Visiting Wizards, a.k.a STEM Ambassadors (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), from science-based technology company 3M in Newton Aycliffe, were special guests at Levendale School in Yarm, as part of the annual British Science Week celebrations in March.
The STEM Ambassadors, made up of graduate trainees and industrial placement students who work at the 3M site, delivered a fun, interactive STEM workshop to enthusiastic pupils at the school.
As well as discussing the principles of observation and creative thinking, the Visiting Wizards led the children in a range of practical activities, including hand and foot average measurements and a Hot Wheels car speed trial, to demonstrate data collection, measurement and analysis.
They then discussed with the children how all these skills are important in the jobs of scientists and engineers.
Teacher and science lead at Levendale School, Katherine Butterfield said: “The workshop was thoroughly enjoyed by all of the children. It was delivered in an entertaining way by young people who are clearly passionate about science and engineering.”
This is 3M’s fourth year as a lead partner of British Science Week, which is run by the British Science Association (BSA).
The week aims to put science at the heart of society and culture and to inspire the next generation of scientists. 2020’s theme is centred on ‘our diverse planet’ to celebrate ecological, cultural and societal diversity.
Alongside the week, 3M and the BSA also launched a campaign called ‘Smashing Stereotypes’ to challenge the misplaced image that young people often have of scientists – a lonely male, wearing a white coat, confined to working at a laboratory bench.
The campaign will showcase the varied backgrounds, career paths and diverse roles of people working in the STEM field.
James Morgan, an industrial placement student at the 3M site, and one of the Visiting Wizards, said: “Through events like this, we hope to inspire young people to pursue STEM subjects, show the broad range of careers available and demonstrate how innovation and science can improve everyday life.
“We particularly want to dispel the stereotypical image of scientists and show the diversity of the STEM workforce and that scientists are just like other people.”