School children with plasma ball - image courtesy of Getty Images
Children in schools across the South West will be given an insight into the life of a world-leading researcher through a new initiative.
From now until July 2023, teachers will be able to arrange visits as part of the FUTURES Researchers in Schools programme.
Their pupils will then be able to discover how the research taking place at the University of Plymouth is impacting their daily lives.
They will also get the chance to see what kinds of activities a researcher undertakes, and what they do during a normal day, as well as learning how to become a researcher.
The FUTURES Researchers in Schools programme is an extension of an annual festival which aims to increase public engagement with research.
With the theme of Bridging Divides, the first year of this new initiative aims to share the University’s research with children who would not typically engage with festival events.
More than 20 schools in Devon and Cornwall have already signed up to receive a visit from researchers in disciplines ranging from microplastics to microbiology, music and mathematics.
Those visits will also answers questions such as what do plants need to grow, what did the dinosaurs really look like, how do waves make energy and how are robots made.
Grace Williams, Public Engagement Manager at the University of Plymouth, said:
"The world of research can be hugely exciting and varied. But it is often a career that many people don’t think about, so engaging young learners in real-world research activities is a great first step. Our hope is that they will see some of our world-leading research, and the people behind it, and be inspired to follow in their footsteps.”
FUTURES is a collaboration between Universities of Plymouth, Bath, Bristol, Exeter, and Bath Spa University and was launched in 2020 as part of European Researchers Night.
Funded by UK Research and Innovation, it aims to engage a wide range of people from the South West of England with research and innovation and showcase the region’s rich cultural heritage.
Getty image of school children, pupils, classroom, primary, UPPScale


30 September – 1 October
Explore the past, create the present and imagine the future.
FUTURES2022 brought research to life in new and exciting ways online and in-person, with events from storytelling to panel discussions, tours, talks, quizzes, broadcasts and more. People of all ages were invited to join researchers from the world-class Universities of Plymouth, Exeter, Bristol, Bath and Bath Spa University to explore topics such as history, health, marine, robotics and the arts.
FUTURES2022 fossil walk event