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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Pupils design their way to meeting Prof Brian Cox CBE


All winners: (L-R) Noel Mullholland, Michelin Development Fund (Event Sponsor), Niall Kennedy, Winner of KS3, St Louis Grammar, Ryan Conway, Winner of KS2 and Overall Winner, Harryville Primary School, Deputy Mayor, Councillor Beth Adger MBE, Jessica Redmond, Winner KS4, Ballymena Academy, Abigail Best, Winner KS1, Greenisland Primary School, Pamela Steele, Business Engagement Officer, Northern Regional College (Event Sponsor)


Pupils from across the borough were invited to enter an exciting Science Summer School competition in honour of the borough’s rich industrial heritage and the sustainability and future of fashion.


Mid and East Antrim Borough Council asked pupils to ‘Activate their Curiosity’ by creating an original t-shirt design reflecting First Attempts; Activate your Curiosity; or The Universe with the overall winner getting the opportunity to meet with Professor Brian Cox CBE later this year. In addition, the designs of the four key stage-winning entries will be placed on display in the Gallery of First Attempts Exhibition at The Braid in November.



The competition was organised through engagement activities with local schools as part of the wider Science Summer School programme, a STEAM Initiative (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) that is being led by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council in Northern Ireland for the first time ever this November.


The Science Summer School was an initiative developed by the Manufacturing Task Force, an industry-led collaborative network which supports and stimulates our manufacturing sector. As well as being key sponsors for the Science Summer School many of the companies within the Manufacturing Task Force including Ryobi, IPC Mouldings and Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies have been engaging and developing links with the schools and the further and higher education sector to build a pipeline of skills for the future and showcase the opportunities available in the manufacturing, engineering and construction sectors in the borough.



Overall winner: (L-R) Noel Mullholland, Michelin Development Fund (Event Sponsor), Ryan Conway, Winner of KS2 and Overall Winner, Harryville Primary School, Deputy Mayor, Councillor Beth Adger MBE, Pamela Steele, Business Engagement Officer, Northern Regional College (Event Sponsor)

Graham Whitehurst Chair of the MTF commented:


“The Manufacturing Task Force is focused on developing the skills pipeline and growing an awareness of the job opportunities available within companies in the area. The Science Summer School is a central initiative to establish this key link between schools and industry.”



Deputy Mayor Councillor Beth Adger MBE said:


“It was a privilege to welcome the winners of each of the four key stages of this competition, to announce the overall winner and to see their winning design brought to life.


“In total 185 entries were received, which is reflective of the strong relationship between council and schools with each entry showcasing the high calibre of talent we have here in the borough. Initiatives such as this encourages pupils to get creative and think about what has gone before us, what is around us and what lies ahead, particularly in relation to fast fashion and its sustainability.”


The winning design by Harryville Primary School pupil Ryan Conway, focused on first attempts and highlighted the importance of perseverance. His design was brought to life by Whitehead based company, Rhuban Design, who use only eco-friendly, organic sustainable clothing.



Maura Alexander founder of Rhuban Design said:


“The sustainability of fashion is important to us and we use only 100% GOTS (global organic textile) certified organic cotton and recycled materials in all our range. It was an honour to be part of this competition and to produce this wonderful design. With a fantastic pool of talent in the borough we look forward to working with fashion designers of the future.”


Ryan’s design will be displayed along with the three other winning entries in the Gallery of First Attempts in the Braid Museum, Ballymena to coincide with the Science Summer School Northern Ireland in November 2022.


For more information on Science Summer School visit:


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