Primary Health Sciences (PHS) supported by Queen’s University Belfast and the Wellcome Trust, is a programme which aims for scientists from the universities and industry to help develop primary teachers’ and pupils’ interest and appreciation of the biological sciences and link their application to everyday life. The scientists act as inspiring role models, and help the pupils identify potential careers in the sciences.

Dr Lisa Connolly (Institute for Global Food Security) is a key participant in the PHS programme, visiting primary schools, talking to pupils and introducing them to science. Being keen to nurture pupils’ interest in the sciences, Lisa developed an associated conference whereby the primary school pupils could experience the science environment at University. The Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) conference aims to give valuable insight to pupils who may hold negative misconceptions about university life or consider university out of their reach. It also allows the student to meet and converse with “real life scientists” demonstrating the importance of scientific research and its relevance to everyday life.

The QUB event, held for the second time on Thursday 19 May 2016, proved to be an overwhelming success. Pupils were invited to present their PHS project within a lecture theatre environment, in front of an invited audience of scientists, industrialists, policy makers, parents and teachers. Excellent presentations were confidently given by the pupils, supported by their teachers who had also put tremendous effort into making science education an innovative and fun experience. The pupils were also given tours of the Institute laboratories by research staff and students where they experienced fun but very practical demonstrations of some research behind the food we eat.

We look forward to the third Primary Health Sciences conference at QUB will be held on Tuesday 23rd May 2017. Below is a short video of the Primary Life Sciences QUB event 2015