Local school pupils experiment with science at Leeds Beckett
On Wednesday 23 March, young people from eight schools visited Leeds Beckett to take part in a series of ten science-based activities, each taking 15 minutes. The activities represented the broad spectrum of scientific, technological and engineering-related degree courses available at Leeds Beckett, including introductions to: genetics, germs, noise measurement, lock mechanisms, drones, 3D printing and music technology.
Emlyn Butterfield, Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing, Creative Technology and Engineering at Leeds Beckett, led a session on computer forensics and security. He explained: “Student volunteers from across our BSc (Hons) Computer Forensics and BSc (Hons) Computer Forensics and Security courses ran a hands-on workshop that looked to strip back the world of computer security from the technical: linking the basics of old-style lock mechanisms with the principles of modern computer security.
“The pupils worked through a series of lock function exercises, looking at how their security could be bypassed. The overarching theme was to get them to develop an understanding that security is more than just a password or single mechanism, but relies on a complete secure system.”
Helen Bradley, Work Experience Advisor at Belle Vue Girls’ School in Leeds, said: “For our girls, the science circus event is about getting them to consider things that they might never have considered doing. One of our pupils might do something at the University that might then inspire her. I’ve seen this over the years where pupils have come on an event like this and that’s made them decide what they want to do and where they want to go. Our pupils might not have considered previously that all of the varied subjects at the event were sciences, or might not have even known that they existed. They’re getting involved – it’s so interactive - and hopefully what they’ve done is going to link in with their studies and they’ll have a head start in the future.”
Yvonne Rayner, Widening Participation Projects Officer at Leeds Beckett, explained: "We have been running the Science Circus each year since 2012 and it is has consistently proved very popular and opened minds to the possibility of further study. We aim to offer a flavour of the exciting content of some of our science and technology-based courses through activities which are fun, interactive and informative."
The full list of schools taking part in the day was: Lawnswood School, The Cooperative Academy, Horsforth School, Carlton Bolling College, Belle Vue Girls’ School, Roundhay School, Sowerby Bridge High School and Allerton High School.