New Science Product Inspired by School children
North East social enterprise launches innovative new concept.
North East based social enterprise, Open Engineering Solutions, is launching a new innovative concept designed for children & young people who want to consider a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) and employment.
"The new science educational tool, OpenVirtualSTEM, will make it easier for all children and young people to learn STEM subjects, particularly in physics, maths and coding (programming), where these subjects are most devalued. In addition, it will be used to help raise their aspirations, strategic thinking and improve their employability skills, so they could have an understanding of the real world of work."
Open Engineering Solutions first new product is available at www.open-engineering-solutions.co.uk. The official launch to schools and colleges will take place at Newcastle City Library, Newcastle upon Tyne on Thursday 1st of March, 2012, when STEM Ambassadors and teaching staff will be joined with STEM Outreach at Newcastle College and the IMechE. Greenpower North East will also be officially, launching their activities in Newcastle on the same day with Open Engineering Solutions. Yetunde, will be present at the OpenVirtualSTEM meeting to give information and advice.
Scientists, social scientists, engineers and clinicians can experience life in the heart of the newsroom by applying for a British Science Association 2012 Media Fellowship.
Spend 3-8 weeks this summer working with hosts including the BBC, Guardian and Nature to produce accurate, well-informed news about developments in science, and work alongside the UK’s top science editors in the British Science Festival Press Centre.
Return to work with media confidence, contacts, and first-class communication skills.
“I came away brimming with ideas, skills and advice for my researcher peers and I met some amazing people with the same values and drive as me. It was extremely interesting, educational and fun I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in the world outside their research bubble.” Media Fellow
Apply online from 16 January – 11 March 2012
We welcome applications from researchers at all stages of their career and for eligibility criteria, experiences from past Media Fellows, and the online application form go to
In conjunction with the British Science Association, Mangahigh is running a unique free competition for all UK schools, for the duration of National Science & Engineering Week. The school that scores the most points during NSEW (9th-18th March 2012) will be crowned National Champions, and will receive medals and certificates, presented in person on 12th June by eminent mathematician and TV star, Professor Marcus Du Sautoy!
Featuring more than 550 different lessons, 16 mathematics games and 55,000+ maths questions, Mangahigh is a free-for-schools maths resource that uses games-based techniques to inspire students to greater efforts in their mathematical studies. Teachers can easily activate their school at www.mangahigh.com and immediately get their students started on Mangahigh’s exciting free resources.
Prove it is the online video competition for all ages created for National Science & Engineering Week 2012.
If you fancy yourself as the next Brian Cox or the next Alice Roberts get involved and film yourself explaining one aspect of our world in motion in 30 seconds.
The British Science Association want to collect as many stories of our world in motion as they can so, whether you want to use your video to talk about plate tectonics, social media,the solar system, or about anything to do with motion, be part of the national buzz for NSEW and take part in Prove it!
How to get involved?
Take part in Prove it in four easy steps.
1. Film or create a 30-second video or animation explaining any aspect of our world in motion. Remember to come up with a catchy title!
2. Upload and register your video on the BSA website, or if you are from a school, on Films for Learning
3. Wait for 24 hours then watch your video and vote for the videos you like best on the You Tube Channel.
4. Keep liking and rating videos and wait to hear if you are a winner! The videos with the most likes/ highest Films for Learning ratings will be shortlisted for the final judgement from a celebrity panel!
You have until midnight on 19th March 2012 to get your entries in!
What’s the prize?
There are some fantastic prizes for the best videos in a number of different categories. For schools there is a class VIP visit to meet Natural History Museum Scientist Dr Caroline Smith, (and to see the Tissint Meteorite!) plus class flying experiences at AirKix indoor Sky diving centres up for grabs! For anyone over the age of 16 there are three camcorders up for grabs; a Sony Handycam DCR-SR58E Camcorder for the talented First Prize winner and two Panasonic HX-DC1 (White) Upright Full-HD Camcorders for two runners up.
The overall winner (from any age category) may even be mentioned on BBC’s Bang Goes the Theory!
STEMNET and Cisco are challenging 11-16 year olds to use their Maths and Science skills to
plan a major sporting event in their local area. The Challenge is to plan a major sporting event that would transform your local area and showcase local and national talent. Teams of 4-6 students must choose a sport and a venue or location, and work out what resources, facilities and equipment would be
needed for the event. As with all STEM Challenges, teams will present their project at a STEM Challenge
local judging event.
Here’s a quick run-down of National Science and Engineering Week events open to the public and schools in the North East. Click on the links to view full descriptions of the events
National Science & Engineering Week: Events and activities for everyone, 9–18 March 2012
In 2012, National Science & Engineering Week explores “our world in motion.”
National Science & Engineering Week shines the spotlight each March on how science, technology, engineering and maths relate to our everyday lives and helps to inspire the next generation of scientists with fun and participative activities.
With over 4,500 events and activities attended by 1.7 million people in 2011 and generating over £1m in press coverage, this is the UK’s widest grassroots celebration of all things science and engineering. You can join the celebration by attending an event or taking part in our national activities.
