Professor Brian Cox inspires future scientists and engineers at North Star Science School event

Over 600 South Yorkshire pupils were inspired by Britain’s leading physicist Professor Brian Cox at an exciting event organised by The Work-wise Foundation in partnership with Well North Enterprises, held at Gulliver’s Valley in Rotherham recently.

Professor Brian Cox CBE, Britain’s leading physicist and science communicator and Co-Founder of Science Summer School, said at the event: “Here in the UK we need significantly more scientists and engineers, we know that.

“And so, there are huge opportunities out there, but you may not know what those opportunities are. You may not have considered that you could be a biologist or an astronomer or a space craft engineer. There are hundreds, probably thousands of potential careers, futures that you could choose. The idea of the Summer School is to see if there is anything that people talk about today that interests you. Also, really importantly I think, it’s an opportunity for you to make connections with people in industry, people in universities, in colleges, apprenticeships; a whole range of things that you could possibly do.”  

The students were introduced to the wide range of careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STEAM) as there is a growing need for professionals in these industries.

This year the event saw 12 businesses, delivering workshops and inspiring speeches to develop awareness of STEAM subjects and employment opportunities for young people within the region.


From apprentices and graduates through to company directors, the pupils were given an insight into the world of working in STEAM industries, as well as the incredible career paths that brought the speakers to where they are today. These included:

  • Professor Brian Cox CBE, Professor of Particle Physics at the University of Manchester
  • Lord Andrew Mawson OBE, Chairman at Well North Enterprises
  • Alex Gardner, Managing Director at Smile Business Support
  • Dr Jodie Turner, Technical Lead at the AMRC Composite Centre
  • Robyn Elliott, Development Engineer at the AMRC Composite Centre
  • Eleanor Higgs, Development Planner at Harworth
  • Peter Droegmoeller, Director of Innovation at AMETEK Land
  • Ava Jones. Head of Marketing at AESSEAL PLC
  • Maisie Caudwell, Machinist Apprentice at AESSEAL PLC
  • Charlie-Amber Tattersall, Foundry Patternmaker at Weir Minerals
  • Rosie McQuillan, Machinist at Weir Minerals
  • Marie Cooper, Chief Executive Officer at CBE+
  • Katie Andrews, Marketing Executive at CBE+
  • Dr Simon Goodwill, Head of Sports Engineering at Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre
  • Daisy Mulingani, Assistant Geologist at Ibstock PLC
  • Emilia Wright, Process Improvement Engineering Apprentice at Ibstock PLC
  • Isabella Walsh, Manufacturing Management Trainee at Ibstock PLC

Some of the businesses also worked with local schools to co-create and deliver some of the workshops on the day:

  • AESSEAL PLC working in partnership with Wickersley School & Sports College
  • Barratt Developments PLC working in partnership with Brinsworth Academy
  • CBE+ working in partnership with Newfield Secondary School
  • Forged Solutions Group working in partnership with Don Valley Oasis Academy
  • Ibstock Plc working in partnership with Wales High School
  • UK Atomic Energy Authority working in partnership with Sheffield Park Academy

In addition, inspiring workshops were delivered by AMETEK Land, AMRC, Amazelab, Harworth, NHS, United Cast Bar and the Cast Metals Federation.

John Barber, CEO of the Work-wise Foundation, said: “North Star Science School is in its third year and this year we’ve had even more businesses and schools involved than ever.

“It was fascinating to hear from Professor Cox about the opportunities in science and technology as we aim to help shape young people’s career choices and give them the information and access to local, regional and global companies which could be beneficial to them in the future.”

The atmosphere was electric on the day, with students actively involved in a whole range of activities.  The Work-wise Foundation received comments back form students including “I think it’s really important that we get opportunities like this, especially for females” and “What we’ve seen today really interests me”.


Lord Mawson in his welcome to the students said: “Knowledge is power so absorb as much as you can.


“It may also help to spark your ideas about future career pathways. These are exciting but also critical times, as the UK strives to walk on the world stage (and reach into space), while facing some very big challenges here at home and globally. Our collective mission through the Science Summer School initiative is to help connect the career pipeline between young people and the myriad of training and work opportunities across education, health, business and within local communities.  We believe this is the best way to create an enthusiastic workforce equipped with the right skills to help drive the UK forward which, in turn, makes the UK a better place to live”.

Following the event, businesses, educators, parents and some of the students came together to celebrate the achievements of the North Star programme and provided their thoughts on how they can encourage more young people to take up a career in science, technology, engineering, arts and maths.

The North Star Science School, organised by The Work-wise Foundation, is part of the Science Summer School national initiative co-founded in 2012 by Professor Brian Cox CBE and Lord Andrew Mawson OBE, with the aim of making the UK the best place in the world to do science and engineering. It is presented in partnership with Well North Enterprises, a social enterprise business led by Lord Mawson.

North Star 2022 was made possible through support and funding provided by local businesses and authorities.  This year’s sponsors include: AESSEAL, AMETEK Land, AMRC, Barratt Developments PLC, CBE+, Forged Solutions Group, Gulliver’s Valley, Harworth Group, Ibstock Plc, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, Sheffield City Council, UK Atomic Energy Authority and United Cast Bar (in collaboration with Cast Metals Federation).

The North Star Science Event will return to South Yorkshire in 2023.

To find out more, see images from this year’s event and register for The North Star Science Event 2023, visit:

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