Scroll Top

Castlepark pupils set their STEM goals

Kilmarnock Football Club have taken inspiration from Sir Alexander Fleming to help Castlepark pupil’s to consider setting their own STEM goals.

Kilmarnock Football Club fans who like to adorn the away shirt on games beyond Rugby Park, will notice that the current Killie away strip has a unique STEM design.

With a Penicillin-inspired pattern, the statement STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) shirt celebrates the chemical construct of the world’s first ever antibiotic – penicillin, discovered in 1928 by Ayrshire’s very own Sir Alexander Fleming.

Reigniting the story behind Fleming’s accidental discovery, ‘The Killie Community’ team have been visiting local North Ayrshire schools to spark STEM interest.

The STEM sessions have been supported by scientific experts GSK – a global biopharma company with a manufacturing facility in Irvine.

With Beith, St Peter’s, St Bridget’s, St Luke’s, Dykesmains, Caledonia and Ardeer Primary school’s already in the back of the net, the latest interactive STEM session took place at Castlepark Primary school, and it proved a big hit with pupils there.

Through a series of easy scientific experiments that can be replicated by teachers in the school with other classes too, P5 pupils had the chance to discover more about the important role antibiotics play in keeping us healthy.

Afterwards, pupils then had an opportunity to show off their impressive footwork and stamina in challenging fitness and football coaching drills, highlighting the importance of exercise in leading a healthy lifestyle.

STEM football session Castlepark

Tim Dreyer, North Ayrshire STEM Coordinator said: “STEM industries are a major source of employment in North Ayrshire and we are acutely aware that the current research shows that children have self-selected in or out of STEM subjects by the age of 7, so this is why sessions such as these are so important.

“We have a few more schools left; Moorpark PS, Pennyburn PS, Glebe PS, St Anthony’s PS and Annick PS, so we are looking forward to delivering these between now and the Easter break to encourage more primary 5 pupils to set their STEM goals from a young age.

“I would like to take this opportunity to share my thanks on behalf of North Ayrshire STEM and all the participating schools for the time The Killie Community coaches and GSK have spent in creating this learning series inspired by the work of Sir Alexander Fleming.

“The feedback has been excellent and it’s brilliant that our young learners have enjoyed the opportunity, spending time connecting with their local scientific heritage and also understanding the many exciting STEM careers and industries we have here in North Ayrshire.

“Like the introduction of our STEM learning trail at Eglinton Country Park – developed in partnership with our Countryside Ranger Service (read the news article for more on this) the STEM learning sessions are a great example of how we can help schools to team up with local community partners and industries to enrich learning experiences outside of the classroom.

“This collaborative approach is vital for nurturing an interest in STEM careers and the sessions are of upmost importance if we are to continue to develop a highly skilled future workforce for the region.

“The activities undertaken could very well inspire these young people to pursue careers in sports science or chemical engineering in North Ayrshire, so this was a great experience for everyone involved.”

With British Science Week (8-17 March) on the horizon, North Ayrshire learners will be participating in further activities including visits from STEM Ambassadors and live lessons focussing on this year’s theme of ‘time’.

Stay tuned and keep up to date on what Tim and the Council’s STEM team are up to by following North Ayrshire STEM on Facebook and (@NAC_STEM) on X (

Alexander Fleming STEM and footballer icon
“This unique project is using the power of football to inspire the next generation of scientists. Working across North Ayrshire schools, using the penicillin-themed design on Kilmarnock FC’s away top, we are enjoying huge success sparking young people’s interest in STEM with over 15 schools participating across Ayrshire so far. Thanks to the Castlepark pupils for another memorable session and to NAC STEM and GSK on this incredibly worthwhile community learning programme.”

Craig Tracey, The Killie Community’s Community Support Officer

STEM class pupils look at periodic table
Smiles all round STEM class Castlepark group photo
Privacy Preferences
When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in form of cookies. Here you can change your privacy preferences. Please note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we offer.