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Invasion of the Mini Killers

22 October 2010

Terri Montgomery and Rebecca Rankin of Bush Valley PS with Professor James Dooley at the Step-Up event

THE STEP-UP ‘Engaging Young Minds’ programme of activities for 2010/2011 began this week with an interactive lecture entitled ‘ Invasion of the Mini Killers’ delivered by Professor James Dooley from Ulster's School of Biomedical Sciences at Coleraine.

Throughout this week almost 1,500 primary school pupils at venues in Londonderry, Coleraine and Belfast will be taken on a fascinating journey through the world of microscopic organisms as Professor James Dooley outlines the good, the bad and the ugly side of bacteria and how they can cause disease and illness.

Dr. Damian O'Kane, Head of Access and Educational Partnerships said: “This innovative programme encourages primary school pupils to engage meaningfully in STEM related subjects and to develop career paths in these critically important areas. We have expanded our provision this year to include many more primary schools from social and economic disadvantage.”

The programme of activities including lectures and competitions will be delivered throughout the coming year on all campuses of the University of Ulster. Pupils will be given the opportunity to showcase their many talents including becoming real life Crime Scene Investigators and Mini Chefs.

The ‘Engaging Young Minds’ programme was launched in October 2009 to encourage primary school students to become involved with STEM related subjects. To date more than 8,500 pupils from over 40 primary schools from Londonderry and Greater Belfast have taken part in the activities. An additional 47 schools have been invited to participate in the activities this year.

The programme is supported by the Department for Employment and Learning, The Honourable The Irish Society and the University of Ulster’s Access Agreement.