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Merck Curiosity Cube®
Merck staff at the Curiosity Cube® in Gillingham School.

Science and technology company Merck has begun its European tour to attract a new generation of scientists with an unusual mobile lab at Gillingham School.

The company, which has a major facility in Gillingham, set up its Curiosity Cube® mobile science lab at the school at the start of a tour which will include 70 events across Europe.

The cube, pictured above and below, is in fact a 7×2.5 metre, retrofitted shipping container transformed into a mobile science lab.

Merck cube
The Merck mobile lab.

The idea is to spark scientific curiosity and passion early in pupils – paving the way to a future filled with innovative breakthroughs and encouraging students to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) occupations.

Chris Gray, who was in the cube at Gillingham School for Merck, told Gillingham News: ‘It’s part of our “Spark Initiative”. We want to spark scientific intrigue by going to schools and running science experiments, combining learning with fun. Hopefully, this will spark an interest in a career in science.’

The number of people working Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) occupations has grown three times faster than the total employment in the EU, according to the EU STEM Coalition. With this growth in jobs, Merck says there is an ‘urgent need to train up the next generation of scientists to fill this pipeline’.

The cube also brings interactive science experiences and tools to students who might not otherwise have access, such as those attending schools with fewer resources.

In all, the Curiosity Cube® will hold more than 70 events across Europe as part of its inaugural European tour. It will make stops in countries including Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. The mobile lab will also have a stationary location at company sites in Darmstadt, Germany and Molsheim, France.

You can follow the Curiosity Cube® on Instagram @curiositycube_merck and #SPARKCuriosity.

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