IPSEN Biopharma make impact across Mid Wales 

Ipsen Biopharm is a major French Pharmaceutical company. The Wales site is based at Wrexham and we are privileged to have 6 STEM Ambassadors active on site. The company manufactures pharmaceutical products including treatments for prostate cancer, muscles spasms and growth failure among children. 

From left to right:
Kevin Owen, teacher Dave Bass, Angela White, Stephen Keel, Nicola George, Marsha Evans.
The strategic location for this team of Ambassadors was successfully realized when Dave Bass, Head of Biology at Welshpool High contacted me with a speculative request for a session on ‘Applications of Biology in the Workplace’.
Ipsen Ambassadors had already attended a careers event, but this session required a workshop developed to make the session interactive and engaging for Yr 10 pupils. The success was realized by helpful discussion with Dave and the Ipsen team led by Kevin Owen.  

The session included: Teacher Dave Bass  shown here  dressed up in the PPE equipment for manufacturing  pharmaceuticals
  • A talk from Ipsen on life as a professional Biologist specialising in Microbiology
  • 3 Pupils were ‘gowned up’ to simulate working in a sterile environment
  • A CSI type challenge for all pupil teams - using microbiology clues to investigate the effects of microbial contamination on people and products
The session is an example of collaborative support and planning:  STEM Ambassador coordination in sourcing the expertise, Ambassadors trained at the induction; excellent discussion and planning with the teacher and the dedication of teacher and Ambassadors to deliver a session tailored to the teacher’s aims. 
“To say that it was a brilliant session would be an understatement! We were bowled over by the welcome and by the interaction with the pupils. It’s thrown a whole new level of respect for the hard work that teachers put in” Kevin Owen
Massive thanks to Kevin and his team for the STEM activity…. Year 10s found it very enjoyable … several of them have commented “it has made them think differently about science careers.”  The enthusiasm displayed by all the group from Ipsen was infectious and the activity was so well planned and resourced that I could not believe it was their first trip out to a classroom”  Dave Bass Head of Biology Welshpool

Bryntirion School Primary Feeder Primary Day

Each year Bryntirion School hosts their feeder Primary Schools introducing pupils to the school through a variety of round robin practical activities. STEM Ambassadors deliver the Science and Engineering workshops Each session is 30 minutes, this year the ‘STEM’ activities included: STEM Ambassadors Linda Whittaker from Tenovus with a game on genetics and cancer research, Jon Laver with demonstrations on Electronics and Sian Ashton with a session on Diabetes and testing mock urine samples for glucose. Teachers were very enthused by the impact of the science modules on the pupils – many pupils keen to develop their interest in practical science when attaining secondary school
6 Sessions were delivered to 250 Year 6 pupils, pictured are Trelales School at the Diabetes testing session and Tenovus at their Healthy Cell workshop.
Teacher comments were glowing: “Year 6 enjoyed a science taster day as part of their transition to comprehensive school.”
“I would just like to thank everyone who took part yesterday. It was a big success and we’ve had a lot of positive verbal feedback.
Without your kindness, giving up your own time, none of this would have been possible.” Helen Workman Science Coordinator Bryntirion School
 “I had a great time with pupils @BryntirionComp Science Taster Day - talking about keeping our cells healthy” STEM Ambassador Lisa Whittaker
Bloodhound SSC Experience comes to Willowtown Community Primary School   
STEM and Bloodhound SSC Ambassador Allan Reid accepted an invitation to spend a day at the school in Ebbw Vale, South Wales on the 9th February 2017 to talk and work with the children to understand this remarkable, challenging and innovative project who’s objective is to design and construct a car capable of setting a new world land speed record of more than 1000mph
The day was split into two parts, the morning session started with the introduction to the Bloodhound SSC adventure which explored the history of the world land speed records over the last century
During the talk Allan explained Bloodhound SSC’s educational ambition is to encourage children of their age to consider a later career in one of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines’.

When Year 5 were asked what they would like to do after they leave school, surprisingly many of the children indicated they had already a keen interest in taking up a career in a number of STEM fields. Allan went on to present details of how the design of the car evolved, its physical makeup and construction and how and where the land speed record attempts will be undertaken.

Children were given the opportunity for some “hands on” modelling experience to build model cars of their own. Year 5 was separated into teams of 2 or 3 with some undertaking a “Balloon Car” challenge made up from cardboard cut out sheets of the Bloodhound SSC together with other component parts in their packs provided.
The remaining groups were given more challenging tasks to design and build cars constructed from K’nex kits.

All the children really enjoyed making the Balloon cars and the models made from the K’Nex kits. It was noted by a member of staff that the wonderful thing about this age group is that they are easy to inspire and motivate them to get the full benefit of this unique and enjoyable learning experience.  During their initial research into “What’s the Limit” and prior to this visit of the Ambassador, members of staff constructed a display of the Bloodhound SSC on the wall of the main corridor leading to their class. This display would later be enhanced with all the photographs of the children taken during the day as a lasting memory of what the children accomplished during term.  
STEM Ambassador Allan Reid