Polymer Study Tours

These four day residential courses are designed to provide teachers with case studies that they can use in contextual teaching of both science and design & technology and they give teachers the opportunity to meet in an informal environment to exchange views on the teaching of science and design & technology.

They help to educate teachers on the science, technology and applications of polymers (both plastics and rubbers). From the industry point of view the Polymer Study Tours provide information and create interest, which will promote the recruitment of high quality scientists and technologists for the plastics and associated industries. In addition the courses promote the knowledge of polymers and plastics and their importance to the quality of everyday life and thereby enhance the image of plastics and the plastics industry in the eyes of future consumers.

This course gives you the unique opportunity to visit major plastics processing Companies and to attend lectures and discussions with leading figures from industry and academia . There are sessions in the laboratories where you can operate machines to make and collect samples to take back to school and use test equipment.

The tours have been approved for Professional Development by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and teachers who complete the course will receive a Certificate of Attendance for their portfolio.

The three residential courses are basically similar, with differences to suit the local plastics factories that are to be visited and the facilities of the sponsoring Universities.

Courses are free and attendees are refunded with travel expenses of up to £200.

The Polymer Study Tours can only take place with the assistance of some outside sponsorship, for which we are most grateful.

If you would like to become a sponsor, details are available here.

The three Polymer Study Tours ran last year at Napier, Manchester and London Met and were a great success. The Horners contribute £10,000 each year to the cost of the Tours which together with the money from sponsors covers all the running costs. We are also indebted to the administrative support we receive from IoM3.

Comments from the teachers are always complimentary as illustrated by this sample from this year’s delegates and give confidence in the continued relevance and benefits of the Tours:

“Having just returned from the Polymer Study Tour I would like to say a big thank you to all involved. It is by far the most enjoyable and informative course I have attended. All the speakers were knowledgeable and enthusiastically delivered their part in a way that was easily understood, often with a good dose of humour.”

“The entire course has provided me with lots of inspiration for future lessons and I will certainly be recommending this course to colleagues and fellow student teachers in the future.”

“I have the most positive memories of one of the best CPD events it has been my pleasure to be invited to.”

“This course has been the best teacher CPD opportunity that I have ever been on! Rather than focusing on the ever changing, often political, buzzwords and curriculum that seems to have encompassed modern teaching, this course gave us room to be inspired by the subject matter.”

“Having just completed the course I can honestly say it has been one of the best, most enjoyable, useful, relevant and inspiring courses I have completed as an engineer and a teacher. What I have learnt, seen and experienced will definitely become part of my teaching plans for next year.”

“This was one the best CPD experiences I have had in thirty plus years of teaching.”

The 2016 Polymer Study Tours were sponsored by:

  • BPF Polymer Distributors and Compounders Group,
  • Advanced Insulations PLC
  • BPF Vinyls Group
  • Distrupol Ltd.
  • Manchester Polymer Group
  • RPC Containers Ltd
  • Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association
  • AkzoNoble
  • Aliaxis, BASF PLC
  • BPF Energy Limited
  • BPF Pipes Group
  • British Polythene Industries PLC
  • Covestro
  • Gabriel Chemie
  • Ineos Europe
  • Negri Bossi
  • Nuplex
  • Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery (UK) Ltd.
  • Tangram Technology
  • Victrex Polymer Solutions.

Edinburgh 18 to 21 June / London 25 to 28 June / Manchester 02 to 05 July

An application form is available here.

Further details are also available on the IOM3 Website by clicking here.

This residential course is entirely FREE to teachers once they arrive at the venue due to the generous sponsorship of the Horners’ Educational Trust, companies in the polymer industry, and organisations involved in supporting education. The cost of travel to/from your chosen venue, and the cost of any replacement teaching staff, is the responsibility of the teacher and/or school. We do however ask for a £50 booking deposit which is refunded when you attend the course.

For further information you can contact:

Diane Aston
The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining
The Boilerhouse
Springfield Business Park
Caunt Road Grantham
Lincolnshire NG31 7FZ

Tel 01476 513882 or by e-mail via diane.aston@iom3.org

The course outline is:

Day 1

  • Starts Sunday afternoon to allow for travel to the course
  • Introduction to the course and plastics industry
  • Education support from the Institute of Materials Minerals & Mining.
  • Dinner, followed by informal ice breaker event.

Day 2

  • Polymer Materials and Polymer applications – formal lectures
  • Polymer Workshop in the labs – Hands on processing and testing where the teachers get to make things and break things, and take photos for their schools
  • Dinner, followed by guest lecture from local industrialist or academic

Day 3

  • Industrial visits to local plastics processing companies – photo opportunities
  • Course dinner with short speech by an Officer from the Worshipful Company of Horners

Day 4

  • Polymer Identification and Testing – Tests that can be replicated at schools
  • The Sustainable Environment- talk and discussion on recycling
  • Plastics Product Design – Examples of good and bad design
  • The Polymer Industry and Support for Schools
  • Final session- evaluation, development and improvement; CD ROM of course material and photos is provided later in the year.