Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, welcomed students from Basildon Upper Academy and Woodlands school to Parliament today for the Voice of the Future 2014 science event.
Organised by The Society of Biology, Voice of the Future provides young people with a unique opportunity to quiz MPs from the Science and Technology Committee, ministers, and distinguished scientists on science policy.
Mr Metcalfe wrote to local secondary schools inviting students with an interest in science to represent South Basildon and East Thurrock at the event. Ramy El-Khodary was chosen from the Basildon Upper Academy while Lucy Grunwell proved to be a great ambassador for Woodlands School.
The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP, opened the proceedings, before questions were posed to a panel of MPs including Mr Metcalfe who championed engineering as a career choice. The Minister for Science and Universities, David Willets MP, also answered questions including one from Basildon’s Lucy Grunwell.
Lucy, showing a great awareness of current debates in science, asked whether the UK is in a position to capitalise on the space revolution. Mr Willets informed the Woodlands student that the UK is among the world leaders in satellite technology and instrument creation, and that space is an industry that the Government are hoping to grow to £30bn in the next decade.
The local MP commented: “This was a fantastic event and I am delighted that both Ramy and Lucy were able to attend. It is so important to get young people excited about science and technology and I hope that they, and all the young people in attendance, came away with a sense that this is an extremely exciting and innovative industry to be involved in.”
“Both Ramy and Lucy were brilliant representatives of South Basildon and East Thurrock and a great credit to their respective schools. I hope that they enjoyed the experience and that it might have inspired them to consider a career in science.”