3M STEM Ambassadors have taken science on the road to deliver Visiting Wizards workshops to primary schools to inspire a love of science in the next generation.
Visiting Wizards is a programme of fun, interactive, classroom workshops that engage the pupils in hands-on activities to demonstrate a wide range of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) topics.
During British Science Week 2023, 3M teams from the Aycliffe, Bangor, Loughborough and Skelmersdale sites delivered a new workshop, The Crime Lab, to local schools. This introduces primary school pupils to forensic science, giving them the chance to understand the principles of observation and creative thinking and experiment with fingerprint analysis and DNA.
Alfred Holden, O2 (Optimised Operations) Manufacturing Technology engineer from Skelmersdale, coordinated the workshop at St Ann’s Church of England Primary School in Rainhill, Merseyside and was one of the STEM Ambassadors you ran the activities on the day.
He said: “The Crime Lab ran smoothly from start to finish and the pupils were completely engaged and seemed to really enjoy it! They particularly liked dressing up as forensic investigators and learning about Locard’s Exchange Principle – every contact leaves a trace – by exploring how glitter representing ‘evidence’ is easily spread from person to person when shaking hands."
A team of six O2 engineers from the Aycliffe plant delivered Crime Lab workshops to two classes at nearby Woodham Burn School.
Said Hashini Gunawardena: “The pupils were so excited throughout the whole event and it was something they were all interested in. Many said that they would like to be a scientist or forensic scientist when they’re older, so it was the perfect opportunity for them to learn about forensic science.”
3M has been a leading sponsor of British Science Week since 2016 and in 2022 became a Strategic Partner of the British Science Association (BSA), supporting not only the annual ten-day national celebration of STEM, but additional BSA programmes to reach different audiences. Both organisations share a common goal of achieving a future where science is more relevant, representative and connected to society.
The Visiting Wizards workshops were just one of the activities that 3Mers got involved in this British Science Week. Employees also delivered career talks to local schools, hosted site visits and ran STEM activities for students.
3M employees were also put in the spotlight in the 2023 Smashing Stereotypes campaign, continuing the collaborative work done by 3M and the British Science Association (BSA) to challenge misconceptions about who scientists are, what they look like, and what they do. The theme for this year’s campaign is ‘Connections’, demonstrating how important it is for career development.