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Final line up for Infinity Festival revealed

Lord Lieutenant with pupils from West Lakes Academy, Jonathan Johnson, Principal of West Lakes and Peter Woolaghan from React Foundation.

[W]ith only three weeks to go until the highly-anticipated Infinity Science and Technology Festival takes off at West Lakes Academy, Cumbria, the festival organisers have today revealed the final line up of speakers.

Already announced as headline acts are Brian Cox, BBC broadcaster and Professor of Particle Physics at The University of Manchester and Professor Danielle George MBE, Vice Dean for Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Science and Engineering, and a Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering at The University of Manchester.  They will be joined by a stellar line up of other international superstars from the science and engineering world including:

  • Dr Erica McAlister, Senior Curator for Diptera and Siphonaptera at the Natural History Museum
  • Dr Theodoros Bampouras, Associate Professor in Sport and Exercise Biomechanics at the University of Cumbria
  • Dr Steven Le Comber, Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London
  • Dr Sarita Robinson, Senior Lecturer at UCLan.

Infinity Festival is set to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.  On the day, the 210 students attending the festival will hear about topics such as special patterns and modelling, natural history and entomology and will get hands on with workshops including robotics coding and hardware, sonar tracking and thermal imaging, amongst others.

Pete Woolaghan from the festival organising team said: “We have got an amazing and packed day planned for the students attending the first ever Infinity Festival.  We are very lucky to have secured such eminent and respected speakers who will be sharing their experiences and insights… I really hope to learn a few things on the day as well!  The level of interest and support we’ve had has been tremendous and all the people speaking and providing workshops at the event are genuinely delighted to be coming to Cumbria to inspire our next generation”

Dr Erica McAlister will be presenting on her specialism of flies and said: “I hope to bring the world of the small, neglected and repulsed to the students and present them with a different way of looking at nature. We are living through an extraordinary time in terms of needing to understand our environment quickly and I hope to show that both living and dead flies can help us do that! Chocolate, crime and climate change will all be discussed through the medium of flies.”

Dr Steven Le Comber said: “’After speaking at the St Paul’s Way Trust Summer Science School for the last five years, I’m really excited that the event is transferring to Cumbria. It’s a great opportunity to talk to young people about science as a career – and in the case of my own research, how the same mathematical models can be used in investigations of serial murder, to understand how great white sharks hunt, and how we can combat outbreaks of malaria – and even help us uncover Banksy’s identity!”

The festival programme will also feature employment opportunities, training options and career paths.  The evening reception will include interviews with scientists and exhibitions to engage with parents to ‘get them on board’ supporting pupils to aspire to a future with no limits.

Joining the students in Cumbria will be 12 students from the St Paul’s Way Science Summer School, held in London earlier this year.  The Science Summer School is the sister event to Infinity Science and Technology Festival and was attended by selected student ambassadors of Infinity Festival.

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