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Nancy meets future scientists at our truly Great Science Share for Schools

25 Jun 2018

Our President tells event reaching 37,000 children from the UK to Korea her tale, which started with collecting bugs as a child…

Nancy Rothwell at the Great Science Share

Science is not always about having a great and exciting career – it’s about discovering the world and the excitement to be found in everyday life.

That was the message our President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Nancy Rothwell gave to 470 primary school children at our Great Science Share – and 37,000 others who watched the Live Stream across the world.

“When I was small, I collected bugs in small boxes and took them home – which my mother was not too happy about,” she recalled.

“I watched them, how they behaved. The most important thing about science is about finding things out, being curious. Even if you don’t become a scientist, you can think differently about everyday life – about how to do the gardening, trying out that new recipe – and all about the world around you.”

The Great Science Share for Schools, pioneered, and run by Dr Lynne Bianchi, Director of the University’s Science and Engineering Education Research and Innovation Hub (SEERIH), is a national campaign that aims to inspire young people from across the UK and overseas to share their science learning with new audiences.

This year 470 children from 40 primary schools across Greater Manchester demonstrated their own science investigations to each other here on campus. They were joined by TV scientists, our own Professor Danielle George, from the Faculty of Science and Engineering, and physicist Dr Margaret Aderin-Pocock, who attended as part of the BBC’s Terrific Scientific campaign, a partner for this year’s event.

Our Live Stream to schools and STEM organisations took in 31 satellite events and over 250 other school-based events from the UK to Jeju school in Korea. In total, an amazing 37,000 children took part.

Nancy, who spoke before Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor June Hitchen and three schoolchildren officially opened the event, said: “Today we are making history – breaking boundaries and solving problems… and most importantly we’re doing it together – teachers, pupils, parents, scientists, engineers, businesses and cultural organisations.

“Here in this room, and in your location, are our futures – the scientists and engineers who will take the lead in tackling the global challenges that face us all.  We firmly believe that investing in teachers and young people in the early years is key to our future prosperity and success. However, it’s possibly more important that science and engineering shine within our schools to enrich the learning experiences that each child has today – developing their habits of mind and unleashing their curiosity.

“I personally look forward to seeing how much further this campaign will grow and have impact in the years to come, with the support of all those who share this mission.”

More information

For more information, visit:

Great Science Share for Schools