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Kids take on TV professor Brian Cox in East End science summer school

Professor Brian Cox on Graham Norton's TV show Professor Brian Cox on Graham Norton's TV show

Wednesday, August 28, 2013
5:46 PM

Schoolkids are giving up two days of their summer holidays to mix with some of Britain’s elite scientists.

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The boffins have been recruited by academic and TV Professor Brian Cox for a unique summer school running tomorrow and Friday in London’s East End.

The event involving 250 youngsters is being staged at St Paul’s Way School in Bow Common, which features a behind-the-scenes look at Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft and the Large Hadron Collider.

Topics include the ExoMars Rover project, ocean currents, climate change, diabetes and cutting edge research in Crossrail engineering.

Prof Cox believes finding the next generation of scientists means looking in new places and having fresh ideas to attract youngsters.

“Our aim is to inform, to excite, and to give students the inspiration to become scientists and engineers,” he said.

“We want to show there are no barriers that can’t be overcome—if they’re interested, they can do it.

“The economy needs them—the future is in their hands.”

The second day on Friday is at Siemens Crystal building in the Royal Docks, meeting the team renovating the SS Robin, the world’s oldest complete steamship now moored permanently at Silvertown, and meeting engineers solving the practical challenges of Crossrail now under construction.

The school has the support of social entrepreneur Lord Mawson of Bromley-by Bow, who said: “East London’s Lower Lea Valley presents an opportunity to explore the relationship between science, education, business and aspiration.”

The summer school is also backed by the London Legacy Development Corporation and has its commercial sponsors, such as Catlin insurers which previously produced award-winning materials for scientific education, Siemens sustainable technologies and the Tesco chain.

St Paul’s Way is London’s first Faraday science school which is committed to inspiring youngsters to take a lifelong interest in science and encouraging the next generation of Britain’s scientists.

Michael Faraday, born 1791 at what is now the Elephant & Castle, was a physicist who pioneered electricity and developed the sciences of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. His inventions led to electric motor technology and the first electric motor. He also discovered benzene and invented an early type of Bunsen burner.

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