News / Sixth-formers try out hi-tech gear at University science day

It was all smiles as Lancashire sixth-formers attended a special Computer Science workshop at Lancaster University, where they got to meet research scientists and experiment with innovative technologies.

The event at the University’s Infolab21, the home of the School of Computing and Communications, was part of an annual STEM taster day, promoting opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

The young scientists of the future included sixth-formers from across Lancashire alongside others that travelled up from the South East. The students learned about prospects in the technology education fields, and interacted with cutting-edge equipment being developed by one of the University’s digital health teams.

The sessions were organised by researchers from the University’s AffecTech project that contributes cutting-edge research into wearable systems for emotional wellbeing.

Lancaster University AffecTech researcher Chengcheng Qu explained: “It was great to see the students so actively involved in the sessions. Working with wearables technologies proved to be a fun and engaging process.

“We hope to see many of these capable students taking up the opportunities that are available in STEM education, which can in turn develop into rewarding careers in a variety of sectors, including health and wellbeing.”

The interactive sessions saw the students being guided to design their own wearables technology displays for representing emotional changes, using temperature-sensitive ‘thermochromic’ materials. The youngsters chose a target emotion from various options and used different thermochromic paints, fabrics and papers to craft their unique wearable object. The students produced wonderful displays including badges and wristbands.

Each year sixth-form students are invited to find out more about life studying STEM subjects at the University, touring the facilities and trying out hands-on science activities with students and staff.

Over 200 students attended the STEM day this year from a variety of colleges around the country, including Hutton CofE Grammar School, Preston; Runshaw College, Leyland; Blackpool Sixth Form College; Thomas Whitham Sixth Form College, Burnley; Wigan and Leigh College; and Twyford CofE High School in London.

If you know a school or college that would like to get involved please email and we’ll pass your details onto their outreach team. 

Sixth-formers try out hi-tech gear at University science day