A NEW initiative has been launched between Manufacturing NI and the Irish News which will offer schools across the north the opportunity to win an exciting visitor experience at W5 when it reopens later this year after undergoing a £4.5 million refurbishment, enhancing its position as a truly world class, innovative and immersive science and discovery centre.
Two classes - one primary school and one post-primary - will have the chance to take part in the eight new themed exhibition areas and experiences and engage with STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) in a fun and interactive way.
The initiative, launched as part of Manufacturing Month, is aimed at encouraging young people to build their skills in STEM subjects and to consider a career in manufacturing.
Mary Meehan, deputy chief executive of Manufacturing NI, said: “We are thrilled to sponsor and support this school initiative with the Irish News and W5.
“With so many exciting and rewarding careers in manufacturing for everyone, both male and female, it is vital we continue to inspire kids at an early age to consider these opportunities on their doorstep.
“The future of work will be very different from that of today, so working with companies such as W5 to build skills in STEM, problem solving, critical and analytical thinking is a hugely positive step forward.”
Scott Howes, public engagement & education manager at W5, said: “Our transformational £4.5m investment programme at W5, to create eight new themed exhibition areas and experiences opening later this year, is well under way.
“The new themed exhibition areas will provide both an immersive and memorable experience, where visitors can become fully absorbed and engaged with science, technology, engineering and maths in a fun and interactive way.
“We have also developed a new approach to visitor engagement, creating dynamic content with exciting science shows, curriculum linked school workshops and outreach activities, presenting information in original and unusual ways.
“This is a really exciting time for us, and we look forward to welcoming the winning schools to the new and redefined W5.”
From today until March 31, schools can collect daily tokens in the Irish News towards the W5 experience, and submit their entries until April 21.
The prize for each of the winning schools includes entry for 30 students and bus transport.
Irish News marketing manager John Brolly said: “School children are acutely interested in the world around them and the different careers that they have ahead of them.
“Exploring the new re-imagined W5 when it re-opens will be a fantastic chance for any school to experience the exciting world of STEM and how it fits into their lives.”
(From left) Scott Howes, public engagement & education manager at W5, Manufacturing NI deputy chief executive Mary Meehan and IrishNews marketing manager John Brolly.