Forensic science and fingerprint patterns were two of the topics put under the microscope by students from a city school when they spent the day on board a converted bus.
The vehicle, which was brought to The Bemrose School, in Uttoxeter Road, by the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Collaborative Outreach Programme (DANCOP), is cleverly laid out like a two-storey classroom.
The purpose of the visit to the school was to encourage students to engage with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and consider how those subjects might apply to the real world or lead them into higher education.
A group of 25 pupils were taught in three groups by a STEM team who go on the road delivering workshops across the region where progression to higher education is low or attainment is lower than expected.
As well as forensic science, the children were given an escape room-style challenge to solve and maths problems which taught them about mortgages and interest rates.
Pupil Chloe Dawson, 13, said: “I have learned that there are at least seven different types of fingerprint patterns and that forensic scientist’s use DNA and fingerprints to trace people’s identities at crime scenes.
“Science really interests me, so I am pleased to have been chosen to come on the STEM bus. It’s really hard to find the door, but like the Tardis when you get inside.”
Fourteen-year-old Anas Ibrahim said: “Coming on the STEM bus is a lot more fun than just sitting in a classroom all day. We’ve been answering lots of maths questions, but they are to help solve a crime so it makes it a lot more interesting.”
The Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Collaborative Outreach Programme is a collaborative network of universities and colleges offering outreach activities to schools and colleges in the area.
Its work focuses on specific area where they have the opportunity to inspire and inform about higher education and the opportunities it brings.
Claire Pavitt, careers guidance and work experience lead, said: “The 25 children picked for this project have all been identified as students who will benefit greatly from STEM activities, with the aim to support their aspirations.
“The staff who came here today from DANCOP have been really inventive and creative – teaching basic skills but in an innovative and engaging way.
“I think everyone who took part is now able to see how subjects like science and maths are used in the real world and that understanding really helps children to see the value in their education.”
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