News story

Princess Royal visits science workshop in Antrim

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

HRH The Princess Royal visited a STEM Module mobile laboratory and workshop at the NEELB centre in Antrim.

HRH The Princess Royal, on the second engagement of the day, visited a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) module mobile laboratory and workshop at the North Eastern Education and Library Board (NEELB) Centre in Antrim.

STEM is a major government initiative throughout the UK and the STEM Module in NEELB is a mobile laboratory and workshop designed to bring high quality learning experiences in STEM subjects to pupils in Northern Ireland.

The resource is managed by the NEELB. The module consists of a large articulated truck and trailer with expandable pods which provide a science laboratory/technology workshop.

Throughout the engagement HRH was accompanied by Mr Ray Gilbert, Senior Education Officer, NEELB.

In the STEM Module HRH met Mr Sean Maguire, NEELB Advisor Science and Technology, Mr Willie McKeown NEELB Regional Officer STEM Module and heard a short overview on the mobile laboratory and workshop.

HRH went on to meet a number of primary and post-primary schoolchildren along with STEM technicians. HRH also viewed a “Smart Energy” display designed by Antrim Primary School.

In the centre restaurant HRH met members of the NEELB senior management and board members.

Later HRH listened to a short overview of Stem Careers from Ms Heather Thompson, NEELB Board Advisor and met around 50 career heads who outlined their role in promoting STEM and related career pathways to pupils, parents and teachers.

HRH also heard from pupils of St Mary’s Grammar School in Magherafelt about their forthcoming work placements in the Karlsruhe region of Germany, and heard from pupils in the Newtownabbey Learning Community of their experiences of the Newtownabbey STEM/CEIAG (careers, education, information, advice and guidance) conference and how this informed their career choices.

The Princess Royal went on to meet teachers of STEM subjects and heard about the ‘Teacher Placements into Industry Programme’ from both an education and industry perspective.

HRH later heard about the positive impact of the STEM/CEIAG programme on admissions to Further Education and Higher Education STEM courses from sector representatives.

Following words of welcome from Rev Selwoode Graham he went on to invite Ms Liz Wiseman, who is retiring after 40 years’ service to education as personal assistant to 2 chief executives, to present HRH with a gift of a small wooden plate.

HRH accepted an invitation to sign the visitors’ book before leaving for the next engagement.

Notes to Editors

On arrival HRH the Princess Royal was greeted by the Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Joan Christie OBE and went on to meet:

  • Councillor Paul Michael, Mayor, Antrim Borough Council
  • David McCammick, Chief Executive, Antrim Borough Council
  • Reverend Selwoode Graham, Chairman, NEELB
  • Shane McCurdy, Chief Executive, NEELB
  • Ray Gilbert, Senior Education Officer, NEELB