School pupils enjoy hands-on science events

Reece Walker, 14, and Ismail Sahi, 13, from Abercorn High School, Cowcaddens, Glasgow enjoy an experiment at the Salters Science Festival event at the University of Strathclyde.

The University of Strathclyde welcomed school pupils with additional support needs to two one-day science events recently.

A Young Chemical Ambassadors event on 9 May, followed a week later by a Salters Science event on 16 May, provided hands-on activities for school children from across the region.

Widening participation

The Young Chemical Ambassador’s event saw pupils set a ‘sludge challenge’ where they learnt an experiment around the theme of ‘smart materials’ which they will teach to their classmates when they return to school.

The Salters Science Festival saw pupils set a forensics mystery that they had to solve in the morning, followed in the afternoon by an exercise comparing fizzy drinks.

Salters Science Festival is a series of one-day fun events held at universities across the UK and Ireland running from the beginning of March through to the end of June.

The events at Strathclyde specifically catered to pupils with additional support needs and were adapted accordingly.

Event organiser, Jane Essex, lecturer in the Department of Education, said: “We want to make sure that children with additional support needs don’t miss out on the opportunity to take part in science events.

At Strathclyde we are committed to widening participation and ensuring that everyone has access to learning opportunities at university.”

Pupils who have ASN includes anyone who requires adjustments beyond what is routinely available in order to ensure that they are able to fully-participate. This covers a very wide range of learning, behavioural, sensory, mobility and medical needs which means these pupils, and their teachers, are sometimes hesitant to enrol on outreach events.

The events on 9th and 16th May were designed to offer as much flexibility and support as each individual needs to be able to relax and really enjoy their days out with the University.