Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Nuclear graduates promote science in local schools

12 February, 2016

Graduates from the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) have been visiting secondary schools to encourage young people to consider careers in science and engineering.

The ‘nucleargraduates,’ based at the ONR office in Bootle, are employed through a national scheme to attract engineers, scientists, managers and financial experts into the UK nuclear sector.

As part of the accredited programme, the graduates become ‘STEM’ ambassadors – promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics to the next generation of local students.

In recent days they have visited Maricourt Catholic High School in Maghull, staging activities and careers sessions with students aged 14 and 15. They have also set up a 6-week after-school club with Y7/8 students at Hillside High School in Bootle, exploring a different theme each week.

Adriènne Kelbie, Chief Executive of ONR, said: “We have welcomed 14 nuclear graduates in the last two years who help bring fresh vibrancy and enthusiasm to our organisation and the broader nuclear sector.

“An important part of their role is to pass on their knowledge and enthusiasm to the next generation through a corporate social responsibility programme that sits at the heart of the nucleargraduates programme.

“This work reinforces a national drive to encourage participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics while helping build the skills competencies needed in the UK’s nuclear sector.”

Nucleargraduate, Rachel Curtis, added: “As part of the nucleargraduates programme, we dedicate ten per cent of our time to ‘Footprints’ activities. Part of this Footprints work is becoming a STEM Ambassador and working with local schools to encourage students to consider STEM careers.

“It’s a great way to engage the next generation of scientists and engineers, and to allow them to find out more about a range of career paths that they might not have previously thought of.”

Victoria Stephenson, from Maricourt Catholic High School, said: “We always aim to show ‘how science works’ – not just learning theory but understanding the practical side of science and its relation to the world in which we live.

“The sessions with the nuclear graduates showed great examples of science and engineering in everyday life, and it was clear that our students really engaged with fellow young people who showed such enthusiasm for science and their future careers.”

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