PRIMARY school children will be embarking on a bread-making ‘journey’ during British Science Week as part of a STEM (Science Technology English and Maths) initiative by Northern Ireland’s leading flour mill Neill’s Flour.

British Science Week (March 8-17) is a 10-day celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, and to embrace this year’s ‘Journeys’ theme, Neill’s Flour will be visiting local primary schools to deliver hands-on, practical STEM workshops on the journey of bread-making, giving pupils an opportunity to take part in experiments and discover the science behind the ‘wheat to flour’ process.

The cross-community initiative, which will be rolled out across the province every year, will kick off with visits next week to Victoria Primary School, Belfast, and St. Joseph’s Primary School in Ballyhackamore.

Neill’s Flour STEM Ambassador Keavy O’Mahony-Truesdale,who will be delivering the workshops, said: “At Neill’s Flour we are very passionate about giving back to the community and what better way than to help educate our local schoolchildren.

“STEM is such an important focus for education and a lot of the emphasis of this is within secondary schools, so we are delighted to be bringing our workshop to primary school children to give them a hands-on understanding of the science behind bread-making.

“To follow up their learnings on the day, the pupils will then design a creative flowchart on their understanding of the process, and will have the opportunity to win tickets to see the Belfast Giants,sheadded.

As part of the workshop, Neill’s will also be giving pupils the opportunity to participate in the CREST Awards operated by the British Science Association.

STEM Ambassador Programme Manager Julia Carson said:  “We work to link our STEM ambassadors with schools so they can act as positive role models to help inspire and engage young people about training and education, direct entry routes, career paths, job prospects and the high earning potential of STEM jobs.

“In Northern Ireland we have a massive lack of STEM ambassadors for food and drink, so it is this sector that would really value from having more volunteers and mentors.  With this in mind, we are delighted that Neill’s Flour has stepped up to engage on behalf of the food and drink sector.”

Paul Donaldson, Principal at St. Joseph’s Primary School which will host one of the workshops during Science Week, said:  “In St. Joseph’s Primary School, we recognise the importance of promoting STEM subjects and making them as stimulating and rewarding as possible, developing an interest in students that extends beyond the classroom.  With the ever-growing demand on the school’s budget, the link between schools and local businesses is becoming more important in attempting to achieve that goal. For that reason, we are delighted to be one of the first schools picked to launch Neill’s Flour’s Science Workshop programme.” 

Daniel Ryden, Vice Principal at Victoria Primary School, said: We are delighted to help launch Neill’s Flour’s Science Workshop programme, especially with it being British Science Week 2019.  It is fantastic that, in the challenging financial climate for schools today, a local company like Neill’s wants to help inspire the next generation by promoting STEM and how it is everywhere in the world around us.  All children love hands-on practical science activities such as the ones they will be taking part in throughout the workshop.”

For more information on accessing these workshops, you can contact Keavy O’Mahony-Truesdale at Neill’s Flour on 02890321626. Or for information on becoming a STEM Ambassador, visit www.w5online.co.uk/stem-hub/ambassadors.

Neill’s Flour Mill was founded by James Neill in 1867, three years before the completion of Belfast Castle and 39 years before the nearby Belfast City Hall was built. A 48 year-old Queen Victoria was 30 years into her reign as monarch and Andrew Johnson was the US President, following the assassination of his predecessor Abraham Lincoln just two years earlier.

More than 150 years later, Neill’s Flour still operates from its original College Place North location and is Northern Ireland’s market leading flour mill, producing a wide range of flour products for the bakery trade, specialising in traditional Irish products blended specifically to meet customer individual requirements.

For more information on go to www.neillsflour.co.uk

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