Today is the start of British Science Week, a ten-day celebration of all areas of scientific thought. Run by the British Science Association, the event aims to engage people of all ages and from all walks of life in STEM related subjects. This year's theme is 'Our Diverse Planet', showing the range of scientific subjects that we can all be involved in alongside the varied species that make our planet their home.
Here at Harper Adams, lots of our degree courses relate back to science. From understanding the components of soil through to complex animal biology, working within the scientific process through from field to fork is at the core of what we teach and learn. We spoke to a variety of students and staff across campus about what their degrees mean to them around both science and diversity.
Annette Creedon, Head of Food Science and Agri-Food Supply Chain Management, commented on the differing paths that a degree can offer within the food industry. She said: "There's an angle for everything within food; it's not just standing in a factory production line, it's much more diverse than that.
"There's so many different paths into a food industry job that reflect the diversity of the industry. Whether you want to develop a new product, understand the nutritional benefits of a food, or to nuture the relationship between food and consumer, we're training students to be the ones with the scientific skills to interpret the information food offers.
"Simply, be open minded. Be curious. Find something that inspires you."
Sam Brookes, third year, MEng Automotive Engineering (Off-Highway) student is currently out on placement, working for Rail-Ability Ltd. His work experience is helping to diverse his skill set, as he commented: "I have been really enjoyed my placement, I always find that I am learning new skills and gaining more experience in engineering.
"It has really helped me to understand everything I have learnt over the last two years by being able to apply it real world engineering and see the uses of it."
His decision to come to Harper was influenced by his dad's experiences, but it was the diverse nature of the courses that made him realise it was the right choice for him. He commented: "I was enticed by the great stories my dad would tell me. But it was the uniqueness of the agricultural based engineering courses that made it a definite choice for me."
Elise Sutton is a fourth year countryside student who is writing her dissertation on the benefits of reintroducing species to diversify eco-systems. She explained: "The lapwing is a declining breed but by reintroducing longhorn cattle, I'm hoping we can increase the population once again.
"Conservation grading is a precise art, especially to track the correalation between the symbiotic relationship. As such a delicate system, the relationship is reliant on specific readings that the specialists at the Rare Breeds Survival Trust have been helping with.
"I'm really excited to see the full results of my study and present it as my Honors Research Project."
Megan Bond is in her second year and studying BSc (Hons) Applied Zoology. She chose her course as it allows her to explore the diverse species surrounding us. Megan explained: “I chose my course because I just love animals. When you come here, you meet like minded people who also love what you do, welcome you, and make you feel part of a team.
“In first year, you share a lot of modules with other courses, especially within zoology itself, but then you branch out and diversify into what you enjoy.
“I’m interested in rehabilitation - I would love to go abroad and work with exotic animals to help their back to their environments. The third year of student was a big draw to Harper as it means you can actually experience work within your field.”
If you're interested in what a degree that matters could help you achieve, join us on our open day, March 21, to find out more. For further details, see our event page below.