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Leading energy giant Schlumberger open their doors to Year 5 students for Cambridge LaunchPad activity day

On the 14th May, 49 Year 5 students from King’s Hedges Primary School visited Schlumberger for an activity day with Cambridge LaunchPad.

After an introduction from Dr. Simon Bittleston, Vice President Research at Schlumberger, to give students an introduction to the nature and scale of their work in the oil and gas industry, the students took part in engineering and technology-related activities that ranged from observing and recording sound and seismic waves to racing liquids of different viscosity and even walking across a corn-starch pool! They also worked with robotics to automate a game of ‘whack-a-rat’. All of the activities helped the students to understand how Schlumberger works while also giving them a deeper understanding of some key scientific principles.

The students were very enthusiastic and engaged all day with many claiming it was “the best trip ever”! Using coding to programme the robots in the afternoon session had the children completely in enraptured, and they came away constantly re-telling their friends about the different things they had experienced.

Tom Hodgkiss, Year 5 teacher and Science Coordiantor at King’s Hedges Primary School, said:

“From the moment that the children met the staff from Cambridge Launchpad and Schlumberger, they were very excited at the prospect of getting to grips with some real scientific experiments and experiences. The day itself was brilliant – all of the activities were carefully planned out, extremely engaging and well supported with plenty of staff to help the children. Being able to handle the cornstarch, glycerin and other fluids was really good fun and a great opportunity for the children to work as scientists and get stuck in. Because it’s so hands-on and practical, they’ll remember it. And it’s so exciting that they will want to remember it. I think it’s the most hands-on and excited I’ve ever seen them on a school trip.”

The students that most impressed the volunteers with their teamwork, communication skills and progress throughout the activities, were selected to attend a surprise prize trip that will take place in the summer, alongside Year 4–6 students from other schools and colleges that are taking part in Cambridge LaunchPad.

This programme, which is managed by Form the Future CIC, aims to excite, educate, enthuse young people with STEM, and show that industries, such as engineering and technology, can be interesting and accessible. Schlumberger are one of four Founding Partners of the programme.

Anna Sadowska, Research Scientist at Schlumberger, said:

“It’s been the second time that we’ve hosted the enthusiastic and fantastically curious children for a day of fun science. We chose activities in the areas of Fluid Mechanics, Seismology, and Robotics to give the children a taste of the real science and engineering work we do in Schlumberger daily. We were absolutely thrilled to see the children not shy away from anything that we prepared and instead join in the educational tasks and stay engaged throughout the day. We all worked hard on preparing and running the activities but it was the children who were eager to participate and learn who made the day so successful and enjoyable for everyone.”

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