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York University Brings Science to Life For Teenagers

Minster FM News Generic

9:42am 18th March 2013

Young people from Yorkshire and the Humber will experience science in action today as they take part in a series of interactive sessions at the University of York.

The University of York Science Trail 2013 is designed to bring science to life for students aged from 13 to 15, providing an opportunity to work with students and leading academics from science departments across the University.

Around 230 pupils from 15 schools will take part in the annual event today, which has been held at York since 2005. Sixteen activities are on offer, including a new session by the Department of Mathematics which shows how the number pi can be worked out by randomly throwing sticks onto lined paper.

The Department of Theatre, Film and Television is hosting an event for the first time, when Mariana Lopez will demonstrate how to sync sound effects to animation. Staff from the Environment Department and Stockholm Environment Institute at York will host Soil and Earthworm and Tree Health surveys as part of the Open Air Laboratories Network (OPAL).

At the Department of Electronics session, the teenagers will film themselves walking on a treadmill and then create computer-generated avatars, in order to analyse their walking pattern. The Department of Biology is holding a session looking at the process of DNA fingerprinting, while the Department of Physics is offering a ‘journey through our universe’ in a cosmodome, a large inflatable planetarium.

Fifteen departments and centres from the University will take part in the Science Trail, giving school students an opportunity to explore a diverse range of scientific subjects and practices.

The Science Trail is supported by The Excellence Hub, a partnership between the Universities of Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and York which provides opportunities for young people to gain new experiences and enrich their learning in school or college.

The Science Trail initiative is part of York’s Widening Participation programme and targets young people from a variety of backgrounds, including those who might not have considered University as an option previously.

Lorna Bowling, Widening Participation Officer at the University of York, said: “The Science Trail is an Excellence Hub event for high potential Year 9 and 10 students from across the Yorkshire region. The programme is full of exciting activities to show young people how science is involved in our everyday lives and leads to important discoveries. We hope to inspire them to study science at a leading university.”

The school teachers will also become students for the day. They will attend a free Continuing Professional Development session at the National Science Learning Centre, also on the York campus, while their pupils take part in the Science Trail.

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