CLOSER links are being formed between schools and science businesses to encourage students to go into a career in new technologies.

A teacher at St Birinus School in Didcot is on a mission to de-mystify the dozens of high-tech enterprises that operate on the school’s doorstep.

A careers fair was held earlier this month in Didcot Leisure Centre in which Simon Brown, a teacher of art, design and technology, invited businesses from the Harwell Campus to come and talk to pupils from St Birinus and Didcot Girls' schools.

Companies such as the National Grid, European Space Agency and BMW were among the 29 businesses that attended.

Mr Brown said: “Since I started working here I’ve found the science park is a bit of a mystery.

“We don’t know a whole lot about what is going on there.

“But it is also a fantastic opportunity for our pupils to learn from people who are at the forefront of their field.

“It puts us in a really privileged position and opens up some great opportunities – it seems silly to not use the resource that’s there.”

The careers fair was the first in a number of events which Mr Brown, who is the school’s lead for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), is planning to organise.

The Williams Formula One team, based in Grove, will be one of a number of local employers to attend the school to talk to students about what they do.

Pupils will also visit the nerve centre of the National Grid.

Mr Brown added: “The ultimate goal is to broaden our pupil’s horizons and prospects, to give them something to aim for and find out about the sort of careers that are open to them.”

Angus Horner, the director at Harwell Campus and a governor of St Birinus School said “We love what we do and want to help young people make informed and ambitious choices as they move forward in life so they can be happy and successful in their own careers.”

St Birinus’ head teacher, John Marston, said the school was ‘determined to buck the trend’ of a shortage of young people not choosing STEM-based careers.

He added: “We were delighted to welcome such a broad range of companies and organisations to St Birinus, sharing their knowledge, expertise and insights with our students.”