Schoolchildren were treated to an insight into the life of a scientist when a chemist from specialist chemical manufacturer Airedale Chemical paid a visit to their classroom.
Careers in chemistry and inspiration for younger people to consider a role in STEM were on the agenda for the talk which took place during Sutton in Craven Community Primary School’s Skills and Enterprise Week.
As part of its ongoing partnership with the school, Airedale Chemical’s research and development chemist Madeline Lofthouse talked to pupils about her love of science, what her job involves and answered questions from excited pupils.
The aim of the visit was to increase pupils’ awareness of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects and allow pupils to consider a future job role in these industries as part of the school’s careers and enterprise week.
Recent reports have highlighted the declining interest in STEM subjects amongst pupils in UK schools, resulting in a shortage of people with science, technology, engineering and maths skills.
With only one in four English secondary school students choosing two or more STEM subjects,Airedale Chemical is aiming to educate and encourage young people to become more involved in STEM subjects.
Madeline explained: “We’re committed to triggering engagement with young people in the community for STEM subjects, so have been really excited to continue our partnership with Sutton in Craven Community Primary School for a second year. We’ve been blown away by their enthusiasm about considering a job in this area.
It was fantastic to see the children interacting with discussions around science. We were very grateful to be given the opportunity to speak with local children and we hope our partnership will continue to fire students’ passion for science.”
Headteacher Mrs Beetlessaid: “The change in pupils’ attitudes to STEM subjects has developed hugely since our partnership with Airedale Chemical began last year. Madeline’s enthusiasm and commitment to science is inspiring many pupils to consider taking these subjects in the future.
“We really value the partnership with Airedale Chemical and hope to work together to create a future workforce of technologists, scientists, engineers and mathematicians.
Our school ethos, ‘Where Learners Grow,’ is reinforced by the partnership with Airedale Chemical and we’re excited to see the partnership continue to grow over the coming years.”
The manufacturer recently gave £500 of science books to the school’s library as part of the ongoing partnership and commitment to engage young students in STEM subjects from an early age. Airedale Chemical was established in 1973 and provides chemicals and contract manufacturing to markets including agriculture, dairy, water treatment and waste management.