Sixth Form students spend their summer holidays working with professional scientists at the University of Northampton
Thursday 22nd August 2013
Sixth Form students have had the opportunity to work alongside professional scientists at the University of Northampton on a research project as part of the Nuffield Research Placements programme.
The six students were from schools across the county and spent six weeks at the University’s School of Science and Technology, gaining hands-on experience and a valuable insight into a professional research environment. The University has been actively involved with this programme for several years and it is part of the School of Science and Technology’s larger commitment to outreach.
The participants included Sheldon Kawonga from Kettering Science Academy, Emmanuel Hlouverakis and Hafiz Alaraf both from The Duston School, Agota Geciauskaite from Malcolm Arnold Academy, James Adams from The Northampton Academy and Phillipa Hawkley from Brooke Weston Academy. All were invited to give presentations on their individual projects, which varied from building a mobile device app to investigating the sensitivity of magnetic particle inspection technique.
Nuffield Research Placements provides 1,000 students each year with the opportunity to work alongside professionals in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) sector. The programme is open to students on the first year of a post-16 STEM course and placements are available across the UK in universities, commercial companies, voluntary organisations and research institutions.
One of the students, Phillipa Hawkley, said: “I found this experience to be really good as we got to use facilities that we don’t have at school and the chance to use this software puts us above others our age and will really help with university applications.”
James Adams said: “It’s been a good experience, especially from a software developer’s point of view, as I’ve never had the experience of developing something based on someone else’s specifications.”
Dr Abdeldjalil Bennecer, Senior Lecturer in Engineering at the University of Northampton commented: “The sixth form students are about to enter the second year of their A-levels and have spent six weeks over the summer with us working on individual projects.
We held interviews with each student and the ones we offered places to were the brightest in their class and expressed an interest in STEM subjects at university level. We tailored the project briefs to suit their interests.
It's been a beneficial few weeks for these students and we have thoroughly enjoyed working with them and giving them the ultimate experience of working with professional scientists."