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Public Engagement at Manchester

Royal Astronomical Society: RAS 200: Sky and Earth programme

The Royal Astronomical Society is running a major outreach and engagement programme, RAS 200: Sky and Earth, to commemorate the Society’s 200th anniversary in 2020.

Details can be found at www.ras.org.uk/200

With a budget of £1 million its aim is to fund around 10 projects (about £100,000 each) to engage the wider public with the sciences we support, with our key goal being to work with groups that until now have been ‘hard to reach’.

To that end, we are approaching a diverse range of organisations where we have had little or no involvement in the past, but that are well placed to work with the wider community and who would be potential project partners or leads.

The next stage of the project is taking place in the autumn, with regional ‘Town Hall’ meetings taking place at a number of locations around the UK.

The meeting will bring together potential national partners and / or their local representatives with more local groups, who are likely to provide the volunteer effort needed to make funded projects a success. The meetings will have a short overview of RAS 200, followed by initial pitches for ideas and a ‘speed networking’ session to allow partners to develop combined plans. We will also be opening a two-stage process for applications for funding. Firstly applications will submit a ‘letter of intent’ or outline proposal. A review group will select a subset of these to go forward and to be invited to submit a more detailed application. After a second review, the first set of projects should receive funding from the spring of 2015.

To find out more please attend our meeting on Sunday 23 November, 1.30pm, at the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre. Please note admission to the meeting will be by ticket only. To confirm your attendance please RSVP to jodrelldevelopment@manchester.ac.uk by Thursday13 November in order for the RAS to properly prepare for the event.

RAS 200 is one of the most ambitious projects the RAS has undertaken. We very much welcome your support for and involvement in this exciting programme.

Dr Sheila Kanani, Education, Outreach and Diversity Officer, Royal Astronomical Society

Call for more engagement teams at Jodrell Bank Live

Celebrated Science-Music festival goes from strength to strength

After a successful pilot last year, Jodrell Bank will be hosting four festival dates this year with headline bands such as New Order, Johnny Marr, the Australian Pink Floyd, Sigur Rós and the Hallé Orchestra.

Once again it will be running the Science Arena on each of the dates and already have a number of engagement teams booked in for all of them. The expected audience for each date is between 4,000 and 8,000 attendees, which puts the festival overall on a similar footing to the Cheltenham Science Festival in terms of numbers.

There are still several spaces left in the Science Arena, so University staff are invited to propose engagement activities for these.

The ‘fairground’ type stands are equipped with tables and power supplies. There is no wi-fi on site because of the possibility of interference with the telescope, so any internet-based material will have to be uploaded onto computers/laptops/ipads etc before coming to site.

All Science Arena exhibitors get free access to the Music event once the Science Arena closes, usually early evening, well before the headline acts come on stage, free parking and access to the ‘Green Room’ for exhibitors where we provide tea, coffee and water and a place where people can eat packed lunches etc if they wish. We can also lock any valuable equipment into the Discovery Centre buildings at this stage so that it’s secure overnight between events (though all personal belongings must be taken away as there is no re-entry to the buildings once they are locked at night).

To see what was on offer over the last two years visit: Live from Jodrell Bank

If you would like to get involved; or have further information on the event contact: teresa.anderson@manchester.ac.uk

BBC Radio 4 Gardeners’ Question Time comes to Jodrell Bank

Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre hosts the Easter Special BBC Radio 4 Gardeners’ Question Time to be broadcast on Sunday, 31 March at 2pm.

An invited audience of over 100 local gardeners, beekeepers, florists, farmers and neighbours joined us for an evening of horticultural quizzing with the expert panel of Pippa Greenwood, Anne Swithinbank and Chris Beardshaw. The chairman (also TV weatherman) Peter Gibbs kept the panel on course with a selection of questions from keen horticulturists, including some of our own staff from Jodrell Bank Observatory.

Dr. Teresa Anderson, Director of Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre set the scene for the programme by recording a brief history of the site including Sir Bernard Lovell’s love of trees which led to the planting of the arboretum here.

Chris Beardshaw revisited the Galaxy Garden which he designed in 2011 to record a short feature for the show. He spoke with Becky Burns, Head of Gardens and Interpretation, to discuss how he worked with JB Radio astronomer Dr Tim O’ Brien to design a garden that would tell the story of the development of our Universe through the use of plants.

The recording is due to go out on the most popular broadcast date for BBC Radio 4 Gardeners’ Question Time with over 2 million listeners expected to tune in.

It will also be available on BBC iPlayer and to download as a podcast:

BBC Radio 4: Gardeners’ Question Time

Article Source: The University of Manchester StaffNet Update (27 March 2013)

Jodrell Bank Live 2013 – Science Arena

Following on from a successful pilot last year, Jodrell Bank will be hosting four festival dates this year – 6 and 7 July and 30 and 31 August.

Headline bands have been announced for two of these dates and the subsequent dates will be announced will be announcing the headliners for the following two over the next few weeks.

Once again – they will be running the Science Arena on each of the dates and already have a number of engagement teams booked in for all of them. The expected audience for each date is between 7,000 and 10,000 attendees, which puts the festival overall on a similar footing to the Cheltenham Science Festival in terms of numbers.

Jodrell Bank are opening places in the Science Arena to the University of Manchester and will be able to provide a limited number of people with ‘fairground’ type stands equipped with tables and power supplies. There is no wi-fi on site because of the possibility of interference with the telescope, so any internet-based material will have to be uploaded onto computers/laptops/ipads etc before coming to site.

All Science Arena exhibitors get free access to the event once the Science Arena closes (usually early evening, well before the headline acts come on stage), free parking and access to the ‘Green Room’ for exhibitors where we provide tea, coffee and water and a place where people can eat packed lunches etc if they wish. We can also lock any valuable equipment into the Discovery Centre buildings at this stage so that it’s secure overnight between events (though all personal belongings must be taken away as there is no re-entry to the buildings once they are locked at night).

An impression of the events over the last two years can be found on the Live from Jodrell Bank website  – www.livefromjodrellbank.com/

If you would like to get involved; or have further information on the event – please contact Dr Teresa Anderson on teresa.anderson@manchester.ac.uk