North Star Science School Offers Young People in South Yorkshire an Out Of This World Experience
1 DECEMBER 2021
More than 500 young people from across South Yorkshire had an ‘out of this world’ experience when they attended the region’s first fully live North Star Science School event.
Held at Gulliver’s Valley Theme Park on Wednesday 24th November, North Star Science School promotes innovation and opportunity and aims to inspire the next generation to consider a career in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) sectors.
During the day-long spectacular, year 8 and 9 students from more than 40 schools and home-schooled young people across the region were given the chance to hear from some of the UK’s leading experts in STEAM, including an inspirational, virtual keynote presentation and Q&A session with Professor Brian Cox CBE.
North Star is part of the Science Summer School national initiative co-founded in 2012 by Professor Cox CBE and Lord Andrew Mawson OBE with the aim of making Britain the best place in the world to do science and engineering, and is presented in partnership with Well North Enterprises, a social business led by Lord Mawson.
The South Yorkshire event was delivered and organised by The Work-wise Foundation, a non-profit, employer-led charity which aims to develop young people for employment in STEAM subjects within the region.
John Barber, CEO of The Work-wise Foundation said: “After a tough 18 months, it was great to finally get back on the road and start our live events with the first ever day-long North Star Science School. Gulliver’s Valley provided the perfect location to experience the ethos of Science – Curiosity – Play. We provided 560 young people the opportunity to really explore the STEAM sectors in detail
and find out about the fantastic career opportunities available and were thrilled to gain fantastic feedback from everyone involved. We’re already looking forward to doing it all again next year.”
Professor Brian Cox said: “My thanks to The Work-wise Foundation, Sheffield City Council and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and the many generous partners for making our second North Star Science School possible during another challenging year for everyone. It means that important links for the many young people living here will continue to be made between schools, universities, apprentice schemes, businesses and extraordinary local resources such as The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. There are many exciting opportunities, and this area has a key role to play in our aim of making the UK the best place in the world to do science and engineering”.
Throughout the event, attendees also got to hear and learn from host Ruth Amos, Inventor of the Stair Steady and co-founder of the #girlswithdrills movement and YouTube channel ‘Kids Invent Stuff, plus many other guest speakers that took to the stage. This included Lord Andrew Mawson, Social Entrepreneur and Executive Chair of Well North Enterprises and Dr Simon Goodwill, Head of the Sports Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University.
Leah Morgan a project engineer at the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and founder of the UKAEA Women’s Network and Michael Every, Officer in the British Army also took part in the event during the afternoon. Joining the impressive line-up was also Jack Tuft, Founder & President of GU Rocketry, a student-lead project, focused on launching Scotland’s first student-lead, high-powered rocket, Ayesha Begum and Danielle Michalska-Morris from Barratt Developments Plc and Rebecca Wright, Engineering Technician at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield.
Students were also given the chance to take part in a series of fun and interactive workshops and activities, including chocolate welding, brick making and ways to create and demonstrate the benefits of fusion energy, all led by a number of local and national organisations working within the STEAM sectors. This included:
- AMRC Training Centre
- Barratt Developments Plc
- Direct Education Business Partnership (DEBP)
- Forged Solutions Group co-creating with Maltby Academy
- Gulliver’s Valley
- Ibstock Plc co-creating with Wales High School
- Kids Invent Stuff
- Royal Navy
- Sheffield Engineering Leadership Academy
- UKAEA co-creating with Sheffield Park Academy
- Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Leighton Collins, Careers Leader at Firth Park Academy, Sheffield attended the event with a group of students. He commented: “The North Star Science School was beyond brilliant. Ruth Amos was a fabulous choice of host and Professor Brian Cox was fascinating, despite being with us virtually he remained a highlight of the event. All the kids enjoyed it and the high presence of female speakers and guests gave many of our female pupils a boost to run with STEAM in their thoughts for the future. Plus, one pupil who has always insisted he only wants to be a footballer when he’s older, came away with thoughts about Sports Engineering, so it has certainly helped to expand their aspirations.”
This year’s free to attend event was made possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of local and national businesses and organisations. This includes, UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), Ibstock Plc, Forged Solutions Group, Gulliver’s Valley Theme Park Resort, AMRC & AMRC Training Centre, Barratt Developments Plc, Harworth Group, Hydra Creative, Sheffield City Council & Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851.
Lord Andrew Mawson said: “The North Star Science School helps local young people to develop their knowledge and skillsets through the power of STEAM subjects and learning by doing. These are our scientists and engineers of tomorrow. We are grateful to all those companies and organisations who have the vision to support them through North Star as we continue to build bridges towards learning and employment opportunities now and into the future”.
John Barber added: “Without the valued support of the businesses and organisations that have generously sponsored us or pledged to take the time out from their busy schedules to attend the showcase, North Star would not have been able to take place. We are extremely grateful to each of them and to the volunteers that have stepped up to help us organise and manage the event. We are also very thankful to The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 for providing invaluable support to the initial project development and delivery of North Star.”
Rebecca Hart or Marina Wood Tel 0114 349 5345