ABOUT 160 students from five secondary schools spent yesterday learning new skills at a science and engineering fair.

Youngsters from the schools in Hambleton and Richmondshire were at the Key Stage Three Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths Fair 2004.

They had the chance to get involved in a variety of activities, including learning how to take fingerprints with North Yorkshire Police.

The fair, which was organised by NYBEP, the Business and Education Partnership for York and North Yorkshire, took place at the Hambleton Forum, in Northallerton.

The group aims to get local businesses involved in bringing maths, physics and engineering activities to life.

On offer yesterday was the opportunity to work with a professional support services group, Mouchel Parkman, the Construction Industry Training Board and Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

Tony Simons, the Hambleton advisor for NYBEP, said: "The fair continues to be an ideal way of complementing, enriching and enhancing the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics at Key Stage Three.

"The students found it exciting and had lots of fun taking part in the activities on offer."