Working in partnership with The Industrial Trust, this activity was focused on forging links between schools and industry. The visits were organised by the Industrial Trust, a business led, not-for-profit organisation. It was formed in 1998 to bridge several gaps in education: to show young people how science is used in the real world and to encourage them to take up employment in science-based industries.
The objectives for this element of the demand strand were to:
- improve student attitudes towards physics in years 9,10 and11;
- improve awareness of careers from physics.
Visits to local physics-based industry were arranged to show how physics at school leads to industrial applications. In addition, students were shown examples of careers that are made accessible through studying physics. The students were able to engage with appropriate role models and further their concept of physics in a more interesting setting.
A group of students from each year group was taken on a visit during the academic year. Each visit had four distinct elements:
1. The introduction of the host organisation and the dissemination of health and safety notices.
2. The introduction of classroom concepts in real world contexts.
3. Engagement with suitable role models.
4. Help for teachers to plan and prepare for the visit with students, and advice on how to follow it up with reinforcing activities.
- Over the course of the projects the Industrial Trust organised sixty seven visits to twenty eight industrial sites.
- The companies that were visited during the course of the whole programme included:
- Leeds: BMW, Coca-Cola, Corus, Doncaster Airport, Drax Power, Swann-Morton;
- Nottingham: CELS - forensic ballistics, Fluid Power Centre, Health and Safety Labs, Low Temp Physics Department Loughborough University, MRI Nottingham University, National Mining Centre or Snibson Discovery Centre, Notts University Cosmology Symposium, Particle Accelerators, Rolls Royce , SMS Electronics, Space Centre , SPMMRC Nottingham University, Enrishtec (formerly) Urenco;
- Oxon: AWE, Begbroke Science Park, Crowcon Detection Instruments Ltd, Didcot A Power Station, Fugro Engineering Services Limited, Meech International, Nirex Limited, Sharp Laboratories of Europe Ltd, Siemens Magnet Technology, UKAEA, John Radcliffe Hospital, Canberra UK, Diamond Light Source.
- Many teachers and students commented that the speakers were enthusiastic and the students did get to meet good role models.
- Guidance on the scheme will be produced and circulated to schools and teachers.