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2016A Successful Projects

STFC Public Engagement Small Awards

Dr Teresa Anderson
University of Manchester

‘Real Science Pulsar Workshop at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre’

1st September 2016 to 31st August 2017

(Credit: bluedot)

Teresa and her team will design and trial a workshop that will allow students studying A-level physics to experience and perform ‘real science’ with pulsar data from the Lovell Telescope. The experience will introduce students to how real and world-leading research is performed and provide, first-hand, the element of discovery that is part of scientific research.

Dr Darren Baskill
University of Sussex

‘The Ensonglopedia of Science’

29th August 2016 to 28th February 2017

(Credit: University of Sussex)

This project is a collaboration between the University of Sussex, a number of other UK science institutions and a team of award-winning science communicators working in theatre and music. The excitement of contemporary scientific research will be presented to young audiences through music and comedy.

Dr Christopher Edmonds
University of Liverpool


1st August 2016 to 31st October 2016

This pilot project will allow students, pupils and the public to explore the accelerator facilities at Daresbury Laboratory virtually, as well as inviting them to bring aspects of real experiments into their classroom or home.

The smartphone and tablet apps produced as a result of this pilot will be made publically available; the feedback received regarding these will inform the further development of the project.

Professor Gerry Gilmore
University of Cambridge

‘The Milky-Way Hands-on with Gaia’

1st August 2016 to 31st December 2017

John Coxon

(Credit: University of Cambridge)

The team at the University of Cambridge will continue and enhance the outreach activities bringing the Gaia mission to schools and the public in a hands-on way.

The inspirational value of the European Space Agency’s Gaia mission will be used to engage the public with cutting-edge STFC funded research and attract students to STEM subjects – highlighting the broad range of STEM careers relating to astronomy and space science missions.

Dr Zara Gladman
University of Glasgow

‘Chasing the Waves’

1st August 2016 to 28th February 2017

‘Chasing the Waves’ is a live, interactive musical show that tells the story of the detection of gravitational waves. The show will draw upon the research and experiences of scientists directly involved in the discovery, giving a behind-the-scenes insight into the world of research. The show will be targeted at upper secondary schools in areas of multiple deprivation and to the general public.

Mr Rick Hall
Ignite Futures Ltd

‘Lab_13 for Children with Special Educational Needs - Lab_13 SEN’

1st September 2016 to 31st August 2017

John Coxon

(Credit: Ignite Futures)

Lab_13 is a network of schools in the UK and Ghana; Ignite! staff provide support services to the UK schools. This project will establish a Lab_13 in a Nottingham school that works with children who have Special Educational Needs (SEN). This pilot project will enable Ignite! to explore and reveal how the Lab_13 concept adds value to learning – particularly for students with limited verbal communication.

Ms Susie Hilmi
Westminster City Council

‘‘Reach for the Skies - Telescopes for loan at Westminster Reference Library’’

1st September 2016 to 31st August 2019

(Credit: WikiMedia)

In collaboration with partners, including the Royal Astronomy Society and Baker Street Irregular Astronomers, Westminster Reference Library will engage the public with astronomy through a telescope loan scheme, training in the use of telescopes, quarterly astronomy events and other stargazing events.

The library will also seek partnerships with secondary schools and colleges in order to bring the subject of astronomy to students.

Ms Rae Hoole

‘Lise Meitner: The Battle for Ultimate Truth. Bringing attention to the discovery of nuclear fission, Meitner's humanity and impact on the world’

22nd August 2016 to 21st December 2016

The project aims to inspire young girls to want to study physics through the compelling and dramatic story of Lise Meitner – her role in the discovery of nuclear fission, her life in Europe during two world wars and her impact on the world today.

The project will comprise of a combination of workshops and a specifically commissioned play about Meitner’s life.

Professor Cigdem Issever
University of Oxford

‘Building ATLAS in Minecraft’

1st September 2016 to 31st July 2017

(Credit: University of Oxford)

This project will enable primary and secondary school pupils to build the ATLAS detector as a world map in the computer game Minecraft. The team plans to build the ATLAS detector, experimental halls, cavern and nearby aboveground buildings with the aim of educating children about particle physics, the detectors and the LHC.

