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2022 / 2023 Edition

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STEM Festival finale held at Barrasford Quarry

Barrasford Quarry

Tarmac host interactive day for pupils as final part of Northumberland National Park STEM Festival

PUPILS from Bellingham Middle School and Dr Thomlinson Middle School recently attended an action-packed STEM event at Tarmac’s Barrasford Quarry, near Hexham, which brought Northumberland National Park’s first six-week STEM Festival to a close.

Almost 80 year-eight students were involved in four sessions covering careers, geology, technology, and land management, with the day ending with a planned detonation, all in the name of STEM.

Rachel Baron, learning officer at Northumberland National Park Authority, said: ‘We’re incredibly proud of how our first STEM Festival has been received by the public and by schools, and we’re grateful to the team at Tarmac for organizing such a fantastic STEM day for the pupils to bring the festival to a close.

‘We’ve seen an increase in demand for outdoor learning from school communities following the disruptive period of uncertainty and the impact of COVID-19, which is why using creative ways, via Northumberland National Park’s Learning Programme, such as this quarry visit, to engage and get pupils involved with learning, is so important and impactful.

‘Science and technology, engineering, and mathematics are at the heart of everything the National Park stands for and aims to achieve, and through the STEM Festival’s activities and events, we hope everyone involved now understands more about the National Park and its purpose to help protect, conserve, and enhance the landscape for the future.’

John Riley, regional operations director at Tarmac, said: ‘As a sponsor of The STEM Festival at The Sill, we were delighted to welcome Bellingham Middle School and Dr Thomlinson Middle School to Barrasford Quarry as part of the festival.

‘The team at the site enjoyed showing the pupils around the operation and letting them experience first-hand how important STEM is when it comes to running a quarry.’

Barrasford quarry manager Dan Carr added: ‘This was a truly great event and a brilliant opportunity for us to showcase our business and how we operate the quarry in a sustainable way.

‘We put a great deal of effort into planning and delivering the day, so to see the interaction between our presenters and the children was really rewarding. We hope we can build on these foundations and support the STEM Festival in the future.’

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