SUPI Celebration Event

On 1st December researchers from Queen’s University and schools from the local area came together to celebrate the success of the School- University Partnerships Initiative (SUPI). Funded by Research Councils UK, the SUPI programme has been delivered by Queen’s University researchers for the past four years in partnership with Area Learning Communities across Northern Ireland.

During the event, Professor Tom Millar, the Principal Investigator for SUPI at Queen’s reviewed the success of the project over the past four years. Speakers also included Dr Maeliosa McCrudden from the School of Pharmacy at Queen’s, and Jackson Frew from Magherafelt Learning Partnership who shared their experiences of participating in the project from a research and a school perspective respectively.

Young people from schools in the Magherafelt Learning Partnership (Rainey Endowed School; Magherafelt High School; St. Mary’s Grammar School; St. Pius X College) and Ards and North Down Area Learning Community (Bangor Academy & Sixth Form College; St. Columbanus College) were given the opportunity to visit the exhibition space where many Queen’s Schools involved in SUPI had set up stands demonstrating their research. Amongst the many exciting things on display were the Formula Student car from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, robots and a virtual reality game from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and interactive demonstrations from the Sonic Arts Research Centre, School of Pharmacy, and Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology. As part of the Societies in Motion project delivered jointly by researchers from Drama, Law and Sociology, David Grant also delivered an interactive session which challenged the young people to think about Human Rights.

Over the past few months several poster competitions were launched which invited pupils from participating schools to present their ideas on topics such as technology and communication, human rights, and pharmaceutical drug development. Professor David Jones, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education was on hand to present the winners of the various competitions with their prizes and certificates.

Professor Margaret Topping, Dean of the Graduate School, thanked all of the PhD students and early career researchers who have been involved in delivering the project, and highlighted the importance of engaging young people with research. Finally, Professor Tom Millar closed the proceedings by announcing that the project will be extended for a further 18 months, meaning that many more young people will have the opportunity to engage in research.