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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Professor Brian Cox inspires local STEAM students through Science School Project in Ballymena

Professor Brian Cox pictured today with local students at The Braid in Ballymena

Professor Brian Cox pictured today with local students at The Braid in Ballymena


Leading physicist and television presenter Professor Brian Cox CBE OBE FRS has travelled to Northern Ireland for an innovative schools initiative aimed at inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers and inventors.


An initiative spearheaded by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Professor Cox hosted the 'Science Summer School NI today, Tuesday 23rd January, at The Braid in Ballymena. The also featured leading educators and influencers from the world of science, technology, engineering, the arts and maths.



With an ever-changing world and constantly diverging employment sectors, it is envisaged the event will help activate the curiosity of up to 400 young people, via a combination of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) seminars, discussions, hands-on experiments and insights.


Attendees at Mid and Esst Antrim Borough Council’s Summer Science School with Professor Brian Cox

Professor Cox, who was formerly a keyboard player with pop group D:Ream, is also leading a panel session for students and parents this evening to highlight the career pathways and opportunities available to the future workforce.


“I’m very excited to bring our Science Summer School to Northern Ireland,” he said, speaking ahead of today's event.



“The aim is to excite students about science and engineering and to help them along a path towards what I know from personal experience to be an immensely rewarding future career.


“We have a great mix of speakers and experiments which are designed to show what Northern Ireland has to offer - and it has a great deal with its rich history in science and engineering.”


Attendees at Mid and Esst Antrim Borough Council’s Summer Science School with Professor Brian Cox

Professor Cox added: “But most of all, I want the students to enjoy exploring the ideas that we’ll present. Science is, first and foremost, about the exhilaration of discovery and understanding, and that’s what we aim to deliver.”


The event also featured the experiences of special guests earlier in the day. Keynote speakers included male midwife Vince Rosales, Dr Erin Higgins, astrophysicist at the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, and Dr Andrew McIntosh, Head of Research and Development at Kilwaughter Minerals.


Attendees at Mid and Esst Antrim Borough Council’s Summer Science School with Professor Brian Cox
Attendees at Mid and Esst Antrim Borough Council’s Summer Science School with Professor Brian Cox

Pupils from schools in Ballymena, Larne, Carnlough and Newtownabbey will be taking part, including Ballymena Academy, Slemish College, St Louis Grammar and Larne High.


Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, said the council was delighted to be working with local businesses, schools, universities, and partner organisations to bring this initiative to the borough.


“The Science School lifts a lid on the myriad of opportunities that exist in science,” Ms Mulvenna said.


“It is our hope that young people will be inspired to embark on an exciting future in this field – and maybe even become leaders in science.”



Attendees at Mid and Esst Antrim Borough Council’s Summer Science School with Professor Brian Cox
Attendees at Mid and Esst Antrim Borough Council’s Summer Science School with Professor Brian Cox


This event is sponsored by Kilwaughter Minerals, Ryobi, IPC Mouldings, Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies, Michelin Development, Caterpillar, Yelo, GES Group, Wrightbus and Phoenix Engineering.


The Science Summer School project was established in 2012 at St Paul’s Way Trust School in East London by Professor Cox and Lord Andrew Mawson OBE.


It has since expanded nationally with the aim of making “the UK the best place to do science and engineering in the world.”


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