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P1011253Uxbridge College’s science labs became the scene of a crime while Sir Isaac Newton gave lectures, students made bridges out of paper instead of writing on it, and women took centre stage as leaders in their professions.

These and other activities marked National Science & Engineering Week at the College, in one of the most wide-ranging programmes of events in the sector.

Activities included:

* Fingerprinting, investigating blood spatter, and evidence-gathering at a (fictitious) crime scene with former Scotland Yard Detective Chief Inspector Steve Gaskin, of Right Angle Education.

* A visit by Sir Isaac Newton clad in his traditional clothes (alias David Hall in a presentation by Johnny Ball Productions) and sharing fascinating facts about his life and achievements.

* A competition for student teams to build the strongest bridge out of paper.

* Workshops with women in science and engineering (WISE) including Dr Mariann Rand-Weaver, Pro-Vice Chancellor Brunel University; Alexandra Parsons from Skanska; and Dr Eve Abe, Ethologist and Zoologist.

* Workshops on particle physics, computational mathematics, careers in Medicine and geographic profiling were run by academics or students from Brunel, Queen Mary and Imperial College universities.

The event was supported by Nexen Petroleum UK, and Right Angle events also made a donation to the College to help support science education.

Ray Ferris, Director of Education for 14-19 year olds at Uxbridge College, and its lead on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths), said: “Over the last three years Uxbridge College has developed one of the widest-ranging Science & Engineering Weeks across the college sector. The event is now a firm fixture in the College’s annual calendar and attracts enormous interest from students. I suppose this is not surprising when they have a murder to solve and get a chance to meet one of history’s greatest scientists brought back from the dead.

“Science and Engineering week is a great illustration of how these subjects not only encompass many of the most interesting facets of the past, present and future, but also offer routes into an enormous range of careers in thriving sectors.”

Dr Alastair Mullins, Head of the Academy at Uxbridge College, which teaches GCSEs, A levels and vocational science, said: “This was by far our best ever Science & Engineering week so far with around 1,200 students - a quarter of all full-time students at the College - taking part in one activity or another. Far from science, maths and engineering being niche subjects or the preserve of boffins, there is growing recognition that concepts from these areas not only underpin many other academic and vocational subjects, but contribute greatly to our understanding and appreciation of everyday experience.”

National Science & Engineering Week is run every March by the British Science Association to boost interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.


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