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Public Engagement at Manchester

After School Science Club – MSF event needs your help!

After School Science Club: BLOCKS – Friday 27 October, 6.30pm-10pm, Museum of Science and Industry, Liverpool Road, Manchester, Tickets £9.50, adults 18+ (bar open all night)

Finished school, but still excited about science? After School Science Club is a night of carefully curated science talks, table-to-table science demos and puzzles, and hands-on science stuff, put together by award-winning mathematician and communicator Katie Steckles.

The event will take place in the Museum of Science and Industry’s main gallery, and the theme of the evening will be blocks – with block-themed talks, a giant table of LEGO courtesy of LEGOLand Discovery Centre, LEGO telescopes and microscopes you can build and use, and a team-of roving block-buskers around the room.

We’ll be joined by this year’s Ri Christmas Lecturer neuroscientist Sophie Scott, nanochemist Suze Kundu, materials scientist Jamie Gallagher and xenobiologist and author Lewis Dartnell. We’ll also have a bar, thematic freebies, and some puzzles and competitions with prizes to win!

If you’re interested, tickets cost £9.50 and they’re selling fast, so get one soon! For more information, and to book, visit afterschoolscience.club or follow @AftSchSciClub on Twitter for updates.

This message is posted on behalf of Katie Steckles

Science Spectacular 2017 – Applications of Interest – Now Open (closes 11 Sept 2017)

Science Spectacular – our annual university-wide family fun science fair – returns for the Manchester Science Festival 2017, and we hope you can join us.

Science Spectacular is a key event in the University’s calendar of public engagement events. It provides an interactive showcase for the exciting research taking place across the University and offers the opportunity to engage with audiences of all ages. Running since 2011, we typically attract around 2,000 visitors and have featured prominently as a highlight of MSF. If you haven’t heard of Science Spectacular before, then check out our photo gallery and our short film.

What our visitors said about last year’s event:

  • “This has been a wonderful day. Our grandson has taught us so much, we had no idea he knew so much about science. Also the scientists have all been so friendly.”
  • “@UoMEngage it was brill wasn’t it? Loved the stuff in the study today. A big hit with the 7 year olds. #sciencespectacular”
  • “Hey @UoMEngage #ScienceSpectacular knocked it out of the park again. Special thanks to the rocket enthusiasts!”

This year Science Spectacular will take place on Saturday 21 October in Whitworth Hall and Manchester Museum.

We are looking to host 50 interactive table top science stations. So if you’d like to be a part of this year’s event, please return the attached Applications of Interest form by Monday 11 September 2017.

Download the application of interest form (doc).

Posted by Dee-Ann Johnson, on behalf of the UoM Science Spectacular Co-ordinating Group

Science and Poetry – call for scientists to take part in Manchester Science Festival

As part of Manchester Science Festival 2017, we are looking to pair up a selection of Manchester-based scientists with local poets to develop a series of interdisciplinary performances. This is a really fun and engaging event that has sold out for the past two years, and which has been of great benefit to both the poets and the researchers that have been involved.

Places will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. In terms of commitment, you would need to keep the following dates and times free:

  • Training Session @ Manchester Met – Saturday 23rd September; 11:00 – 15:00
  • Performance @ The Eagle Inn, Salford – Thursday 26th October; 19:00 – 22:00

If you would like to get involved this year, or if you have any questions then please do get in touch with me –  Sam Illingworth – email: S.Illingworth@mmu.ac.uk

Sam Illingworth, Senior Lecturer in Science Communication, Manchester Metropolitan University

Call for nominations: The Josh Award 2017 – science communication

Are you – or do you know – an amazing science communicator who is at a defining moment in their career?

The Josh Award is the UK’s national award in science communication, established to recognise and support up-and-coming talent in science communication. The award provides the opportunity to become the science communicator in residence at the Manchester Science Festival, developing and delivering a new project or event while showcasing best practice in the field of science communication. The winner receives support to nurture their development in the field and their involvement in the Manchester Science Festival from the Festival team, the University of Salford’s Science Communication cluster, and the BIG STEM Communicators Network.

The Prize

  • Role as Manchester Science Festival Science Communicator in Residence for 2017. The winner will receive the support of the Manchester Science Festival team, members of BIG and previous Josh Award winners to develop and deliver an innovative and creative new project or event at Manchester Science Festival.
  • Up to £2500 to develop your project or event with Manchester Science Festival and up to £1000 personal expenses budget. Please note this budget will be agreed and held by the Manchester Science Festival and the University of Salford.
  • Attendance at the annual BIG Event (http://www.big.uk.com/event-2468918) conference fee and annual membership provided by BIG, worth around £300) to network with and present to a diverse range of science communicators from across the sector. The 2017 BIG Event will take place from Wednesday 19 to Friday 21 July 2017 at Life Science Centre in Newcastle Upon Tyne.
  • A personal prize cheque of £500 provided by the Josh Award
  • The Josh Award trophy, held for one year

How to apply: Applications are now open until 5pm on Monday 22nd May 2017. For more information please see the information pack and application form:

Manchester MegaPixel needs you!

Mathematician and science communication award winner Katie Steckles is running a large-scale maths project at this year’s Manchester Science Festival – the MegaPixel will be a giant photograph made from individual pixels, the same way computer and phone displays show images, built in a large window at the Museum of Science and Industry – and coloured by hand!

We’re looking for schools to take part in the project by colouring in a small section of the image and sending back pixels to us in the post – we’ll be posting out packs to schools on 16 September, to return by 10 October, and the pack will include everything you need to colour 64 pixels, plus activities, lesson ideas and worksheets around the way computers store and manipulate pixel images, suitable for KS2-5. It’d be great for a school STEM club or one-off lesson, and the activities have links with maths, physics, computer science and art.

If you’re interested in helping, please visit manchestermegapixel.com and find the sign-up form on the How do I get involved? page. The packs will be sent out on 16 September, and we only have a limited number of places, so sign up soon to make sure you don’t miss out!


Calls for applications of interest – Science Spectacular 2016 and Sampling Science Talks

Science Spectacular – a key event in the Manchester Science Festival programme, returns for 2016 and you are invited to take part.

When: Saturday 29 October 2016, 10:00 – 16:00
Where: Manchester Museum

What is it?
Now in it’s 6th year, our university-wide science fair invites families to explore interactive exhibits and take part in a diverse range of science and engineering challenges.

  • Take a look at the Science Spectacular photo gallery
  • Watch the 2015 Science Spectacular film

Science spectacularGet Involved
We are looking for researchers, students or academics to run Tabletop Activities as part of this family fun science fair. With more than 1,700 visitors last year, the focus will be on communicating your passion for your research, and ensuring that attendees leave with a spark for science! The event caters for researchers familiar with public engagement to showcase their activities, whilst providing a supportive environment for less experienced colleagues to try new ideas. (Download the Science Spectacular pro-forma for more details)

This year we are also hosting Sampling Science talks – 3 researchers share a 30 minute space to share insights into their work. Props, images and objects are used to get the conversation started with the audience. (Download the Sampling Science Talks Proforma for more details).

Thinking of applying?
If you’d like to be a part of this award winning event, please complete the applicable pro forma by 9 September 2016.

And please do get in touch with any queries – tel: 64155 or
email: Dee-Ann.Johnson@manchester.ac.uk

The Science Spectacular Co-ordinating Group
Dee-Ann Johnson, Suzanne Spicer, Emma Lewis, Ceri Harrop, Hawys Williams, Anna Bunney, and Vicky Grant