STIRLING school kids learned about STEM recently thanks to a global science and technology company.

Pupils at Braehead PS welcomed Merck’s mobile science lab last Friday, June 17 to learn more about STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Merck, the global science and technology company employing with a facility in Stirling, took their Curiosity Cube to the school.

The Curiosity Cube, a retrofitted shipping container turned mobile science lab, was staffed by local Merck employees who volunteered their time to walk local schoolchildren through three hands-on science experiments, focusing on The Microbiome.

Students had the opportunity to experiment with the latest scientific lab equipment and technology for themselves as they learned about the uniqueness of their own microbiome.

Using a digital microscope, students were able to identify and explore the different bacteria all around us, and with the help of a ‘bacteria robot’ discovered what influences our microbiome and how to keep it healthy.

Miss Caddis, schoolteacher at Braehead PS, said: “It’s been wonderful to see the students so engaged in these hands-on experiments.

“Having the latest scientific tech here to use has really brought science to life in a way that it’s difficult to do in a classroom.

“The students are really seeing the real-world impact of science, and I think it’s been a hugely valuable experience for everyone involved.”

Following the experiments, Merck staff held a Q&A for students who were able to ask any scientific questions they had, as well as learn about the routes local employees took to begin their own STEM careers.

Rachael Hewitt, Curiosity Cube lead at Merck, said: ‘The UK can and should do more to enhance the STEM skills required to continue delivering the cutting-edge work seen by the country’s biotech sector in recent years.

“As a major local employer, we’re incredibly passionate about fostering an interest in STEM from an early age.

“Many of our own staff were born and raised in Stirling and have gone on to do amazing work here at Merck.

“We hope that the Curiosity Cube will spark the beginning of a long love for STEM among local schoolchildren.”