4 Jun 13

Gloucestershire students experience the magic of chemistry in exclusive festival workshop

Fifteen female students aged 11 to 15 from Barnwood Park Arts College in Gloucestershire will be treated to an exclusive viewing of an interactive chemistry workshop at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival this week, courtesy of EDF Energy.

EDF Energy, Education and Principal Partner of the Festival, has invited the students to attend a specially organised ‘As If By Magic’ workshop, led by alchemy expert Andrew Szydlo, as it is streamed live online to students from Lancashire who were unable to attend the festival in person.

The workshop will be held this Friday (June 7) at 9.30am in the Festival’s Winton Crucible venue and will see Mr Szydlo creating explosions, flashes and whizzes as he explores the ‘magic’ of chemistry.

While the students from Barnwood Park will watch the workshop directly, in a festival-first, dozens of students from four schools in Lancashire will also be watching the workshop live online from their classrooms.

Charlotte Gordon, Teacher of Science, at Barnwood Park Arts College, said:

“Our students are really looking forward to attending the ‘As If By Magic’ workshop. The educational events at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival introduce science and maths to students in a fun, engaging and interactive way, and help us, as teachers, to advocate to our students the wealth of career opportunities that science qualifications can offer.”

EDF Energy, the UK’s largest producer of low carbon electricity, has supported The Times Cheltenham Science Festival for 11 years and is the principal sponsor of its Science for School’s programme, which offers 16 educational lectures and 37 interactive science workshops for student visitors.

Dr Andy Spurr, Managing Director of Nuclear Generation at EDF Energy, said:

“At EDF Energy we’re eager to inspire young minds to take an interest in science, technology engineering and maths, and so we were delighted to offer Barnwood Park Arts College the opportunity to experience this exclusive Festival workshop.

“We have supported The Times Cheltenham Science Festival for more than 10 years and by creating this live online streaming event, we hope to make science engaging and accessible for everyone.”

EDF Energy has given away more than 100 tickets for students in the South West to attend the Festival as well as paying for the travel costs of two schools in Gloucester, Harewood Junior School and Hardwicke Primary School, to get to and from the site.

The energy company will also be present at the Festival itself, showcasing its own schools programme The Pod (www.jointhepod.org) which provides free online resources for schools to learn about sustainability and science. More than 17,000 schools are currently registered to The Pod.

In addition, in the Festival’s ‘Discover Zone’, a free-to-enter interactive exhibition space, EDF Energy engineering graduates will be on hand to speak to visitors about their experiences of a career in science, as well as to introduce passers-by to the company’s mobile nuclear generation ‘visitor centre’.

The visitor centre is an example of one of the seven centres that the company is opening at its nuclear power stations across the UK, which are designed to introduce people to low-carbon electricity generation with hands-on, interactive displays.