School pupils enjoy Lancaster science event

L-R Anya Darnton, Morecambe Road School, Mark Lees, plant manager Heysham 1 power station, Katie Steckles, Tess Cooper, Morecambe Community High School, Matthew Tosh, and Will Fitchett, Morecambe Community High School. Photo by Geoff Harris.
L-R Anya Darnton, Morecambe Road School, Mark Lees, plant manager Heysham 1 power station, Katie Steckles, Tess Cooper, Morecambe Community High School, Matthew Tosh, and Will Fitchett, Morecambe Community High School. Photo by Geoff Harris.

Flames, flares and mathematical shapes entertained pupils as part of a live science event organised by Heysham power stations.

LabLIve17 saw more than 550 pupils from the area’s senior schools entertained by Katie Steckles and Matthew Tosh from Cheltenham Science Festival.

Mark Lees, plant manager at Heysham 1 power station, introduced the two performers for the morning session at the Lancaster Grand Theatre and encouraged those attending to look at pursuing science and engineering careers.

Mr Lees also talked about the success of the station’s apprentice Georgina Hines, who went to Lancaster Girls Grammar school and has just won EDF Energy’s apprentice of the year.

Heysham 2’s Keith Thomas, fuel route manager, introduced the afternoon show saying that the stations were delighted to be staging such an interesting and engaging event which he hoped would encourage more young pupils to stick with the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.

Katie Steckles introduced the pupils to the surreal world of shapes and smoke rings, taking the audience through her top three shapes.

Fresh from the November firework season, Matthew Tosh then explored the science of fireworks with an exciting show which was full of bangs, shock waves, sparks and smoke.

Matthew, who also sets up large firework displays across the country, explained the science behind pyrotechnics, revealing how he creates colours, sound effects and perfectly timed bursts to music.

Verity Hinchcliffe, teacher at Morecambe Road School, said: “Our students get so much from these events. It makes STEM subjects relevant to their every day lives in ways that we can’t always provide in the classroom environment.

“And to mix with peers from other schools across the local area is always important too for our youngsters.”

John Munro, station director at Heysham 2 power station said: “This was a fantastic event and one which really showed the pupils how science is used in everyday life as well at workplaces such as ours. We hope that we are showing youngsters where the science, engineering, technology and maths subjects can take them.”