- 15:00 - 03/11/2021 to 16:00 - 30/04/2022
After school clubs for three schools in North Devon.
We will use the RCPath Disease Detectives pack to run unique after school clubs to teach year 6 pupils (10-11 years old) about pathology at three local schools in our relatively remote and deprived area of Barnstaple in North Devon. The clubs will be four weeks long, each session being one hour long. There will be spaces for 20 children per club, potentially reaching 60 local children. The club will teach children about pathology (for example, roles of laboratory staff, diseases, health, how diseases are transmitted, diagnosed and treated) with hands-on activities, games and experiments.
We have four aims/objectives:
1) We are passionate about changing the public’s perceptions of what goes on in pathology, as we have lived experience of the misconceptions people have of the work we do. The clubs will educate youngsters about pathology and inspire them to share their knowledge with peers and family.
2) The club will also make science fun, accessible, inspirational to children in our relatively cut off area of Barnstaple. Hands-on science at an early age is important to help children understand the natural world around them, as well as nurture their natural sense of adventure and curiosity. This is particularly valuable in this region of the UK where our local communities are in deprived areas, with Barnstaple Central Town being in the most deprived 10% of England (https://www.devon.gov.uk/factsandfigures/social-issues-anddeprivation/deprivation/). With this in mind, the club will be free to the schools and either free or very cheap to the families taking part.
3) The club will be another step towards addressing the UK's STEM skills gap. The UK is suffering a STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills gap, with a current shortfall of 173,000 skilled workers (https://www.stem.org.uk/news-and-views/news/skillsshortage-costing-stem-sector-15bn). The sooner children can experience science as a fun and exciting topic, the more chance we have that they will secure a lifelong love for science.
4) Pathology staff can improve their public engagement skills and use the activities and format to deliver their own pathology outreach activities at North Devon District Hospital and for their pathology open days.