Leading Edge is an aspirational scheme promoting science by creating partnerships between Research-active Academics, Post-Doctoral Research Associates, PhD Students and schools throughout the North East. The scheme has been coordinated by Newcastle University since 2012. Prior to 2012 the scheme was run through Newcastle City Council. The scheme is now co-ordinated by Dr Sarah-Jayne Boulton and Miss Felicity Hunter.
Over the years Leading Edge has worked with Year 10, 11 and 12 but now predominantly engages with Year 8 and 9 school pupils at the beginning of their journey into Science through their GCSE studies. We are always exploring new means to promote science in the community. Leading Edge currently has two strands:
1) Leading the way: A project to allow early career scientists to develop their own Science Communication event to engage with a complete Year 8 year group in one school.
Pupils from Heaton Manor presenting in 2012
2) Taking the lead: The original format of Leading Edge. Here we partner six Year 9 pupils to work with a Research-active Academic on a research project over 6 months. Taking the lead culminates in a finale celebration where each Year 9 team present their findings to the other schools, invited guests and their families.
Images by Zander Photography