The science of scooters – University takes school children to the skate park

Date 26.04.2016

Pupils from eight Northamptonshire schools visited the UK’s largest indoor urban sports park for a science day with a difference.

The University of Northampton and Aim Higher Northamptonshire took over Adrenaline Alley, in Corby, on Wednesday 20 April, for its Adrenaline Science day, which saw 64 pupils aged 10 to 12 take part in a series of science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STEAM) workshops.

The science of scooters and BMX tricks were just some of the demonstrations taking place which aimed to explain the subjects in a fun way.

Academics and students from the University also conducted workshops covering topics including bones and blood in feet; light and movement; nutrition; sport and exercise, while Shaun Scarfe, from Four One Four Ltd, talked about ramp construction and got pupils designing and building their own ramps.

Shaun said: “I really enjoyed today and was really impressed with the things that the kids came up with, including some very interesting shapes and ideas that exceeded my expectations.”

The Adrenaline Science day is the latest example of how the University is playing a key role in helping to reverse a decline in the popularity of science subjects in schools.

Linda Davis-Sinclair, Schools Engagement Lead, said, “We wanted to bring science to the students in an innovative and fun way and Adrenaline Alley provided the wow factor for inspiring and raising aspirations. It was great to see how excited the pupils were to have a go and get involved.”

A report by the Careers and Enterprise Company published earlier this year found Northamptonshire lags behind neighbouring counties when it comes to numbers of A-level students who choose to study STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths). The study revealed the county has a 13 per cent lower take up of STEM subjects compared to Buckinghamshire, for instance.

Meanwhile, research from the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) suggests interest levels in STEM subjects dip in secondary school years, with engagement in maths and science dropping by 74 per cent in girls, and 56 per cent in boys during that time.

Adrenaline Science was co-ordinated by Aspire Northamptonshire, a partnership between the University, Aim Higher Northamptonshire, Libraries, Moulton College, Northampton College and Tresham College of Further and Higher Education.

Pupils attended from The Duston School and Thomas Becket Catholic School, Northampton; Corby Business Academy, Corby Technical College and Lodge Park Academy, Corby; Kettering Park Junior School and Kettering Buccleuch; Risdene Academy, Rushden and Stanion Primary school.