This December, The North Star Science School, broadcast live from Rotherham, will celebrate all things science in South Yorkshire as well the great minds who chart a course through innovation in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM). The event is led by Well Rotherham, a public health innovation initiative led by us at South Yorkshire Housing Association.

The event is part of the national Science Summer School initiative, co-founded by Professor Brian Cox CBE and Lord Andrew Mawson OBE.  The programme, which started life in 2012 in an East London secondary school, played a transformational role in helping a local community.

The St Paul’s Way Trust Science Summer School in East London is an annual event hosted by Professor Cox. It’s a practical demonstration through learning by doing to support his message that Britain urgently needs one million more scientists and engineers to flourish as a modern nation. He encourages young people to consider the many STEAM career options available and “to make Britain the best place to do science.”

Rotherham and South Yorkshire are now at the forefront of a Science Summer School national ‘roll-out’ supported by Well North Enterprises.  The programme will continue to expand in 2021 with new events in Skelmersdale and Northern Ireland.

“I cannot wait to host such an exciting event. They are vital to engaging young people with STEAM.”

Ruth Amos
Creator of StairSteady and co-founder of Kids Invent Stuff

The North Star Science School shares the collective ethos that talent is everywhere and will succeed if the right way is found to inspire and nurture it. There is no shortage of innovation and imagination in the three-day programme soon to engage with schools in South Yorkshire, mixing the best of the STEAM subjects through seminars, discussions and hands-on experiments.

In addition to a keynote presentation – ‘Space, Time and Black Holes’ – with Professor Cox, the programme is full of inspirational guests including Dr Suzanne Imber, winner of BBC Astronauts and Associate Professor in Space Physics at the University of Leicester; Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, Phill O’Dell, pilot of the Rolls-Royce zero-emission ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft; the team from luxury supercar maker McLaren Automotive; and so many more.

It’s no wonder more than 2,000 young people from across Sheffield and Rotherham have signed up to take part in the interactive programme along with partner schools in Skelmersdale and Northern Ireland will also be joining this experience.

Ruth Amos, creator of StairSteady and co-founder of Kids Invent Stuff, will be hosting the three-day event. She’ll be leading the 2,000-strong school audience through a thought-provoking afternoon with Professor Brian Cox, Lord Andrew Mawson, co-founder of the Science Summer School and Dr Rahul Mandal, Research Associate at the University of Sheffield Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) and winner of the 2018 Channel 4 Great British Bake Off.

“We’re all very excited for the upcoming event. It’s fantastic that with everything going on in the world, we can all come together – virtually of course – to celebrate South Yorkshire as the home of world class manufacturing, and work alongside each other to inspire our future generations to hopefully start a career in one of the STEAM subjects.”

Kris MacKay
Programme Manager at Well Rotherham

The second half of the event will include features from North Star’s partner schools – Wales High School, Wath Academy, Park Academy and Maltby Academy – about fusion energy, carbon fibre and eco-friendly buildings of the future with talks focusing on the science of baking, space observations and climate change. There will also be an insight from Leah Morgan, a graduate project engineer at the UK Atomic Energy Authority – who are opening a new research centre in Rotherham – about how she joined the quest for fusion energy, working on one of the world’s largest engineering and scientific projects.

Anne Griggs, Head of Business Development at the AMRC Training Centre will be doing a presentation alongside an apprentice talking about the great opportunities on our doorstep. There’s also a chance to hear from Julie Dalton, managing director of Gulliver’s Theme Parks and Resorts, who will talk about the engineering that was involved in the design of the new Gulliver’s Valley theme park.

“This area has a key role to play in our aim of making the UK the best place in the world to do science. From pioneering the next generation of electric aircraft to leading the development of fusion energy for the UK, this region has a key role to play in engineering a sustainable future.”

Professor Brian Cox CBE

Professor Brian Cox CBE added: “My thanks to South Yorkshire Housing Association, Rotherham Council and partners for bringing our Science Summer Schools initiative to the Sheffield City Region in 2020.

Home to the Advanced Manufacturing Park, this area has a key role to play in our aim of making the UK the best place in the world to do science. From pioneering the next generation of electric aircraft to leading the development of fusion energy for the UK, this region has a key role to play in engineering a sustainable future. We hope the initiative will inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers in the North of England and help them to realise their full potential.

This is our first event in Sheffield City Region and I’m really looking forward to joining the many young people, schools and businesses taking part.”