06/02/2019

Heroes of Tomorrow Blog Post

My name is Roseanne and I was the STEM lead organising Heroes of Tomorrow 2019. What a fantastic event it was! Heroes of Tomorrow is an event aimed at inspiring and informing school children age 12 – 13 that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is fun, engaging and there really is something for everyone. Thanks to our sponsors Equinor we were able to provide a bigger than ever Heroes of Tomorrow event with a variety of STEM related workshops and an awe inspiring show presented by the London Science Museum.

The most amazing part of the Heroes of Tomorrow event was seeing 12 – 13 year olds loving STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). ‘This doesn’t feel like a school day’ is my favourite pupil quote from the day. Another comment was pure and simple: ‘Amazing!’ Hearing these kind of comments made all the organisation and background work (believe me, there was more than you think) worth it!

When I was at school, I wasn’t the most academic and unfortunately there wasn’t the same focus on promoting STEM as there is now. Events like Heroes of Tomorrow are invaluable in demonstrating how STEM can play out in real life careers and why we bother to learn things like trigonometry or simultaneous equations. I went to art school after leaving school which was a great experience but after a couple of years I left without a degree realising it wasn’t the right path for me to take. I had always loved science and was a proper wildlife geek but having only got a C in Higher Biology I thought it wasn’t an option for me to study science at University. But I really wanted to! So I decided that’s what I was going to do. I worked in a pub for a year and studied really hard in order to get the grades I needed. I managed to get an A in Higher Biology and a B in Chemistry and then I gained a place studying Zoology at the University of Aberdeen. After 4 fascinating brilliant years I gained a first class degree, followed by a Masters and PhD in Evolutionary Biology.

 With events like Heroes of Tomorrow, my hope is that young people can see the opportunities out there and be inspired to follow a career path that is right for them. Along with varied workshops and shows, Heroes of Tomorrow runs a career session at the end of the day with a varied selection of Industry Professionals. Some of these very successful people were straight A students but some of them failed all of their exams, one of them once got detention for having had too many detentions! Heroes of Tomorrow’s aim is to show our young people what is out there career wise, but also, if you fail, that’s ok! There are still opportunities and you can still be successful even if you do fail first time round.

So who are the Heroes of Tomorrow?

Science

The Heroes of Tomorrow are our young people. 85% of jobs which will exist in 2030 haven’t even been invented yet. With advances in STEM who knows where we will be but what is certain is that our young people will have a massive role to play.

Here are some of the highlights of Heroes of Tomorrow:

Pupils visited the engineering labs driving remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) in the ROV pool, created waves in a wave tunnel and operated robotic arms to move blocks of wood and Equinor volunteers provided an extremely gneiss workshop exploring how oil and gas are extracted from different geological strata.

 

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TechFest on board the Apollo 13 challenged pupils to embrace physics, using their problem solving skills and teamwork under time pressure to return astronauts safely back to earth with limited materials and there was further space exploration inside TechFest’s planetarium dome. CSI investigations were undertaken with Absafe figuring out who dunnit in a seemingly obvious car accident scenario.

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There were a variety of presentations from Banchory Academy speaking about their dehydration project to Industry Professionals in the spotlight answering some very relevant questions during our Career Panel e.g. “How will Brexit affect your job?”

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This year we had more than 350 attendees from 11 schools at our fifth Heroes of Tomorrow event. This was a record number of pupils attending but with almost 40 secondary schools across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire we can do better and we hope to accommodate more pupils in the future. For more information about Heroes of Tomorrow click here or if you want more information on TechFest events click here.

Feedback from both pupils and students:

‘Wow! This is great!” Student from Albyn School

 ‘Fantastic programme, don’t change what works’ Teacher from Banchory

‘Awesome’ Student from Kemnay Academy

 

 

 

 

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