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Education news

Primary school to celebrate Belfast scientist who proved Einstein wrong

A pupil from Fane Street PS in costume as scientist John Bell

A BELFAST primary school is to celebrate its most illustrious alumnus - the Nobel Prize nominated John Bell - with a special day in his honour.

Fane Street PS will launch the inaugural John Bell Day today, demonstrating his world-renowned contribution to modern science as well as his local roots.

Born on Tate's Avenue, Bell attended Fane Street in the 1930s before going on to Queen's University Belfast and becoming one of the most prolific scientists of the 20th century.

His explanation of the quantum world of particle physics disproved one of Einstein's theories and his work led to the development of quantum computing, which resulted in his Nobel nomination.

A short film about Bell's life starring the pupils will be launched as well and an urban-art mural unveiled on the walls of the school.

"The pupils have experienced a tremendous range of cross-curricular activities from exploring the wonderful and inspiring story of John Bell," principal Hilary Cunningham said.

"They have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the video is something that they can all feel justifiably proud of."

The launch of the film and unveiling of the mural will be the culmination of an educational outreach programme which included support from the Widening Participation Unit at Queen's University.

The programme provided the children with a range of interview skills, workshops and engaged with Bell's biographer, Professor Andrew Whittaker. They were also given the opportunity to attend a scientific taster day at the university.

Angela Johnston of the Greater Village Regeneration Trust said John Bell was someone to look up to.

"He used education to transform his life and ultimately the world. He is a fantastic role model to have," she said.

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