to the varied careers you can explore in the manufacturing and engineering sectors.
“It’s was a great experience meeting Brian Cox as well, he was really interesting and good at making the topics exciting. I feel very lucky to have enjoyed this prize thanks to the MTF competition by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and can’t wait to see where my career will go.”
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council are exploring the opportunity to bring the Science Summer School to the borough next summer to inspire the workforce of the future.