Two talented young scientists from Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form have been able to speak on behalf of East Lancashire students at “Voices for the Future”; an event organised by the Society of Biology, and attended by key Government officials at the House of Commons.

Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form has an outstanding and highly regarded Science department, which was recently awarded STEM Assured Status, which recognises excellence in the provision of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education. Each year, students progress onto degree courses in some of the best universities in the country, including Oxford, Cambridge, UCL and Imperial! Not only this, but many go on to work in exciting science based industries, leading the way in innovative and progressive technologies which revolutionise science.

Two students, Nick Parkin and Michael Rowan, who are keen to study science or engineering related courses at university and have offers from Cambridge, University College London and Imperial College London between them, attended the event in London. The College was invited to take two students to the event, as a STEM Assured Centre. Speakers included Rt Hon David Willetts MP, who is Minister of State for Universities and Science, Andrew Miller MP who is Chair of the Select Committee and Chi Onwurah MP who is Shadow Minister for Innovation and Science, amongst others. Nick and Michael were part of a panel who attended to participate in a Science Question Time with these eminent figures.

In addition to taking part in the Question Time, the students and the College’s Head of Division for Science, Maths and Engineering Joan Peagam, were met by MP for Pendle Andrew Stephenson who gave them a guided tour of the House of Commons. Mr Stephenson also took them for lunch in the MPs restaurant which overlooks the London Eye.

Joan Peagam, Head of Division for Science, Maths and Engineering accompanied the students and said, “Nick and Michael really felt the select committee, headed up by Andrew miller, were keen to take the student input forward. The Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP, was really clear on the fact they wanted the student opinion on several major issues on education such as “how important is practical work to achieving good grades and also progressing into STEM careers”. Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson gave us a fabulous detailed tour and we had lunch in the terrace by the famous / infamous strangers bar!”