Eighteen-year-old Rothesay Academy pupil, Ross Lockhart, is currently enjoying his first day in Toronto having been selected to participate in the third annual Baird of Bute Society Science Scholarship.
The scholarship was set up to give Scotland’s youth the chance to go on a 19-day trip to Canada with the chairman of the Baird of Bute Society Chris Markwell. Whilst on the trip the candidates are taken to various science institutes such as the Ontario Science Center and the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute to learn about working in science from some of the world’s top scientists.
Ross will be joined by Eilidh Summers (18) from Ullapool and Keir Carmichael (18) from Johnstone. This is the first year that the scholarship has been opened up to students from across Scotland’s 360 secondary schools, thanks to support from Education Scotland. Ross’ scholarship has been made possible through generous support from the Baird of Bute Society, The Bute Family, and ‘For Bute’.
Ross, Eilidh and Keir will be participating in a unique and exciting programme called ‘From Bench to Bedside’ which follows the scientific process from the lab bench to delivery to a patient.
Hosted by Chris, the pupils will be joining a class of Ontario’s brightest students in a physics lab, before moving on to the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus where they will be mentored by Dr Patrick Gunning, formerly of Bute, who is a world renowned cancer researcher.
They will then move to the University of Toronto’s downtown campus where they will be mentored by Dr Hazel Markwell, spending a week at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute where scientific discoveries and developments are moved to the next stage of their development. Part of that week will be spent in different hospitals, including St. Michael’s Hospital, where they meet with doctors and are introduced to science at the bedside.
Mr Markwell told us: “It’s [the scholarship] an excellent opportunity for some of the brightest school leavers in Scotland. It provides an opportunity to see science in action and have hands-on experience, but also provides the opportunity to develop a network of contacts and mentors who will be supportive in their academic life and careers.”
While in Canada, Ross and his fellow students will be spending some of their time outside of the laboratories getting to see landmark sites, including Niagara Falls and the CN Tower.