Aspiring young scientists are being offered a chance to hone their skills at university - before they’ve even left school.
The University of Central Lancashire’s Young Scientist Centre (YSC) in Preston is the first of it’s kind outside London.
At UCLan we are dedicated to providing an enriched experience and encouraging our students to immerse themselves in the world of science and technology, how it works and how this knowledge can be applied to later life.Dr Liz Granger
Developed in conjunction with the Royal Institution of Great Britain (Ri),the ground-breaking centre is a bid to encourage more young people to take an interest in science.
The purpose built centre is in the heart of the city campus has cost the university aorund £250,000 and currently runs around two workshops a week for schoolchildren from the age of seven right through to A-level pupils and can teach up to 30 people at any one time.
The aim is to eventually hold sessions five days a week and Dr Liz Granger, manager of the UCLan and Ri Young Scientist Centre, has already planned Summer Science Workshops that young people can attend in August to boost their science skills.
Dr Granger said: “At UCLan we are dedicated to providing an enriched experience and encouraging our students to immerse themselves in the world of science and technology, how it works and how this knowledge can be applied to later life.
The YSC creates an exciting environment that will motivate young people to embrace STEM subjects before they consider career paths.”
“Both the Engineering Innovation Centre and the YSC demonstrate the university’s commitment to increasing the capacity and capabilities of science, technology, engineering and maths in the region, attracting greater numbers of young people and providing clearer progression routes to develop careers in these growth areas”.
Priory Academy pupil Jamie Edwards, who became the world’s youngest fusioneer last year, showcased his nuclear fusion project at the event,
The teenager said: “I’m really excited by science and think it’s important to show others how much fun you can have with STEM subjects.
“These sorts of facilities aren’t always accessible for school students so the Young Scientist Centre will really help to encourage other young people to reach their potential and enable them to explore science and engineering in an exciting environment.”