Two scientists and two artists have taken up residency in a shop on Shields Road in Byker and will be there for the next two Saturdays (25th Feb and 3rd March) with lots of activities for people to drop in and try!
There’s lots to do including planting seeds, creating mini greenhouse-type sculptures for your plants, painting with plants as well as some creative writing. Everyone is welcome activities are suitable for 4 to 104+ year olds! Some work will be displayed as part of an exhibition at the end of the project.
Science made simple, an award winning science communication company, is delighted to announce a tour week of heavily subsidised engineering show days in your area thanks to funding from the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology).
They will be visiting schools in North East England from 30th April to 4th May. The shows available to schools in the area will be A Rough Guide to Engineering (KS3).
A show day can comprise of up to three performances in total. This whole day of shows is available to schools for just £75+VAT. The shows are performed in the school hall and can be presented to as many pupils as you choose to bring to the venue.
Educational charity, The Smallpeice Trust is looking for Year 9 students to apply for a place on a residential course over Easter. Students can apply to attend a foundation ‘Engineering Experience’ course and ‘Engineering Construction’ course. They will gain experience of university and industry that will accelerate their personal development and their potential for greater academic achievement. Students can apply directly from the Smallpeice website. Applications are reviewed and places allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Yr 9 Engineering Experience, 2-4 April 2012, University of Nottingham
This popular ‘foundation course’ is perfect for those who want to find out more about engineering and the exciting career opportunities available. You will get to work with engineers from leading companies across the UK and solve real engineering challenges.
• Analysing products, studying the roles they perform and the characteristics that make them effective
• Designing and building products using a range of different materials and control systems
• Learning the practical applications of the techniques and processes you will be using
• Understanding the importance of budgets in developing designs and materials, allowing you to calculate the financial implications of your decisions
• Collecting data from your project and analysing it to make better decisions
• Working alongside real engineers from industry, drawing on their knowledge and putting your new skills into practice
This course is priced at a special introductory rate of £95 which includes all accommodation, meals, course materials and social activities.
Year 9 Engineering Construction, 2-5 April 2012, University of Wolverhampton
This brand new course gives you the chance to be mentored by real-life engineering construction professionals.
You will find out about the diverse career opportunities available; from professional engineers, project managers and supervisors, to technicians, craft engineers and semi-skilled operatives. Can you rise to the challenge?
• Exploring the world of engineering construction through a series of hands-on workshops and demonstrations
• Meeting and working with real-life engineers from leading companies like Doosan Babcock, Foster Wheeler and Siemens, drawing on their expertise and putting your new skills into practice
• Working in a team on a design and build project, giving a practical insight into this field
• Collecting data from your project and examining it to make better decisions and evaluate performance
• Understanding the importance of financial management in developing designs and materials, allowing you to calculate the budgetary implications of your decisions
• Gaining an understanding of the wide range of career opportunities that you could explore and salary potential
This course is priced at a special introductory rate of £95 which includes all accommodation, meals, course materials and social activities.
Newcastle Science Festival is kicking off in March, but here’s your chance to get a taster before the event. The roadshow will be travelling between 3 locations this weekend.
The Roadshow will launch with a special after school event. Join time travelling ‘Doctor Death’ and his wicked blend of historic remedies for your sneezes and wheezes. Warning: This show promises blood, guts, gore and a lot more!
Fri 24 February
3-4pm Picnic and science demos
4-5pm Pantomime – Dr Death and the MediEvil Medicine Show
Venue: Byker Community Centre
Suitable for ages 7+
The show has a limited capacity – pick up your free tickets from the Byker Community Centre in advance to guarantee a seat
Bjorn the Polar Bear and his minders Ursula and Arthur will be coming to Cowgate for three very special performances. Bjorn is an incredibly life-like, playful puppet who loves to be petted and stroked. Throughout the day, there’ll also be a free picnic and science demos including an inflatable planetarium and live cookery.
Sat 25 February
11am-4pm Science Demos
12.30pm, 2pm, 3.30pm Polar Bear
Venue: Cowgate Community Centre
Suitable for all ages
No pre-booking. Just turn up on the day.
The Roadshow will culminate at the Beacon – an exciting redevelopment of the former West Road Fire Station. This will be the building’s first public event.
Lots of exciting activities are planned including both Bjorn the Polar Bear and the Dr Death and the MediEvil Medicine Pantomime.
Between shows, you will be able to make your own UV torch to take home, help knit the solar system and enjoy a free picnic.
Sun 26 February
11.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm Polar Bear
12.30pm, 2.30pm Pantomime – Dr Death and the MediEvil
Free Regional STEM Careers Guidance Event for Post 16 Students Date: Wednesday 15th March 2012, 10am – 2pm Venue: University of Sunderland, Dale Building, Sciences Complex, City Campus, Sunderland
Held within National Science and Engineering Week the STEM @ Sunderland Event is a hands on showcase event highlighting STEM careers and building the links between education and industry. Aimed at year 12 students with an interest in STEM careers and those who are considering university progression the event is open to schools and colleges from across the north east region. Delivered as a joint venture between The University of Sunderland, STEM Outreach at Newcastle College and RTC North Ltd; students will engage in employer led workshops across the four STEM disciplines. Participating companies include:
Proctor and Gamble
NHS Pathology labs
Additional activities will be provided by ICE and Go Motorsports with a series of stimulating and exhilarating activities also offered by the University of Sunderland including Real Man Simulation (Sim Man) and Xsens MVN Biomech Suit.
