A CONVERTED shipping container has given school children a glimpse into the world of science.

The ‘Curiosity Cube’ has been designed by science and technology company Merck as a mobile science lab.

Its aim is to inspire students across the country to take science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.

At the beginning of October, the cube was transported to Lockyer’s Middle School in Corfe Mullen.

Pupils there learned about ‘contamination’ by conducting experiments, examining microscope images and peering through virtual reality headsets.

The school’s head of science, Gilly Snaith, said: “It was wonderful to have the Merck’s Curiosity Cube visit us because we want to encourage more children to take STEM subjects.

“The cube has certainly helped open their eyes, and the Merck staff spoke to them about careers in science in order to encourage everyone to think about it.

“They pointed out that there are many types of scientist and many different careers open to them.

“Lots of our children were inspired by the visit and we hope many will go on to do STEM subjects at upper school.”

Rachel Hormeku, the Curiosity Cube co-ordinator for Europe, said: “The 2023 theme is contamination and we were able to conduct standard food and beverage industry tests to see the values of various drinks, look at surface ‘contamination’ virtual reality headsets, and explore environmental contamination through microscopes.

“The children also did a quiz and were inquisitive and asked the scientists questions. They were really engaged and shared their opinions, which is what we encourage.”

Lockyer’s Middle School is part of Initio Learning Trust. Its chief executive officer, Liz West, said: “What a superb way of encouraging children to experience science.

“All our schools understand the importance of encouraging children to consider taking STEM subjects, right from their first year.”