A weekend to remember – local pupils encouraged into science careers and university

CastleheadA weekend defined by changing weather, beautiful scenery and science –  Trinity School’s year 10 pupils are sure to remember their latest trip to FSC (Field Studies Council) Castlehead.

Throughout the weekend, pupils were given a chance to conduct their own field and lab experiments while hearing from and engaging with students, researchers and clinicians throughout The Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health.

Nestled adjacent to the University, Trinity High School is a diverse inner-city school full of motivated and aspirational pupils, however most lack the opportunity to visit the countryside. Previous trips have taken received great feedback from students and staff alike. This year’s trip to FSC Castlehead was the first trip to run since the recent pandemic. As a result, demand for the trip was high, and no wonder, backed by seaside and mountains, Castlehead is a stark contrast to urban Manchester.

Fifty pupils began Friday evening by splitting into small groups and interacting with University staff and students, allowing them to learn about working and studying at the University. Pupils were also invited to raise any of their own questions and concerns regarding university life and admission.

The evening was a huge success, one student commented that: “It was useful to get a deeper understanding of university as well as a chance to build your ideas on what you would like to do when you are older.”

On Saturday, students got stuck in with fieldwork. Undeterred by unpredictable weather, challenging terrain (and pesky wasps), pupils learnt techniques such as plant identification, pond dipping and soil monitoring. Later, students conducted lab work to support what they learnt in the field.

After an action-packed day, students then heard from Professor Dawn Edge, the University’s first black female professor. Dawn gave an inspirational and motivational talk about her career journey, offering her insight and advice to the pupils of Trinity. The talk was met with enthusiastic applause from the pupils, one pupil said: “I really enjoyed the talk from Dawn Edge, as it empowered me to pursue my passions even if I’m not completely sure as to what might happen in the future.”

Trips such as these are vital part of the University’s Social Responsibility goal to inspire the next generation of doctors, scientists and healthcare professionals.

Professor Mahesh Nirmalan, Vice Dean for Social Responsibility in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health,  took part in Friday’s networking event, said of the trip: “These contacts and interactions can be the turning point for many of these students to launch into professions and careers, they may have never considered as an option.”