Pupils were enthralled by a top scientist during an inspiring visit to Hartlepool.
Lord Robert Winston, a professor and fertility pioneer, visited High Tunstall College of Science before later delivering the school’s annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) lecture at the Borough Hall on the Headland.
Lord Winston said he was impressed with the attentiveness of the pupils, particularly during question and answer sessions while he met pupils at High Tunstall.
He said: “I very much enjoyed my time in Hartlepool.
“The children were energised to learn, patient and well-mannered, and they asked good questions.
“Here, you have good teaching and students who are wanting to learn.
The children were energised to learn, patient and well-mannered, and they asked good questionsLord Robert Winston
“It’s very clear they are motivated to try to sort out the problems facing them.
“I go into lots of other schools and see different attitudes in some places.
“In this school, the children care because the teachers care.”
The STEM event was attended by pupils from St Hild’s, Manor Academy, English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College, Hartlepool Sixth Form College, Hartlepool College of Further Education as well as High Tunstall’s primary partners schools and schools/colleges they work with on STEM initiatives across the Tees Valley area.
Lord Winston added: “This part of the country is well-known for having particular problems, but these children are showing there is real hope for the future in not just this area, but the UK as a whole.
“Readers of the Mail can be very proud of them and the school.”
Last year’s STEM lecture was delivered by Britain’s first astronaut, Helen Sharman.
High Tunstall is the first 11-16 school in the UK to gain the STEM Assured Award for its commitment to the subjects.
Its headteacher, Mark Tilling, believes the pupils were left inspired by the visit of Lord Winston.
He said: “The question and answer sessions proved to be really inspirational for the students.
“It was more than just the science aspect of them, it was about the story behind it all.
“The message has very much been that people can get involved.
“You’ve got the same opportunities that everyone else has got.
“That was a very important message for our young people.”