Activities about Antarctica

Co-ordinators, teachers, college students and university PhD science students are pictured at the FutureMe event held by Northumberland College. Picture by Trevor Walker (The Image Farm).

Northumberland College has launched a series of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) events to encourage young people in the county to progress to higher education as part of the North East Collaborative Outreach Programme (NECOP).

The programme is a consortia of all of the universities and colleges in the North East and FutureMe is the initiative that has been established by NECOP partners for teenage students to promote progression to higher education.

The first FutureMe event held by Northumberland College took place last Thursday.

It marked Antarctica Day, which celebrates the signature of the Antarctic Treaty in 1959 – the aim of this was to conserve the interest of science and the progress of all humankind.

Students from Northumberland College’s STEM and countryside management programmes, along with science and geography pupils from Berwick Academy and Prudhoe High School, enjoyed a series of activities connected with Antarctica science.

They took place within the college’s £2.5million state-of-the-art STEM Centre at its Ashington campus, which opened in September.

Highlights of the day included a live conference call with the manager of the Bonner Laboratory at the Rothera research station in the Antarctic Peninsula.

The students also conducted a series of experiments looking at the effects of climate change – including sea level rise, ocean acidification and an Albedo experiment, which involves measuring the reflectance and optical brightness of a surface.

Maria Avila, Northumberland College NECOP widening participation co-ordinator, said: “The activity day was a huge success.

“The students really enjoyed themselves and engaged well with the activities and guests.

“I think we are starting to change their perspective of what they can achieve in life with a higher education degree.”

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