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Scientists of the future impress Reckitt global research and development leaders


6/14/2024 9:40:27 AM

Education & Training

4 mins read

Pupils from Rokeby Park Primary School in Hull pictured with Reckitt Chief R&D Officer Dr Angela Naef and members of the company’s R&D Leadership Team during the Festival of Science.


Budding young scientists from Hull have been given a unique opportunity to share their inspiring ideas with the leaders behind some of the world’s biggest and best-loved brands.


World-leading health, hygiene and nutrition business Reckitt held a Festival of Science as part of its second global The Science Inside Symposium. The three-day symposium brought together 250 Reckitt scientists, partners and leaders from across the globe, in person and online, live from the company’s Hull Campus.


During the Festival of Science, four teams of year 12 engineering students from Hull’s Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) presented their ideas on how Reckitt could become more sustainable in its approach to water, heating, transport and waste to the company’s Global Research and Development (R&D) Leadership Team, led by Chief R&D Officer Dr Angela Naef.


In a separate session, organised through Reckitt’s partnership with Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University, year five pupils from Rokeby Park Primary School in Hull were asked to share their ideas on creating a new Reckitt product, or modify an existing one, focusing on target customers, packaging and sustainability.


The Festival of Science celebrated the power of science and aimed to inspire the next generation of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) leaders.


The winning Ron Dearing UTC teams, voted by Reckitt experts, will have one-to-one sessions in coming weeks with the company’s sustainability experts, as prizes for Best Innovation and Best Presentation.


Youngsters from Rokeby Park Primary School will be given a medal and awards for Best Innovation, Best Packaging Design and Best Presentation, alongside a donation from Reckitt for new science equipment at the school.


Dr Naef said: “I’m always blown away by the creativity and boundless, unexpected ideas the students share with us. It’s this little gift of great imagination. 

“I fundamentally believe the responsibility of professionals, like us, is to be role models to the next generation. This is the opportunity and responsibility we have to continue to build the future of scientists, engineers and experts.
“I hope all of the children went home and shared their day with their families and loved ones and were able to shine in that moment because of the experience they had. But I also know we went home with those stories and memories too. It’s amazing to feel inspired and excited by this event and their ideas.”


The Science Inside Symposium incorporated Reckitt’s annual Sustainability Conference, reflecting the importance of science in developing sustainable solutions for a greener future.


The event was supported by The Sir James Reckitt Charity, which was founded by industrialist, Quaker and philanthropist Sir James more than 100 years ago.


The involvement of young people in the event underlined Reckitt’s commitment to inspiring and nurturing the next generation of scientists, especially in the city where the business was founded 184 years ago.


Since its humble beginnings as a starch mill in Hull in 1840, Reckitt has grown to become the globally trusted business it is today, and its brands, including Dettol, Gaviscon, Nurofen, Strepsils, Vanish and more, are household names.


Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal - Employer Engagement at Ron Dearing UTC, of which Reckitt is a Founding Partner, said: “This opportunity from Reckitt is so important because it helps our students to build resilience and confidence, while also allowing innovation to flow freely. 
“We’re incredibly proud of our students’ ideas and efforts, and also grateful to everyone at Reckitt.”

Pupils from Rokeby Park Primary School pupils present their ideas to Reckitt global R&D leaders during the Festival of Science held at the company’s Hull Campus.

Pictures: Hull News & Pictures.

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