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Posted on 9th April 2018
Scientists spent a day inspiring young people to consider careers in science.
Public Health England sent out professional scientists to schools around the country as part of British Science Week.
Burnt Mill Academy and Forest Hall School, in Stansted, welcomed in teams of scientists who carried out interactive science sessions with Year 8 and 9 students.
Students worked with a clinical scientist, quality control supervisor, healthcare scientist support worker and a product and distributor manager for microbial products.
They got to look at microorganisms through a microscope, grow bacteria on pizza samples and checking how much bacteria is left on their hands after washing.
Brian Nicholls, head of science at Forest Hall, used to work in medical research and focuses on explaining to students how they can build careers out of science.
He said: “I am always telling students there is far more to science than just what they see in class.
“This event is giving them first-hand experience of taking part in real scientific work. They are getting the opportunity to speak with real scientists and to improve their knowledge, as well as conducting experiments they would not get to do in normal school time.
“Students have been really excited about this opportunity all week.”
More than 90 students across the two schools were given the unique opportunity.
Francis Collins, Burnt Mill Academy Trust director of science, said: “The event was great. Every student enjoyed it.
“It was great for the students to get hands-on experience of what scientists do on a daily basis. The students were so happy to be given the experience and the visitors were overwhelmed by their excellent behaviour and attention.”
As well as promoting science-based careers, Public Health England was promoting its planned move to Harlow in 2021, where they will create a world science hub.
Jordan Wallace, social media and planning officer, said: “This week is about showcasing the work we do. The work we put out is the best in the world. We want to demonstrate that and encourage the next generation.
“Being a scientist can seem unattainable; how do you become a scientist? So, this is about inspiring students to considering working with Public Health England in Harlow.”