30 Jun 2015

Intertek, a leading quality solutions provider to industries worldwide, is encouraging the next generation of scientists by presenting and judging at a school science event held as part of a wider national initiative, the Big Bang Science Fair.

Originally a one-off science fair held every year, the Big Bang programme has developed wider initiatives, including the Big Bang Near Me, encouraging schools to hold their own fairs and get new generations of students interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) occupations.

Students from St Bede’s College, Manchester, took part in a day dedicated to science and engineering, which aimed to inspire future generations of scientists and engineers through exciting hands-on activities and interactive exhibits.

Intertek Microbiologist Matthew Shaw and Graduate Engineers Morayo Sodipo and Oliver Loveless from Intertek Production and Integrity Assurance, took part in a workshop allowing the students an insight into potential career paths.

As well as discussing entry levels into STEM occupations, the team discussed their academic and professional progression. They also gave the students an interactive demonstration using a meter to enumerate the bacteria present on their hands.

Dr Susan Powell, Biology Teacher and Science Coordinator at St Bede’s College, said: “Many of our students think that studying science at A-level leads to a career in medicine. By running the Big Bang Science Fair, we hope to show them that there are many other career options out there that require science subjects.”

In addition to the careers workshop, Matthew Shaw sat on the judging panel for a science competition for younger students. The winning team of year eight pupils impressed the judges with their project on the exploration of space.

Jim Palmer, Director of Intertek Production and Integrity Assurance, said: “Building young people’s interest in science and motivating them to pursue these subjects in their education as the basis for future careers is important to Intertek. British industry depends on the next generation being engaged in and stimulated by STEM subjects and events like this are an essential part of this process.”

According to research published last year by the Chamber of British Industry, over a third of companies, or 39%, experience difficulties filling STEM roles. Intertek, which grew from a company founded by light bulb inventor Thomas Edison, currently offers more than 35 young people a year across the UK the opportunity to join the company through apprenticeships, graduate traineeships and on-the-job training.

In March, Intertek opened its laboratory doors to science and engineering students in Aberdeen and Sunbury for British Science Week, in conjunction with the British Science Association. This allowed students first-hand experience of science and engineering and encouragement to pursue STEM careers.

Big Bang Science Fair: www.thebigbangfair.co.uk/

Media enquiries:

Kathryn MacKenzie
Account Manager
The BIG Partnership
Tel: +44 01224 253809
Email: kathryn.mackenzie@bigpartnership.co.uk

About Intertek

Intertek is a leading quality solutions provider to industries worldwide. From auditing and inspection, to testing, training, advisory, quality assurance and certification, Intertek adds value for its customers by helping improve the quality and safety of their products, assets and processes. With a network of more than 1,000 laboratories and offices and over 38,000 people in more than 100 countries, Intertek supports companies’ success in the global marketplace, by helping customers to meet end users’ expectations for safety, sustainability, performance, integrity and desirability in virtually any market worldwide. Visit www.intertek.com.