Infinity Festival aims to boost teenage STEM interest

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Professor of particle physics Professor Brian Cox will headline the Infinity Festival, a science programme for secondary school students, to be held this September at West Lakes Academy in Cumbria.

The festival’s organisers, the React Foundation, are no strangers to the pages of DEVELOP3D, given its tireless work promoting engineering to help bolster the local economy, where engineering is a key employer, but attracting talent to the rural area is tough.

It’s hoped the festival will inspire more than 200 Cumbrian 13-14 year olds to consider studying science, technology, engineering and maths.

Professor Brian Cox will be the headline speaker for the event

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The festival programme will feature employment opportunities, training options and career paths. The evening reception, will include interviews with scientists and pupils by Prof Cox, engaging with parents to get them on board supporting pupils to aspire to a future with no limits.

Infinity festival is being hosted in partnership with the Science Summer School, an annual event held at St Paul’s Way Trust School in London.

Co-founder, Lord Andrew Mawson OBE, said: “In July 2016 we were thrilled to host a group of young people from West Cumbria at the Science Summer School. We were so inspired by the levels of enthusiasm that it was decided to hold a similar event in Cumbria.”

“The event in London has been running successfully for five years and our research has shown that the event has not only built confidence but has enabled 50% of pupils, many on free school meals, to gain places at Russell Group Universities. In addition, around 50 per cent have gone on to study STEM subjects.”

The University of Cumbria is supporting the event, while also showcasing its new £3.5m STEM labs, opened last autumn to respond to a national shortage of graduates with specific science.

New degree and higher-level courses in science, technology, engineering and maths are being created, many for the first time in the remote county.

Contact the React Foundation for more information on the event.