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WATCH: TV star aims to inspire next generation of scientists

Students from Holbrook Academy were learning about the importance of plankton at Lablive 2018  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Students from Holbrook Academy were learning about the importance of plankton at Lablive 2018 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Flames, smoke and explosions were the order of the day at a spectacular display aimed at inspiring the young scientists of the future.

LabLive was designed to bring the best of the Cheltenham Science Festival to young people in Suffolk, with demonstrations to Year 8 and 9 pupils at Trinity Park, Ipswich.

But as well as giving children a series of entertaining displays, the event was designed to show the benefits of studying science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects at GCSE level and beyond.

Yesterday’s sessions were organised by EDF Energy to encourage future recruits for Sizewell B nuclear power station, and its planned Sizewell C development. Those leading the demonstrations included nanochemsit Dr Suze Kundu and TV scientist and former teacher Russell Arnott, from Channel Five’s Outrageous Stunts.

Mr Arnott talked about the incredible world of the small but mighty mini-beasts under the sea which help to provide the food we eat and the air we breathe. The schoolchildren were excited to join him on stage with props, including enormous prawns and plankton.

Russell Arnott with some of the students from Holbrook Academy at Lablive 2018   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNRussell Arnott with some of the students from Holbrook Academy at Lablive 2018 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Dr Kundu took the children on a journey to look at material science and how the best superheroes in their favourite comic books put science to good use.

Dr Elspeth Kenny, from Cheltenham Festivals, said: “It has been amazing to bring the Cheltenham Science Festival to Suffolk.

“The children looked like they were having a fantastic time learning about science in an interactive, fun way.”

Mr Arnott said: “I think that making science relevant and interesting to children is really important.

Marine biologist Russell Arnott teaching the pupils about the importance of plankton  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNMarine biologist Russell Arnott teaching the pupils about the importance of plankton Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“By meeting real life scientists I hope the children can see the range of things you can do with the subject and where it can lead you.”

Paul Morton, Sizewell B station director, said: “LabLive is a great opportunity for young people to discover how science is applied outside the classroom.

“We want to enthuse and inspire Suffolk schoolchildren and show them that studying STEM at school can lead to fantastic long-term rewarding careers.”

Russell Arnott and Dr Suze Kundu with a student from Holbrook Academy Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNRussell Arnott and Dr Suze Kundu with a student from Holbrook Academy Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Marine biologist Russell Arnott is trying to spread the message about how important plankton are to the environment   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNMarine biologist Russell Arnott is trying to spread the message about how important plankton are to the environment Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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