Science Summer School

Science Summer School Activities

William and James Raphael who were in the textile manufacturing business in the Ballymena area

Eco Schools Programme

The Sentinus Climate Change Programme commenced on 1st February 2022 with over 340 pupils in 15 primary school across the Borough participating in the programme.  In addition to the class visits, teachers were encouraged to carry out a follow-up project, in order to cement a legacy of climate awareness in the school.  The programme explored:

  • the differences between weather and climate
  • the origin of seasons
  • the greenhouse effect and the human enhanced greenhouse effect
  • an overview of 6 different greenhouse gases and their sources
  • impacts of climate change (on the environment, wildlife and humans)
  • things we can do to help slow the progress of climate change and how the younger generation are the key to a better future.

Engagement with pupils was superb with many showing a genuine interest in the climate crisis. Upon completion of the programme children left the workshops knowing more than they did before about the climate and how it is changing. Teachers also gained new knowledge during the session, allowing them to provide more information to their classes in the future.

My Skills, My Life

My Skills, My Life is an outreach resource created by WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) to inspire girls to consider a career in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths). It is an interactive, online tool that allows girls to find out their personality types and shows them role models with similar personality types working in STEAM. The role model case studies include information about pathways and brings the role models to life for the girls. The online platform also includes information about companies and the opportunities they have to offer.

As part of NI Apprenticeship Week in February, Council offered sessions for Year 6 - Year 10 pupils to help young people identify their skills and potential STEAM career pathways. Each session was hosted by a local STEAM ambassador working in industry or academia in Northern Ireland.

Hospitality Takeover Days

The Hospitality and Tourism Take Over day hosted by Springboard Charity took place at the Tullyglass Hotel, Ballymena. The aim of the event was to showcase what it is like to work in the Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism sector whilst highlighting the diversity of the industry and career opportunities.

Secondary School Students from across the Borough were given the opportunity to interactively experience what it is to work in the world of Hospitality as a career of choice through a series of workshops. By exposing young people to these experiences through workshops and industry- based learning, we are creating an Industry talent pipeline thereby helping to support local businesses.

Amongst the many interactive workshops, industry experts impressed students and teachers with their culinary skills, mocktail-making talent and they were even introduced to a local visitor attraction - NI School of Falconry to emphasise to the students this too is part of our Hospitality, Leisure & Tourism Industry.

NI Apprenticeship Week - School Sessions

As part of NI Apprenticeship Week 2022 events, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council worked with the Royal Academy of Engineering, WISE (Women in Science and Engineering), MATRIX NI and CITB to offer some exciting activities for our local students.

NIAW22 School Sessions

Now in its third year, Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week 2022 offered a dedicated week of events and promotional activity to demonstrate how apprenticeships work for individuals, businesses, communities and the wider economy.

In February 2022, the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor William McCaughey, and guest presenters from Ryobi, Carrickfergus, visited Larne High School to talk to 30 pupil Year 12-14 pupils about apprenticeship opportunities within their company, career progression and how to access apprenticeships. In attendance were Gemma Neil and Bill Nelson from Ryobi and Chris Hughes who is currently working with the company through their Apprenticeship scheme. Pupils had the opportunity to talk to the presenters afterwards to learn more about apprenticeship opportunities.

Guest presenters from Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies, IPC Mouldings and Workplus were welcomed by Year 13 and 14 pupils at St. Killian’s College, Carnlough. Shane Belton, UK HR Manager for Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies and Laura O’Boyle a Process Engineer and former past pupil chatted to pupils about the career prospects with the company, while Kirsty Love, an Engineering Intern with IPC Mouldings gave a presentation on her educational and development experiences to date including the route she followed to her current position. Pupils also had the opportunity to hear about the access to apprenticeships from Lucy Marshall from Workplus and of the benefits and career progression through the various apprenticeship levels and sectors.

Construct your Future with an Apprenticeship

In February, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council along with The Construction Industry Training Board (NI), Radius Housing and Northern Regional College delivered an information session highlighting construction / built environment apprenticeship opportunities and the redevelopment of the former St. Patrick’s Barracks site to pupils at Ballymena Academy.

The pupils got to hear first-hand about the potential learning and training opportunities offered through apprenticeships as well as receiving practical information on apprenticeship routes, the requirements for entry and hearing from apprentices’ themselves.

The Energy Innovation Challenge

In early 2022 through engagement with the local schools, we invited young people to become engineers and entrepreneurs to develop ideas that could change our world for the better! The Energy Innovation Challenge asked young people to explore ideas that could improve lives in our community and have the chance to win a 3D Printer and other goodies for their school! The winning innovations demonstrated awareness of the environment and could be a solution that benefits the lives and wellbeing of people around the world.

Ballymena Academy pupils Taylor Stewart and Caoimhe Loughran were the winners of the NI Apprenticeship Week Green Innovation Competition and Daniel Hickey was runner up.

Activate your Curiosity – T-shirt Design Competition with an opportunity to meet Professor Brian Cox CBE

As part of the Science Summer School we are asking pupils across the borough to ‘Activate your Curiosity’ by creating an original t-shirt design that reflects one of the three themes listed below. The competition aims to activate the curiosity of pupils by providing stimulus that looks at the importance and history of the borough’s rich Industrial Heritage and looks at the sustainability and Future of Fashion.

There are fantastic prizes on offer - the winning t-shirt will be printed and the designer will have the opportunity to meet Professor Brian Cox CBE in November 2022.

The competition closed at 12noon, Friday 27 May 2022.

What do I need to do?

Using the downloadable Competition Entry Form, provide a detailed sketch of your design, based on the themes below, along with an explanation outlining:

  • What is your idea?
  • What or who inspired you?

The three themes are:

  • Activate your Curiosity
  • First Attempts
  • The Universe

All entrants will receive a Certificate of Participation. Prizes are available for the winners of KS1, KS2, KS3 and KS4 as well as an overall winner. The winning design will be printed onto t-shirts. The overall winner will have an opportunity to meet Professor Brian Cox CBE at the Science School in November 2022.

The best ideas will also be included in the ‘Gallery of First Attempts’ exhibition in the Mid-Antrim Museum at The Braid in conjunction with this exciting event. (add link to this when it is ready)

To enter students must attend a school in the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council area.

Each school should send the entry forms with the detailed sketch together to: or post to:

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council
c/o Christine Barnhill
Silverwood Business Park
190 Raceview Road
BT42 4HY

The closing date for entries was 12noon, Friday 27 May 2022. The winners will be notified by Friday 17 June 2022.

To help you with the competition, we have compiled some resources you will find useful:

Science Summer School Digital Flyer

Competition Entry Form

Exploring Your Roots booklet on The Braid website

Did you know:

  • Brothers William and James Raphael were closely associated with the Galgorm area of Ballymena. Their family were involved in business, textile manufacturing and the development of Galgorm in the 19th century.
  • The Raphaels purchased Galgorm House in 1886.
  • The family were founding share holders and subsequently Directors on the Board of the Braidwater Spinning Mill.
  • In more recent years the family connection with the town has been kept alive by Christopher Raphael who attended Ballymena Academy.
  • Did you know that the Raphael brothers also travelled abroad to Philadelphia to promote international trade in the 1840s?

To find out further details contact:


T 028 2563 3363

The Raphael Portraits acquisition was made in 2021 by Mid-Antrim Museum (Mid and East Antrim Borough Council), purchased with support from the NI Museums Council and Esmé Mitchell Trust.

The creation of the Brian Cox Design Competition Video Resource has been supported by the Shared History Fund, delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund on behalf of the Northern Ireland Office.