More than 100 primary five pupils from an Edinburgh school have been immersing themselves with light and sound through a series of experiments with engineers and researchers from Heriot-Watt University.
Pupils from Bruntsfield Primary School participated in a day-long event with 12 researchers from Heriot-Watt's Microwave and Antenna Engineering Group, which is based in the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences.
The science day, called ‘Waves: Light and Sound,' allowed the 9 and 10-year-olds to take part in a series of 25 practical and applied engineering experiments including how to make their own speaker and wireless power transmissions for battery charging.
Dr. Carolina Mateo-Segura, assistant professor at Heriot-Watt University and one of the organisers of the event, said, “It is essential that, from a very early age, children have exposure to engineering and science to raise their aspirations and scientific literacy.
Children need to see that this career is accessible for everyone, regardless of background or gender. We should all join forces to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.
“One of the highlights of the event was the reaction and excitement of the children who participated actively and engaged in all the activities. We have invited the pupils to visit the Heriot-Watt University Campus in Edinburgh in August and are looking forward to sharing more of our research with them during this visit.”
Georgina (10) a primary five pupil from Bruntsfield Primary School, said: “The Science day was really exciting because we learned about things we haven't done before like how sound travels, how light travels and how magnets work.”
Max (9) said: “It was a good chance to get to learn something that you don't get taught in school normally because of all the equipment they had.”
Ms Carol Kyle, Headteacher of Bruntsfield Primary School, said: “This has been a wonderful opportuntiy to work in partnership with the university. The researchers designed experiments, with our staff, to complement our curriculum. Having the PhD students work with our children was both inspiring and engaging. It certainly challenged their thinking! I look forward to continuing this partnership.”
The ‘Science Day' was led by Dr. Carolina Mateo-Segura and Prof. George Goussetis from Heriot-Watt University as part of EC-funded Marie-Curie projects.
It is the first in a series of events that will bring research from the Microwave and Antenna Engineering Group to life among local children as well as stimulating an interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematical) subjects.