The University of Hull is joining TV Star Maggie Philbin at the TeenTech Humber Festival in Hull tomorrow in a bid to inspire teenagers to take on careers in science and technology.
The festival, which is being held at KCOM Stadium tomorrow (Thursday, June 27), will give students the chance to take on a variety of challenges led by experts from industry and academia – including learning how to extract DNA.
The workshops are designed to ignite an interest in key science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects they might not have thought about before.
In the University of Hull challenge, school students will be given the opportunity to extract DNA from a strawberry by using regular household items, aiming to spark excitement and an early interest in science.
The experiment will be led by Sean Frost, lecturer in biomedical science at the University of Hull. He says: “DNA extraction sounds very complicated but I’m going to show local kids from all backgrounds science can be fun, creative, and actually quite simple.
“The future of science lies in the hands of our young people so it’s really important to capture their imagination at an early age and show them science is accessible! I’m very passionate about increasing diversity in science and see events, such as TeenTech, as an important step to doing just that.”
TeenTech was founded by TV and radio personality, Maggie Philbin, who will be at the festival to help inspire those taking part. She adds: “All children are innovative and curious, but they rarely associate those qualities with science and technology. The TeenTech festivals and awards challenge this perception and help them to take advantage of their skills and show them that some fantastic opportunities are within their reach.
“Every student who gets involved with TeenTech in the area is also invited to innovation sessions at the University of Hull. They get access to mentors and the facilities, which is hugely inspiring for the children, but they also get to see what an amazing place the University is and that raises aspirations.”
The programme will help students understand how the application of science, technology and engineering can be applied creatively to tackle personal, local and global problems, encourage them to develop an interest in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields and consider continuing their education at higher levels.
The TeenTech Humber Festival is supported by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP). The NCOP team for the Humber region is FORCE (Federation of Regional Colleges for Engagement), based at the University of Hull.
The FORCE Team have been working in schools across the Humber region since 2017, bringing impartial information, advice and funded activities to inspire students, parents and teachers to explore higher education.