Chemical company day out encourages interest in STEM subjects

Airedale

Cross Hills company Airedale Chemical has encouraged interest in STEM subjects following a visit from its local primary school.

After a day out at Airedale Chemical, Sutton-in-Craven Community Primary School year four pupils were surveyed about the effect the experience had on their attitudes towards science.

More than 90% said they were now more aware of how science is used in everyday life and more than two thirds (69%) would now consider a career in STEM.

The change comes after the pupils were welcomed onto the Airedale Chemical site to carry out experiments in its new product development laboratory, explore its specialist fleet of lorries and learn about how its products are used.

The survey also highlighted the differing attitudes towards science between male and female students. Before the visit none of the girls regarded science as their favourite lesson but afterwards 83% said it was now their favourite subject and 100% were now more interested in science as a result of their day on site.

The number of girls who were consequently considering a science-related career increased by 34% after their experience.

Chris Chadwick, managing director of Airedale Chemical, said: “Receiving the results of this annual survey is always so gratifying for us at Airedale Chemical. We have a long-standing relationship with Sutton-in-Craven Community Primary School and the main aim of the work we do together is to inspire this kind of interest in our community.

“These children are our next generation of chemists so to hear directly from them what a difference our relationship is having is incredibly rewarding.

“The pupils never fail to amaze us with their thirst for knowledge and their enthusiasm. It is a joy to have them here.”

Almost all (97%) of the children felt their time at Airedale Chemical helped them better understand the subject of science.

Julia Forster, year four teacher at Sutton-in-Craven, added: “We can see that the children get a lot out of the visits but this survey has been a great way to quantify how it helps pupils get to grips with chemistry and how science is working all around us.”

All of the company’s work with the community is carried out through the Airedale Foundation, Airedale Chemical’s outreach programme dedicated to local good causes.

Airedale Chemical has been based in Cross Hills since 1994 and provides chemicals and contract manufacturing to markets including manufacturing, dairy, recycling and waste management.