The Institute of Education (IOE) this week held an interactive event to help schools give pupils good advice on the range of opportunities in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.

In two interactive workshops, 12 to 14-year-olds programmed electronic devices from dishwashers to drones, phones to satellites, before investigating how water gets from a source to an outlet – and how it is cleaned and conserved.

Sheila Curtis, director of the IOE’s STEM Education Centre, said: “We need to actively encourage young people by showing them that well qualified STEM graduates and apprentices can find exciting career opportunities in a huge range of industries.”

Dr Peta Foster, an experimental scientist at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxford, told the students about her work with lasers for cancer therapy and for ultra-fast optical switches.

The event ended with a speed discussion with industry experts so the pupils could find out about possible roles if they decide to study STEM subjects in the future.

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