TALKATIVE youngsters have been filling the airwaves as part of National Science Week.

Pupils in years five and six at St Barnabas CE Primary School, Green Lane, Worcester, spoke to representatives from amateur radio stations in the UK and further afield in Europe.

Members of the Worcester Radio Amateur Association helped them launch their own station with help from a 60ft mast supporting shortwave aerials standing on the school's field.

Contact was made with stations in Germany, France, Denmark, Belgium and Holland, plus into Orkney, Isle of Lewis and Northern Ireland, where St Patrick's Day greetings were exchanged.

In total, more than 90 stations spoke with the pupils, who also learnt morse code, the phonetic alphabet and how radio waves travelled around the earth.

One amateur operator who spoke to the children was Jim Lee, the BBC Radio 4 announcer, who told them of his work duties when reading the news.

They also experienced a live downlink from the International Space Station, with pupils able to watch the crew at work in real time.