AstraZeneca backs new Science in Schools show

The new show 'Super cells!' is estimated to reach 15,000 students during the first year, inspiring scientists of the future.

Image of students watching a science in schools show
Katherine Leedale

To inspire the next generation of scientists, AstraZeneca has funded the Royal Institution’s (Ri) new schools show – Super cells! Launching today, the show will be rolled out across the UK as part of the Ri’s Science in Schools programme.  Delivered by the Ri’s professional science presenters, the engaging show will immerse school children in the thrilling world of science, enabling them to experience first-hand the power of experiments and understand how critical science is in our day-to-day lives. The show aims to inspire more school children to study STEM subjects and consider science-related careers.  

It is estimated that the new Super cells! show will reach 15,000 pupils aged between 4 and 14 in its first year alone.  The show will explore what makes us sick and why we get ill. Pupils will be able to look at their very own cells to see how bacteria and viruses invade our bodies, and what we can do to fight back. From ancient remedies to modern medicines, the school children will learn how science supports and improves our bodies’ natural defences, from antibiotics to vaccines and look to what the future may hold for medical science.

Prof. Sir Mene Pangalos, Chair, AstraZeneca Cambridge Campus and EVP Biopharmaceuticals R&D (retiring), AstraZeneca, said: “My passion for science was ignited by the Royal Institution's Christmas Lectures as I saw the potential for science to positively affect so many aspects of our day to day lives. I have been incredibly fortunate since then to build a career in an industry where scientific advancements have transformed the lives of millions of patients.

“I hope that through the Royal Institution school shows, that same spark of inspiration will strike many school children across the UK and encourage them to take up STEM subjects and ultimately embark on the huge variety of scientific careers available.”  

Katherine Mathieson, Director of the Royal Institution said: “Through our charitable work in schools throughout the UK, we want to inspire students to see a future with science, through exciting activities that differ from, and build on, each school’s own provision. A visit from one of our Science in Schools presenters can begin a fascination for science in younger students and sustain or reinvigorate it in older ones.

“So, we are grateful for the generous support of AstraZeneca, which has enabled us to develop a brand-new Science in Schools show and make it available through our grant programme to support students at schools in the most disadvantaged parts of the UK.