Hundreds of local school children attend spectacular national science festival

The annual event saw more than 550 pupils from the area’s senior schools entertained by Katie Steckles and Matthew Tosh.

Verity Hinchcliffe, teacher at Morecambe Road School, said: “Our students get so much from these events.  It makes STEM subjects relevant to their everyday 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 for our youngsters."

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

Mark 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 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.

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.

“Maybe it’s setting up firework displays, but it could also be here starting as an apprentice or graduate at Heysham power stations.”

Katie Steckles said: "It's been great to be part of the LabLive tour - there's a really great atmosphere in the theatres and a real sense of occasion for the students. I'm enjoying bringing some interesting puzzles and mathematical thinking challenges to the audiences, and there's always really great answers from the students - hopefully some excellent future engineers, scientists and mathematicians among them!"

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