British Science Week 2019
OSFC held their busiest ever British Science Week from 11-15 March, with a wealth of opportunities available for both OSFC students and students in local schools. Science Mentor, Elizabeth Judge, welcomed Year 5 and Year 6 students from Broadfield, Roundthorn, St Thomas’, Ashton West End and Coppice primary Schools throughout the week to 14 different Science sessions. These were full of exciting experiments including making popcorn, ice cream and lava lamps to develop the primary children’s Chemistry, Biology and Physics knowledge. They also offered the opportunity for OSFC Science students thinking of teaching as a career to access valuable voluntary work experience.
There were many opportunities throughout the week for OSFC students wanting to progress into successful Science related careers. An antibiotic resistance workshop for A Level Biology students was delivered by The Faculty of Science and Engineering at Manchester Metropolitan University. Aspiring Scientists were invited to a Teentech Innovation Day at The University of Manchester to learn more about data collection techniques and the best ways to record progress and evidence research. The University of Manchester also launched their mentoring scheme for PhD students to work with up to eight lucky first year OSFC students. They will support them through the university application process and give them invaluable work shadowing experience in the labs at the university. Dr Simon Gallier delivered a short talk followed by a Q&A session detailing his career as a businessman and dentist entitled ‘From Oldham to Harley Street via the Parachute Regiment and the North Pole.’ Our Aspiring Medics Programme for 2019/20 was also launched for our Year 12 students pursuing careers in Medicine.
There was a key focus during the week on developing employability skills for our students wanting to go into careers in the STEM industry. Three employer networking sessions took place, the first of which was delivered by Feeding Britain’s Futures as part of their employability programme to equip students with the skills they need to succeed in the workplace, and bring to life the wide range of food/nutrition related careers. PhD students from the University of Manchester focused their session on the skills required to conduct scientific research and the benefits of studying a PhD. OSFC Alumni, from a range of STEM industries, including Engineering and Cyber Security, delivered the final session, giving our students an insight into industry jobs roles and responsibilities, including information on the qualifications and skills needed to be successful. Medical students from Fast Bleep Manchester also visited to deliver a workshop demonstrating practical medical experiments which proved to be a hit with our students aiming to be future Medics.
Kathryn Parkinson, Curriculum Area Leader for Science, was delighted with the outcome of the week; “British Science Week 2019 was a huge success. Primarily, thanks to all of the wonderful scientists involved, we managed to raise the profile of science careers and include a bit of fun along the way. With over 350 places for the various activities during the week, OSFC staff ensured all opportunities were fully exploited by our students and all events were completely full. Thanks to everyone who made the week so enjoyable. Special thanks to all of the external visitors and companies that gave up their time voluntarily to come in and help our students. There was a lot of positive feedback about the attitudes and enthusiasm of the OSFC students involved in their events.”