Powerboat champion Shelley Jory and her Honda 225hp racing powerboat Team Raymarine have left the sea behind and returned to school as part of an exciting new initiative aimed at inspiring pupils about science.

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Powerboat champion Shelley Jory and her Honda 225hp racing powerboat Team Raymarine have left the sea behind and returned to school as part of an exciting new initiative aimed at inspiring pupils about science. Along with experts from the University of Portsmouth and local businesses, pupils at Miltoncross School in Portsmouth are working together to create new ideas on how to add a little spice to their science lessons, concentrating on the relevance of science to everyday life.

Shelley talked to pupils about the science involved in powerboat racing and the work done by her sponsor; the Portsmouth based marine electronics firm Raymarine. Team Raymarine was parked outside the school for all to see while giving children a chance to sit behind the wheel.

The project has been launched because national trends show that fewer pupils are choosing to study science at college and university and therefore, are not pursuing science-based careers. The aim of the project is for pupils from Miltoncross School to work alongside businesses, higher education and teachers to give their view on how to modify science lessons. In January 2006, a group of Year 11 pupils will go on an away day to discuss how science lessons can be made more relevant to everyday life. A series of lesson plans will be drawn up from their suggestions. It is hoped that by talking to businesses, the pupils will become enthused about the subject and will set up visits to see science in action.

Shelley Jory said, “It was a great day and the teenagers were really enthralled by it all especially the girls who were really impressed that another female could compete in a man’s world! They really enjoyed looking around the boat and seeing how all the elements – the steering, the engines and the electronics – work together to maximize speed and safety on water.”