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Catalyst Trip

Published: 30/05/2014

Young people from John Summers High school had the chance to visit an interactive science centre as part of a drive to encourage pupils to take up science based careers in the local area. BASF based on Deeside Industrial Park, sponsored the trip for 49 pupils from year 9 to visit Catalyst in Widnes, where they took part in self-motivated science experiments and finishing by enjoying a ‘Flash Bang’ interactive chemistry show. The company became involved with the school after attending a networking event organised by Teresa Allen, Lead Officer for Learning, East Flintshire Communities First which was held at the high school in November. It has been recognised nationally that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) based businesses are suffering significantly from a lack of women entering the industry and BASF is interested in helping close the gap by showing how science is part of everyday life. The chemical company has already donated 30 science text books to the school and future initiatives could include further sponsoring of trips, factory tours, work placements and life skills coaching. Julie Bellis, Learning Manager for Key Stage 4 and science teacher at John Summers High School said: “This is a wonderful opportunity, the pupils really enjoyed the experience and we would like to say thank you to BASF for working with us now and hopefully on future projects.” Councillor Derek Butler, Cabinet Member for Economic Development said: “It’s great to see an international business taking an interest in the future of local young people. Thanks to BASF, the children are seeing a different side to science and could potentially choose this as a career.” Any company in the Deeside area who has a specific focus on the STEM industries and would like to get involved in this initiative can contact Teresa Allen on 01244 846090. Photo caption: John Pearce and Anna Roberts of BASF pictured with the pupils outside Catalyst.