A group of Woodham Academy students recently had the fantastic opportunity to meet an astronaut. The year 10 pupils got to meet former NASA astronaut Dr Michael Foale, CBE, PhD, the first British astronaut to conduct a space walk. Following a short video showcasing the possible career opportunities in the North East for STEM students, Dr Foale gave a fascinating talk on his life as an astronaut. He spoke of the determination needed to follow your dreams, even if you don’t succeed at first, and to pursue your passion. He then took questions from the audience. Hearing his inspirational story will surely have sparked an interest in science in students.

This visit is part of Woodham Academy’s extensive extra-curricular science programme which includes Woodham Sparkies for primary aged children, the Key Stage 3 Science Club and an extension lecture programme in conjunction with The Institute of Physics. All students at Woodham Academy study for either a dual science GCSE or take GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Woodham Academy headteacher, Christine Forsyth, says, “Success in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) enhances the employment prospects of our students, who are aware of the opportunities locally through our Apprenticeship Awareness Programme.”