Last week, the Royal Institution's Sarah Jane Judge brought science to life at Blackpool Sixth Form College. From screaming jelly babies to sticky water, the show got the audience talking about the science that's all around them and eager to try some of it out at home!
The reason for this royal visit? This is the third year that the college has hosted the Blackpool Physical Sciences Awards evening, a celebration event which highlights the success of students from across Blackpool, specifically in the fields of chemistry and physics. As the Fylde Coast Ogden Trust partnership's flagship event it gives teachers, students and their families the opportunity to shout about science.
This year the awards evening was supported by two company sponsors - Victrex plc and BAE Systems. Dr James Sherrington, Senior Technology Manager at Victrex plc, spoke on the night about the need to attract the brightest scientific minds back to the local area, while Fiona Cayzer, the Human Factors lead for Unmanned Aircraft Systems at BAE Systems, highlighted the growing need in the UK for engineers and STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) professionals in general. The students in the audience were definitely inspired to hear of the opportunities available to them if they pursue STEM careers.
After an evening of inspirational speakers, shiny trophies and an explosive lecture, the audience left college in a buzz of conversation. Cheryl Langley from Devonshire Primary Academy sums it up, "I was truly in my 'element' tonight! I was actually quite emotional hearing all the many different journeys the young scientists are travelling on and wondering what they'll become. Our award-winner was enthralled throughout and both her and her family were so grateful to have been given the opportunity to be part of it all."
The schools in the Fylde Coast Partnership range from primaries (Carleton Green Primary, Claremont Community Primary School, Devonshire Primary Academy, Moor Park Primary, and Unity Academy Blackpool) to secondaries and sixth forms (Baines School, Blackpool Aspire Academy, Fleetwood High School, Hodgson Academy, Millfield Science and Performing Arts College, Montgomery High School, St Mary's Catholic Academy, and Blackpool Sixth Form College).