QMC is celebrating a new-look Primary Science Centre thanks to an exciting collaboration with AWE.
The revamped centre was opened on Wednesday 25 September by TV personality and maths whiz, Johnny Ball, who opened the original facility 20 years ago. Johnny is a passionate advocate of STEM* education for young people and gave a lively speech to mark the occasion.
He joined teachers and QMC science staff as they enjoyed a lively science session with groups of Year Five pupils from local primary schools – including a demo by the ‘Super Slime’ team of science graduates from AWE.
Scientist Chris Mallinson also returned to mark the occasion. The former Rucstall Primary School pupil was present at the original opening twenty years ago and recalled taking part in activities there as a child. Chris, who went on to study Maths, Chemistry and Physics at QMC, a Masters in Chemistry at the University of Southampton and a PhD at Surrey University, commented: “It’s been great to see the children being inspired here today. I hope they will get the same out of the Science Centre as I did as a child, and go on to solve the problems of the future.”
AWE’s sponsorship means that sessions at the Science Centre are now free for pupils. Travel to and from the centre by minibus is also part of the sponsorship and free of charge to the pupils.
QMC Principal, Ali Foss, welcomed the initiative: “The QMC Science Centre has been recognised by Ofsted as an outstanding example of how to introduce primary age pupils to STEM education. We believe that by engaging their interest at a young age, it not only gives them a firm basis for future study but also introduces key ideas and concepts which will benefit them across the curriculum.”
Nick Everett, QMC’s Director of Learning for Science, Computing & IT, added: “The Science Centre at QMC has been providing inspirational science sessions to primary school pupils from the Basingstoke area for 20 years. Although not part of the college’s main function, this work is something we are very proud of. It enables children to explore real hands-on science activities in state-of-the-art facilities. “The mission of the Centre is to inspire young minds with a thirst for learning about the world around them, through activities that might otherwise be unavailable to them in their own school.”
Sian Butler, AWE’s Director of Assurance and Risk, said: “Around 4000 students visit the centre every year so, over the course of the last 20 years, a huge number of pupils have benefited. Many students that visit the college for a primary science session, later study science A- levels here and then progress onto scientific careers. In fact, we employ some of them! “AWE is a long-term supporter and our partnership ensures that these inspirational science sessions are available to pupils free of charge. Together, we hope to enthuse the young people in our community with a passion for STEM subjects that will help create the Scientists, Engineers and Mathematicians of the future.”
Primary schools can find out more about the Science Centre and book sessions here.