After the end of a long term, teachers across the country rolled up their sleeves for an extra-curricular course in plastics.
The Polymer Study Tours, which are organised under the aegis of the Worshipful Company of Horners and supported by the IOM3 and BPF, saw three courses take place in early July at the Universities of Manchester, London Metropolitan and Edinburgh Napier.
The tours, which are designed for science and technology teachers, aim to help solve the skills shortage at source, by giving both practical knowledge and insight into the modern plastics industry for integration into classrooms.
During the Manchester course this year, the teachers benefitted from site visits, including one to BPI Films in Bromborough, as well as participating in polymer workshops which saw them trying processing and testing first hand in the University’s materials labs.
“A textbook can only tell you so much,” one teacher told BP&R during the course. “It’s fascinating to be able to put what you teach into context by seeing it in a real-world situation.”
Over the previous 25 years, more than 3000 teachers have taken advantage of the opportunity to attend the course, which, thanks to the sponsorship of companies and industry bodies, is free to all participants.
“I have taken lots of photographs to take back to the classroom and show my pupils. These sorts of resources are invaluable when you are explaining to children how plastic products are produced – and that they are produced in the UK,” commented another teacher.
For information about the courses in 2015, as well as how to sponsor a teacher or encourage your local school to participate, visit the website: www.polymer-teaching-resources.com