Imperial College London

Next generation of scientists welcomed at new summer school


A student looking through a microscope at ZEISS

A select group of 24 teenagers from across the globe had a unique opportunity to attend a science-based summer school.

Researchers in the Department of Materials have collaborated with experts at ZEISS, a leading global microscopy company to create a residential summer school programme that launched this summer at Imperial College London. The summer school was held in London from 21-25 August, focusing on the theme of ‘The science of sustainability under the microscope’.

It is an excellent initiative to help nurture these young scientific minds and we hope it has given them an exciting insight into the diverse array of STEM professions available Dr Eleonora D'Elia Senior Teaching Fellow

The programme offered students an exciting opportunity to develop valuable skills and gain new experiences, whilst increasing their knowledge of scientific subjects from leading academic experts. Alongside some short theoretical talks, the children had the opportunity to take part in practical workshops to examine various sustainable materials under the microscope and work on questions such as: Which materials are sustainable? Which properties do they have? And how can they be used in an eco-friendly way?

The cohort of students, aged between 14-15, were made up of 12 teenagers from local London schools and 12 children of ZEISS employees from around the world.

The students spent a fully packed week in London attending workshops, lectures and activities that saw them learn how to build and operate microscopes, using artificial intelligence for imaging and analysis, how microscopy and materials science are tightly interlinked and how the in-depth characterisation of materials can lead to a more sustainable future for all of us. The summer school also included a one-day visit to the ZEISS head office in Cambourne, where they had the opportunity to see some of the latest technology from ZEISS’ Consumer Optics, Medical Technology and Research Microscopy Solutions strategic business units.

  • Students working during the ZEISS Summer School

    Students working during the ZEISS Summer School

  • A researcher preparing a mixture during the summer school

Katharina Enssle – Head of Employer Branding at ZEISS said: “The aim of the ZEISS summer school was to give young people the opportunity to follow their passion for science while enjoying a unique experience at one of the world’s top academic institutes.

“My favorite academic part was the characterisation workshops at ZEISS and Imperial, and my favourite non- academic part was the visit to the London Eye Mini, summer school participant

It is important to give the young generation early exposure to the benefits of STEM subjects to help ignite their enthusiasm for how science can build a better future for us all. As a company we are passionate about inspiring the next generation of scientists and encouraging children from all backgrounds to follow their aspirations for a career in science.”

Dr Eleonora D'Elia, Senior Teaching Fellow, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Materials at Imperial College London added: “It’s been fantastic to be part of this summer school program and sharing in the excitement of all the budding young scientists, from both here in London and around the world. It is an excellent initiative to help nurture these young scientific minds and we hope it has given them an exciting insight into the diverse array of STEM professions available.”

“I am eternally grateful for such a once-in-a-lifetime experience we were so lucky to have Parent of summer school participant

The programme provided both an inspiring learning opportunity and also gave students the chance to spend time with like-minded peers, while also experiencing some enjoyable extra-curricular activities at some of London top attractions.

For further information about careers at ZEISS, please visit their website.

Adapted from a press release written by ZEISS.


Kayleigh Brewer

Kayleigh Brewer
Department of Materials


Materials, Engineering-Materials
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