Held at the Sciences Complex, City Campus, University of Sunderland; groups students will have access to regional and national employers, advice on STEM careers and university progression routes including funding advice and an insight into STEM opportunities.
Information for teachers
Open to 10 x year 12 students (per institution) interested in STEM careers and university progression
Interactive sessions delivered by companies and STEM ambassadors and supported by university students
Opportunity to meet and talk to current STEM employers encouraging education and industrial links for the school / college and employer contact, information and advice for the student
Access to University information and advice throughout the day
All students will receive 6 x 30 minutes taster workshops with sessions allocated to schools in advance
It is anticipated that 18 schools from across the region will take receive a place therefore allocation given on a first come first served basis
Unfortunately lunch is NOT provided therefore packed lunches must be brought by individuals
Do you have a fantastic idea for making physics accessible? Do you want to reach a wider audience? Do you need some support to make your outreach activity happen?
The second round of the 2012 Public Engagement Grant Scheme from the Institute of Physics is now open for applications. The grants are worth up to £1000 and aim to support physics-based outreach activities in the UK and Ireland throughout 2012. Activities should provide engaging experiences of physics to public audiences – grants will not be awarded to projects aimed at solely delivering the curriculum to school pupils.
More information about the grant scheme, including application forms, guidelines and summaries of past projects, is available online at http://www.iop.org/about/grants/outreach/page_38843.html
Bookings for the 2012 Science Communication Conference on Mon 14 and Tues 15 May at Kings Place, London are now open.
The theme for this year is ‘impact’ and the varied programme of talks and workshops will examine impact in various forms from a wide range of public engagement viewpoints. As always there will be ample time for networking, making new contacts and exchanging ideas.
This year, the programme is further enhanced by a special edition of the hugely popular Science Showoff and the programme closes with a gig from geek songstress Helen Arney.
If you’d like to attend the Science Communication Conference, make sure you book before 2 March to take advantage of our Early Bird day rate of £135.
Concessions and a small number of bursaries are available, and for information about the Conference, the online programme and how to book, please visit: www.britishscienceassociation.org/ScienceCommunicationConference
The British Science Association are hosting a algal themed fun day during half term for families.
Monday 13th February
11:00 am until 3:00 pm
Great North Museum: Hancock
“Come and explore the hidden world of algae at this interactive family fun day. Experts from the British Phycological Society will be on hand too, looking at seaweeds and beasties under the microscope and classifying plants to find out what algae are used for, including those we can eat! This fun day will cover a range of algae from different environments and open your eyes to their hidden world.”
Michal Segalov, software engineer at Google’s R&D Center in Israel, discusses Computer Science in the real world with 500 ninth-grade girls at the annual Girls Conference. This conference is part of Google’s “Mind the Gap” (https://sites.google.com/site/mindthegapprogram/home) initiative that aims to encourage female high school students to study computer science (CS) in high school.
There’s a very good post about the “Mind the Gap” initiative over at the Official Google Blog here.
Students are increasingly interested in non-academic careers, and in support of this, many schools and colleges are hosting National Apprenticeship Week.
Within our region, Sunderland College are hosting an apprenticeship open week.
They’ve asked employers and Apprentices they work with to share their experiences, openly and frankly so you have the facts you need to decide whether an Apprentice will be good for your business. Employers will also be able to talk to the college’s specialist employer teams about training requirements.
The sessions run all day so anyone can pop in when it’s convenient to them, and food and refreshments will be available between 8am to 9am and 5pm to 7pm each day, so you can grab breakfast or a light tea on the go.
Alternatively, you can contact email@example.com if you are a teacher interested in holding an apprenticeship event, or if you are an employer looking to outreach to schools and colleges about apprenticeships.
Schools aerospace challenge is a competition hosted by the institution of mechanical engineers. It is for all 16+ students who would like to discover the world of aerospace engineering.
Teams submit their ideas on the training of Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS) operators and could win a free, five night residential course at the School of Engineering, Cranfield University (starting on 22 July 2012). Three teams will share a £5000 prize fund at an award ceremony and reception to be held in London at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in November 2012.
“I’m A Scientist” is returning for 2012 between 12th-23rd March!! As well as this, there is also an “I’m An Engineer” competition being introduced.
These are online competitions, in which students submit questions for the scientists and engineers. The scientists and engineers are then voted for by students, and are slowly evicted Big Brother style, until eventually, a winner is crowned!
For information for both teachers and for scientists and engineers please use the following links:
Google has announced their second online science fair! It is a project in partnership with CERN, Lego, National Geographic and Scientific American and a great opportunity for kids world wide. This is the largest global online science competition and it celebrates the curiosity and investigations of young scientists everywhere!
If you’re 13 to 18 years old, you can enter by submitting your entry by 1 April 2012 for your chance to win fantastic prizes. This video tells you a little more: