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Public Engagement at Manchester

Celebrating the biological sciences for British Science Week

As part of British Science Week, 550 pupils and their teachers from schools throughout Greater Manchester were invited to take in Bio-Discovery Day. Hosted by The University of Manchester and Manchester Museum, the event featured 50 researchers showcasing the wonder of the biological sciences and engaging young people aged 11-14 years old.

Featuring 26 research and teaching stands, school pupils had the opportunity to participate in virtual reality tours, get hands on with 3D printed body parts, build human cells and explore the brains of different animals. Professor Sheena Cruickshank and Professor David Brough also delivered talks to highlight and inform pupils about career pathways in the biological sciences. School pupils also had the opportunity to chat with scientists about the biomedical and biological sciences and their area of expertise.

We wanted the children to get experience of the different subjects that they can study. What they have experienced at Bio-Discovery Day is the complete variety of biology and a lot of things that they would never have thought about before today.” – Mrs A. Handley, Curriculum Leader in Science at Saddleworth School

Organised by Dr Katherine Hinchliffe and Dr Shazia Chaudhry, Bio-Discovery Day aimed to encourage enthusiasm in science in our local school pupils as well as giving their final-year students the opportunity to gain experience in public engagement activities.

Susannah Poole, a final year undergraduate student said of the experience, “This is the first time that I have participated in a public engagement activity, I have gained a lot of valuable insight into how people react and have learnt to not be discouraged if people aren’t interested in what you are saying. When planning future activities, I would focus on making activities more interactive as well as simplifying the language that I use – generally focusing on less science and more fun!

The event gave school pupils the opportunity to see what researchers do at the University as well as what is involved with being a scientist. By hosting the event at the Museum, Bio-Discovery Day also encouraged a sense of fun and discovery, with the exhibits and collections offering an inspirational exploration of science and culture.

Esme Ward, the Director of Manchester Museum commented that “Manchester Museum was alive and kicking… thanks to everyone for a brilliant day. University museums at their best!

Public engagement opportunities at Eureka!

Public Engagement opportunities at Eureka! – The National Children’s Museum in Halifax –  next year and in the first instance, British Science Week.

We are looking for researchers and STEM professionals to come into the museum throughout the year to chat to our visitors using hands on, exciting and engaging activities that show off their work and themselves. We also have space for researchers who are looking to do data collection with our visitors as well. As part of our relaunch of the public engagement programme at Eureka! we will be promoting any researchers or professionals that are coming in to the museum to our visitors through our website and social media channels and then as part of a regular round up blog about the programme to showcase who has been in and their work.

We have opportunities throughout the year, primarily on weekends during term time, however as I said above the first and biggest opportunity is during British Science Week.

Eureka! is kicking off our Science Week on the 5th March this year with an adults only Late event from 6.30pm-9.30pm. It will be a STEM filled event with lots of activities happening throughout the evening and of course a bit of music and a bar! We are then running our usual Science Week activities from 6th March to 13th March (apart from Monday 9th when we are closed). There is space for public engagement activities at the Late on the 5th for an adult audience, the 7th and 8th for our family audience and 6th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th for our schools audience.

If you are interested in coming into the museum for any of the dates during British Science Week or beyond, please get in contact with Chris Snowden, STEM & Public Engagement Manager, Eureka! The National Children’s Museum.

Email: Chris.Snowden@eureka.org.uk  Tel: 01422 398471

Science Week and Lates event at Eureka! Halifax

Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax, West Yorkshire are hosting a range of activities to celebrate British Science Week.

Alongside our own events we are looking for STEM professionals with a passion for inspiring and enthusing primary age children (and grown-ups!) to bring some hands on activities and demonstrations about their stories, work, innovation or research, and engage the school groups and families that visit us. Eureka! is celebrating British Science Week from 8th – 15th March with the exception of 11th March as the museum is closed.

In addition to our family and school events, Eureka! is also hosting an adults only Late event on 7th March from 6.30pm – 9.30pm. Again we are looking for people to bring some hands on activities and demonstrations and talk to our visitors about their work.

For further information please contact Chris Snowden, STEM & Public Engagement Manager via email: chris.snowden@eureka.org.uk

Would you like to be part of our Science Fair for British Science Week 2017?

Closing date (expressions of interest) 16th December 2016

In 2017 – we will once again be running a programme of events for British Science Week; which will include the Science Fair in the Great Hall, Sackville Street. We already have 400 pupils booked onto this event, and the capacity to welcome 1000 pupils onto campus over the four event days – but rely on your support to make this event happen.

We are looking for academics and/or research groups to coordinate a stand to showcase your research area and communicate it to young people. The main aim of this programme of activities is to enthuse and inspire young people about science, technology, engineering and maths and increase their desire to study it to A-level and beyond.

We ask where possible you have the stand on all four days – but staffing can change – with input from UG and PG students encouraged. The science fair dates for 2017 are:

  • Monday 13th March – Set Up Afternoon
  • Tuesday 14th March, PM – Science Fair for pupils in Y7 – Y9 10am – 12:30pm
  • Wednesday 15th March – Science Fair for pupils in Y7 – Y9 10am – 12:30pm AND Science Fair for local primary schools 1pm – 2:30pm
  • Science Fair for pupils in Y7 – Y9 10am – 12:30pm
  • Science Fair for pupils in Y7 – Y9 10am – 12:30pm AND Set down of stands from 12:30 onwards.

For more information, please read the EOI_BSW_2017 form and return if you’d like to take part.

Emma Lewis

British Science Week 2015: Tell us what switched you onto science! #My1stExperiment

What was the first experiment which sparked your scientific curiosity? What did you do? Did you realise you wanted to become a scientist? It might be the first experiment that you did as a child or perhaps the first experiment you did once you started studying science at university.

Next week is British Science Week – and we will be welcoming over 1000 school pupils onto campus for 4 days of super science. In the run up to British Science Week (13 – 22 March 2015, see www.britishscienceweek.org/) we are asking staff and students from the University of Manchester and beyond to tell us about the first experiment which sparked their interest in science.

Please use #My1stExperiment and #UoM so we can identify your tweets. We’ll be retweeting as many as we can from @UoMSchools – and sharing the tweets with teachers and pupils at our Science Fair from 17 – 20 March.

Please share the word with your colleagues and students, and if you have any questions contact me on emma.lewis@manchester.ac.uk

To watch a video of our British Science Week event days from last year, check out www.manchester.ac.uk/STEM

Emma Lewis, UG Recruitment and Widening Participation Officer (Academic Enrichment STEM) The Directorate for Student Experience, The University of Manchester