Slough Schools Train Young Scientists
by Ron Lewin
In 1980 secondary education was fundamentally reformed in this country and schools in Slough were at the centre of this revolution. This was the introduction of the Revised National Curriculum, with two new subjects significantly increasing the links with Industry and the real world.
They were Science, and a new subject called Design and Technology. New motivating ways were developed to bring these subjects into the classroom. In this area of the country the Fulmer Research Institute at Stoke Poges started a project with primary and secondary schools to attract young people into Science and Technology. This also involved the BBC schools programmes such as the TV Egg Race to raise awareness of links between school and designing and making things.
To put these ideas into action required scientists and engineers to work closer with staff and pupils. Senior members of large companies made staff available to learn about teaching and senior members from schools became involved in School-Industry Projects. In the Slough area large companies like ICI Paints invited Secondary and top Primary schools to take part in a National Science Competition. They also provided facilities and staff, chose projects linked to their products, hosted the event and one of the Company Directors gave the Prizes. The icing on the cake was when the famous Dulux dog joined in the fun.
It was our pleasure to work closely with ICI Paints to design and deliver a new Project for local schools every year. All schools were invited and during the year scientists from ICI Paints worked in schools on projects chosen by the young people. The six top schools were invited to send a team of six pupils to take part in a major project on the Finals Day at ICI Paints, when the Dulux dog was involved with the prize-giving. Each member of the winning team was presented with a Dulux puppy – not a live one of course.
The pictures below show young contestants bringing their skills together with an adviser to each Team.
Many of these young people when leaving school will have studied science and engineering and joined top manufacturing companies in our area.
The Industry-Education initiatives in Slough have had a significant contribution to the prosperity of all of us.
The future of this country is with the young, we wish them well!
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