London 12 March 2014
The British Science Association and URENCO have today announced the launch of a partnership to encourage young people to engage with the science and engineering principles behind nuclear power.
The collaboration was inspired by URENCO's "Richie" programme which is a core element of the company's school and education outreach. Richie is an animated character and acts as the ambassador of the programme. Through a series of instructor-led workshops in schools local to URENCO's enrichment facilities and offices in England, the Netherlands and the US, Richie connects with young audiences, teaching them about energy in an engaging and educational way, with the objective of nurturing an interest in science. 37,000 school children have participated in the workshops globally to date.
The partnership will see Richie's core tenets incorporated into the British Science Association's established, UK-wide CREST Star scheme, which enables primary school age children to solve science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) problems through practical investigation. It will involve the development of classroom activities based on energy and science topics covered in Richie workshops, such as the concept of separation. These materials will be used by schoolteachers to form the basis of exciting and engaging classroom activities.
A full rollout of the new materials as part of the CREST Star framework is scheduled for the start of the 2014/15 school year.
Jayne Hallett, Director of Corporate Communications at URENCO, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be partnering with the British Science Association. Richie is an award winning programme which received incredible feedback from both teachers and children alike. Our partnership with the British Science Association will enable us to provide a fun and exciting way to learn about science to a much wider group of children across the UK. Our vision for the programme is to encourage children to develop a keen interest in science and energy at an early age and to further inspire them to continue their studies through to graduate level and hopefully become nuclear scientists and engineers of the future.”
Imran Khan, Chief Executive of the British Science Association, added: “The British Science Association is very excited about the new partnership, which we feel will add an extra dimension to the CREST Star scheme. Nearly a quarter of a million school pupils have interacted with the scheme since its conception in 2007 – and we hope that the addition of these new energy-themed materials will help us expand the scheme even further. Schemes like CREST Star, and URENCO's "Richie‟ programme are vital for getting young people excited about science and engineering, so we're really pleased to be working together to achieve our aims.”