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Lancaster takes part in National Science and Engineering Week 2013

Local pupils learn about plant structures at Lancaster Environment Centre Local pupils learn about plant structures at Lancaster Environment Centre

As part of National Science and Engineering Week, 15th-20th March, staff & students from Engineering, Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) and Physics helped deliver a week of activities for local schools, interacting with over 70 pupils. Coordinated by LUSU Involve, pupils had the chance to take part in various activities relating to each subject.

Dr Jane Taylor from LEC worked with pupils from a local primary school, who had the opportunity to gain hands on experience of plant Biology. The pupils spent the day examining flowers and different plant structures using microscopes, explored where food comes from, and to see real experiments investigating how food production will need to change during their lifetimes. Year 10 pupils from Central High School worked in the LEC laboratory with Dr Nick Chappell on water flumes. Dr Taylor said "It was great to have the opportunity to interact with local school pupils and enthuse them about science".

A class of year 10 BTEC students from Heysham High School visited the Engineering department, with their day commencing with a talk from Dr Allan Rennie, who then led the session for the day. Pupils were given the opportunity to meet Engineering students, and design their own personalised key rings using Computer Aided Design (CAD), to later be printed by the department's Additive Manufacturing Machine (sometimes referred to as 3D printing).

Later in the week Physics, LEC and Mathematics & Statistics students designed & delivered the final session, visiting a local primary school and teaching them about space with various interactive activities including a giant inflatable universe.

The activities were a success and each received great feedback from the schools and pupils. Many pupils remarked that the sessions had made them more likely to attend university, and teachers sent their thanks and commented on "how well thought out and challenging the days had been".

Thu 18 April 2013