Pupils from Preston, Fylde and Lancaster schools take part in university challenge

Lancaster University schools STEM Challenge: winning team from Ripley St Thomas with Professor Jim Wild, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Teaching in the Faculty of Science and Technology at Lancaster University.
Lancaster University schools STEM Challenge: winning team from Ripley St Thomas with Professor Jim Wild, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Teaching in the Faculty of Science and Technology at Lancaster University.
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Scores of would-be young scientists and potential engineers of the future have been pitting their skills against each other.

Around 130 year nine pupils from schools as far apart as Ashton in Preston, Blackpool and Lancaster, converged on the University of Lancaster for the institution's annual STEM Challenge Day.

The event saw teams of young people take part in a series of science, technology, engineering and maths challenges, competing on behalf of their school.

A popular annual event, it aims to raise aspirations and inspire young people to look beyond the national curriculum.

The day also gives the school pupils an early opportunity to visit a UK top 10 university, take part in inspirational activities lead by researchers and meet with current undergraduate students.

Researchers at the university spent many weeks designing fun and exciting challenges in their subject areas, which ranged from creating musical instruments from computers and fruit to taking part in a mathematics treasure hunt around the campus

Professor Jim Wild, Associate dean for undergraduate teaching in the Faculty of Science and Technology at Lancaster, said “It’s fantastic to be able to welcome the next generation of scientists, mathematicians, engineers and technology experts to Lancaster University. "

He added: “The world is going to need their skills to address challenges such as climate change, food security and clean energy, and we are privileged to be able to enthuse and excite talented students from schools across the region.”

The schools took part in four different challenges, but the best overall performance was by Ripley St Thomas CfE Academy, who won book vouchers.

Other schools taking part were: Ashton Community Science College, Preston, Carnforth High, Central Lancaster , Lancaster Girls’ Grammar, Chetwynde School in Barrow-in-Furness, Kirkbie Kendal School, St Aidan’s High School at Poulton, Blackpool St George’s School,, The Lakes School and Ulverston Victoria High.