Aspirations Day at Co-op Academy Oakwood

One of our Research Fellows, Dr Bethany Levick, recently spoke about being a researcher at a local primary school.

Last Friday (8th November) I headed out to Oakwood Co-op Academy in Gipton, to take part in their first Aspirations Day.
The school had several speakers brought in by the Positive Footprints Network from a range of businesses in Leeds, and I was invited in to speak about working in academic research. The aim of the day was to show pupils in years 5 and 6 (ages 9-11) a wide range of careers, including some they might never had heard of.
Many of the students were dressed up for careers they aspired to. There were footballers, doctors, dancers and even a jockey! The school have posted some pictures of the costumes on their twitter feed.
Even though I’ve always been interested in science and health, I never really knew what being a researcher meant when I was in school. Meeting a researcher would have opened up a lot of new ideas to me. So I’m always excited to speak to younger people about my job now.
I explained to the students about how I’d started off with just an interest in science, later realising how much I enjoyed asking questions and finding out new things.
The groups had some great questions, from what things I find hard at work, to whether we still use animal testing! The school was focussing on building their resilience skills, which I said was an important skill in research. It’s also part of my job that I find rewarding, managing to solve a tough problem after working on it for a long time!
I had a great morning at Oakwood, and I hope the students and staff got as much out of my presentations as I did! The students were welcoming and had great questions.


Image credit: Cropped version of Keeler Oak Tree by Msact, English Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0