Hafan›Newyddion›Families from Cardiff Voyage Through the Solar System!
Explore Your Universe is a multi-generational project aiming to engage with families about space and physics in an interactive way!
The community-based project aims to bring space and physics to families from Grangetown, Riverside and Butetown. Working with partners such as ACE Cardiff, Shiloh Fellowship, Women Seeking Sanctuary and Women’s Connect First to deliver the six sessions, we were able to engage with 116 aged between 5 and 67. This idea of generational learning hopes to increase the science capital within the local area and provide tools to make STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) relevant in day to day life, whilst also ensuring that STEM learning doesn’t stop once leaving school and continues beyond the classroom.
Activities included, voyaging through the solar system and touring the night sky using our star lab, learning about the scale of our planets, using star charts and taking home binoculars to view the stars above your home.
A representative of ACE Cardiff embraced this opportunity to ‘offer the children attending [their] learning club the chance to do something different and enjoy activities that [the group] can’t provide normally’. Amongst these activities is Techniquest’s Star-lab, a mobile Planetarium that offers an insight into the solar system and the stars. ACE Cardiff deemed these sessions to be ‘amazing fun’ as ‘the children found it exciting as did the adults’.
Women Seeking Sanctuary aim to open up their engagement activities to include ‘more involvement for the [children]’. The multi-generational project assists the organisation in achieving this goal using Techniquest’s Starlab and through providing STEM activities.
This work is being funded as part of phase 4 of the Explore Your Universe programme, developed from a strategic partnership between The UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres (ASDC) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).
“Science and discovery centres in the UK are doing some excellent community engagement. Explore Your Universe 4 is an opportunity to build on that to create a truly participatory process that will have a longer term impact on both organisations and communities. It has the potential to kick-start a radical shift in ways of working, and change the public perception of the role of science centres in society. It is both exciting and a privilege to be part of it.”
Phase 4 is, at its heart, an audience-driven programme, focused on participatory methodologies and working with the same families multiple times to build trust and truly include and involve those who may not currently walk through the doors of our centres.