Scientists in Schools Symposium

More young people than ever are entering university, but few are opting for science, leading to a shortage of STEM graduates.

Wouldn’t it be great to get leading scientists in front of pupils so they can share their stories of how science helped them shape their careers? A pipe dream? It doesn’t have to be.

OIBC is mounting a programme to enthuse more pre-A level students – especially from the state sector – into science, by bringing science and industry leaders into schools for discussion and debate.

We develop bespoke programmes for schools drawing on the finest minds in the scientific community.

The events bring those working at the cutting edge of their field into the classroom to engage directly with children.

According to the school’s requirements we can organise a 1/2 day (with 2 talks) or full day (with 3 talks) events. The format of the day involves the pupils listening to a scientist talk on a particular topic. Each talk is approximately 30 minutes long. The pupils then break into smaller groups (10-15 students) to discuss the talk and come up with questions they would like to ask the scientist. The whole group returns to a Q&A session with the scientist. The format is repeated with another scientist. We can also include a general debate at the end.
We encourage the hosting school to invite neighbouring schools to participate in the day and to mix the students from different schools in breakout groups. We also suggest inviting members of local WI and U3A – their participation ensures intergenerational contacts and provides representation of a different perspective during the general debate.

The number of students participating depends on the school’s facilities and throughout the years the audience size varied from 50 to 180.

The programme is aimed at two age groups: Years 9-11 (ages 14-16) and Years 12-13 (ages 17-18).

The key objective of this programme is to enthuse more young people to connect with science and to encourage them to pursue careers in this field.

Previous topics include:

The human brain

Music and the brain

The brain and memory

What makes us human?

New body parts for old: stem cells and regenerative medicine

The mysterious human heart: genes, environment, therapy

Infertility: treatment, science, ethics

Access, not excess: novel ways to nourish the world

Alternative energy: health and the environment

Powering the future: alternative energy – harvesting the forces of nature

Cancer: causes and treatment

Ecology: adaptations to extreme environments

Viruses: the invisible enemy

Particle physics and stellar astrophysics

Modifying organisms: from plants to humans

Is there a plan-et B?

Fusion and radioactivity

Hidden from view – Science at cellular level

Aerodynamics and rocket engines

Drugs and diseases

Harnessing the power of the immune system for the development of new medicines


Other topics can be suggested by schools and we will do our best to organise them.


OIBC is a not for profit organisation and we are very grateful for any contributions to help cover the costs of mounting these events.

For further details please contact Kasia Lewis: