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Students showcase School of Science and Technology at The Skills Show

Middlesex University students feature on BBC Breakfast News as they give visitors to the UK’s largest skills and careers event a hands-on taste of their STEM subjects

Staff and students come together at the Skills ShowStudents in the School of Science and Technology swapped the classroom for the conference hall in November, heading to the NEC Birmingham to host a huge Have-A-Go stand as part of the Skills Show 2015 – the largest skills and careers show in the UK.

All five of the School's departments were represented at the event, with 28 students and 39 members of staff showcasing activities across the breadth of cutting-edge science and technology.

"We have been taking part in the Skills Show since it started in 2012 at the NEC," explained Professor Mehmet Karamanoglu, Head of Design Engineering and Mathematics at Middlesex.

"This year we decided to highlight engineering career opportunities in disciplines not normally associated with engineering, and have shown these using the resources available across all five departments in the School."

Covering over 150 square metres, the Have-A-Go stand provided hands-on demonstrations of how science and technology across disciplines enhance human life – from sporting performance to the environments we live and work in.

Visitors including BBC Breakfast's Steph McGovern and Dragons Den's Theo Paphitis were keen to learn more about the high tech equipment on show – which included EEG machines, pressure mats and microscopes; mathematical sculptures, robots, and a virtual reality roller-coaster.

Theo Paphitis rides the MDX Loco virtual reality roller-coasterThe Skills Show is one example of the School and Science Technology's commitment to helping students enhance their CVs and gain careers skills alongside their studies.

"The students taking part were able to evidence clearly their subject knowledges – and, possibly still more importantly, demonstrate strong team working, communication and organisational skills," said Jacqui Boddington, the University's Director of Learning, Teaching and Student Experience.

"For many of those taking part it was their second or third time at the Show, and it was obvious in talking to them that they felt their confidence had been boosted by being part of the participating academic community."

Eight students also took part in the WorldSkills UK Mechatronics and Mobile Robotics competitions. Two students in the Department of Design Engineering won a Silver Medal, securing their places in Squad UK ahead of the international event in Abu Dhabi in 2017.

"These skills will be very useful in the future as they are similar to what is already in industry," said winning BEng Mechatronics student Mehnaz Mahaboob. "Gaining the silver medal in this subject shows potential employers that you have the skills and knowledge needed to work for them."

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