The pupils - from schools across the UK - won the opportunity to spend a day on board The Princess Royal after taking part in a national competition as part of a programme of initiatives to celebrate the University’s Year of Sustainability.
Challenged with solving some of the greatest problems currently facing the marine environment, the students were asked to put together a report or poster considering issues such as pollution and sustainability and suggesting ways of solving them.
The winners spent a day on the Tyne with experts from the University’s Dove Marine Laboratory, collecting samples and learning more about marine science and research.
Annie Cunningham, Marine Education Officer at Newcastle University who led the competition, explained: “The aim of the competition was to give budding marine scientists a unique insight into the profession and we were very impressed with the entries this year.
“It is vital that we engage young people because today’s problems are their futures - protecting and understanding the marine environment will be crucial if we are going to be able to take on these challenges.
“It was also an opportunity to show them what we have to offer here at Newcastle University – a world-leading institution in the heart of a thriving City of Science and Technology."
First place went to 14 year old William Henstock of Cardinal Langley RC High School in Middleton Rochdale, Manchester, for his report about the “Effects of Marine Pollution."
He said: “It was a great day. The experience has definitely influenced me to follow my chosen career in marine biology."
Second place was won by Lloyd Bradley, Fergus Chadwick, Luke Moir and Thomas Turnbull of St Leonard’s Catholic Sixth Form College, Durham; third and fourth place went to Rachel Jones and Jack Peacock and Charis Lofthouse and Nathan Sample of Prior Pursglove School in Guisborough.
Luke Moir said: “The day was amazing – the perfect combination of fun, learning science and good hard work.” Fergus Chadwick added: “The day was absolutely superb.”
Jack Peacock said: “I’m so glad we entered. I don’t know what I expected but it was so interesting.”
The University’s new research boat – which was designed by marine technology staff and students at Newcastle University – was officially named in September by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal.
Committed to solving some of the greatest challenges facing today’s society, Newcastle University is already recognised as a leader in sustainability research and the new boat will play a key role in furthering our understanding of the marine environment.
The competition is being run again this year and the call has just gone out for budding marine scientists of the future. For more details contact Annie.firstname.lastname@example.org or go to http://www.ncl.ac.uk/marine/learning/scienceweek/competition.htm
published on: 10th November 2011