Cambridge Regional College - Centre of Vocational Excellence

CRC welcomes local community for Science Festival

Local students and the wider community recently visited Cambridge Regional College to take part in practical science activities.

The event was in association with Cambridge Science Festival, which provides the public with opportunities to explore and discuss issues of scientific interest and to raise aspirations by encouraging young people to consider a career in STEM subjects.

CRC has been running events for the past 9 years. CRC aim to encourage people not only in the centre of Cambridge but also in the community to take part in hands on science activities. Each year the themes and activities are different as many participants return each year.

This year, the college provided hands on activities and experiments in Chemistry based around important discoveries such as extracting chemicals from natural materials. In Physics, visitors saw chains that levitate, balls that won’t be moved, magic mirrors and were challenged with brain teasers to solve. The evening was completed with a Biology talk from Julia Spindel, who is funded by the Wellcome Trust and is currently working at the Babraham Institute in stem cell research.

Dr Helen West, Head of Science, Access & HE at Cambridge Regional College, said:“ The Science Festival is a fantastic outreach opportunity to promote STEM activities and engage with the broader community, who can spend a couple of hours doing real hands on science supported by our enthusiastic staff and students.

We always have such positive feedback on the evening as participants really appreciate the opportunity to use real science equipment in a laboratory. We regularly have groups attending who home school their children. We would be unable to offer such practical activities without the help of our current students”.

A number of Cambridge Regional College students and staff volunteered their time in order to make this year’s Science Festival possible including Access to Science students, Physics lecturer Dr Stephen Martin and Ursula Lowe, who is currently taking part in the Royal Society of Chemistry mentoring scheme. There was also support from a Norwegian student who is currently studying at CRC as part of an international education programme.

Cambridge Regional College offers full time science courses including Access to Science as a route to university and higher study; apprenticeships at Level 3 and has recently launched a new Level 3 BTEC Forensic and Criminal Investigation to run in conjunction with the Applied Science programme.

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