Science students will learn from some top boffins

From left: Danny Pugh, Abbie Corrigan and Adam Davies.
From left: Danny Pugh, Abbie Corrigan and Adam Davies.

Three young boffins have clinched summer research placements to learn from some of the top brains in Britain.

ED6 students Abbie Corrigan, 17, Adam Davies, 16, and Danny Pugh, 16, have all been awarded Nuffield Research Placements this summer.

The Nuffield Research Placements provide Year 12 students with the opportunity to work alongside professional scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians (STEM).

Abbie, from Shotton Colliery, and Adam, from Fishburn, have been given research placements at Durham University.

Abbie will be working with Professor Ian Baxendale in the Department of Chemistry, and Adam with Dr Darren Gröcke, Associate Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences.

Meanwhile Danny, who lives in Peterlee, will take up his placement with Blue Reef Aquarium at Tynemouth, working alongside Mr Terry McKeone on researching marine habitats on the British coastline.

All three students are studying at East Durham College’s Sixth Form, ED6, in Peterlee, on the first year of a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science, which is the equivalent to three A-levels.

Lecturer Dr Wanda Scott said: “The students were over the moon when they found out they had been successful in gaining one of the converted placements.

“There are only 1,000 places for STEM students every year from across the whole of the UK, and only 70 of those are in the North East, so for our small centre to get three of these prestigious places is an excellent achievement.

“It is an extremely valuable experience and will help them immensely with their UCAS applications in the autumn.”

The hard-working students will spend 40-hour weeks for four weeks over the summer on the placements but they couldn’t be happier.

Abbie said: “When I got the email I cried I was so happy. I ran downstairs screaming to tell my Mam the news.

“It’s been a great first year at ED6 and this will really top it off. I can’t wait to take part in the placement, I’m so pleased to get this opportunity.”

The Nuffield Foundation is a charitable trust established in 1943 by William Morris, Lord Nuffield, the founder of Morris Motors.

The aim is to improve social well-being by funding research and innovation in education and social policy.