The resultant map will be freely distributed with the aim of it being used in classrooms for educating pupils about ATLAS and the LHC.

Professor Roger Jones
Lancaster University

‘Physics@WOMAD 2016’

1st July 2016 to 31st October 2016

John Coxon

(Credit: Lancaster University)

This project will, for the first time, bring an explicitly science strand to the broad WOMAD cultural festivals. The wide family audience that attend WOMAD will be given the chance to learn about a range of subjects including LHC Physics, Solar Physics, Space Weather, Planetary Science and Gravitational Waves.

The weekend will involve three six hour sessions; the first two hours being child-friendly, the remainder being aimed at a broader audience. The sessions will consist of talks, interactive discussions, stargazing and other activities.

Ms Aleksandra Mir
Visual Art

‘Space Tapestry: Creation of new artwork for two exhibitions at Tate Liverpool and the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford in 2017’

1st June 2016 to 31st May 2017

(Credit: Aleksandra Mir)

The Space Tapestry is a 600 metre artwork divided equally in three sections. It takes its inspiration from the anonymous Bayeux tapestry artists who depicted Halley’s comet 1000 years.

This is an ambitious attempt to create a large scale visual narrative, rooted in contemporary technology and perception but with the aim to last for another 1000 years, creating a report of the human quest for space.

The final artwork will be too large to be seen in a single venue, therefore a series of exhibitions is planned. Venues will include Tate Liverpool and the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford in 2017. The combined audience is expected to be nearly half a million people.

Dr Chris North
University of Cardiff


1st September 2016 to 31st August 2017

John Coxon

(Credit: Swansea University)

The LIGO experiment recently made the first detection of gravitational waves, with key involvement from UK researchers and significant investment from STFC.

Chris and his colleagues will build demonstration model that illustrates the mechanism by which LIGO works and exhibit it at events for the public and schools.

Dr David Price
Diamond Light Source

‘Light for Wales - Diamond Light Source Exhibition at the National Eisteddfod of Wales’

29th July 2016 to 31st August 2016

(Credit: University of Leeds)

This project will take the science carried out at Diamond Light Source (DLS) to the 2016 National Eisteddfod at Abergavenny.

The work of DLS will be promoted to a non-typical audience. Other festival exhibitions that specifically cover research undertaken at DLS will also be supported and highlighted.

Dr Sarah Roberts
University of Swansea

‘QuarkNet Cymru’

1st August 2016 to 31st January 2018

(Credit: Sarah Roberts)

QuarkNet Cymru is a pilot project designed to enthuse and engage secondary school students in the exciting topics of particle physics and cosmic rays. The programme will build upon two previously successful funding bids related to the purchase of HiSparc cosmic ray detectors. Specifically, the award will be used to produce and pilot the educational programme; evaluating the resources and CPD events with the schools involved.

Mr Stuart Rodgers
Holy Cross College

‘North Manchester Education and Community Astronomy centre.’

4th July 2016 to 3rd June 2018

This award will help to establish a multi-purpose Community Astronomy centre in the north Manchester area. The centre will serve a large community in the north Manchester and Lancashire region, promoting astronomy at a number of levels: education for pupils from 5 years upwards, teacher training via the IoP and the general public through full access to the observatory facilities for independent astronomy groups.

Mrs Rachel Sinfield
University of Cambridge

‘Talking Space: Art, Science and Colour on Earth and Mars’

1st July 2016 to 31st December 2016

Recent images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter revealed that the Beagle 2 had in fact landed intact on the surface of Mars In 2003 and was not lost as previously assumed. Following discussions with Dr Judith Pillinger of the Beagle 2 mission, the Fitzwilliam Museum will mount a special display using the flight spare of the spacecraft's calibration target, a spot painting by artist Damien Hirst (and the first work of art from Earth to land on another planet) to engage non-specialist audiences with the art, science and essentially multidisciplinary, collaborative nature of space exploration. The display is planned for Autumn 2016 to form part of the Museum's programme for the University of Cambridge's annual Festival of Ideas. Entitled 'Talking Space: Art, Science and Colour on Earth and Mars', it will complement the Fitzwilliam's major Bicentenary exhibition, COLOUR: The Art and Science of Manuscript Illumination. It will also be one of several activities marking the 40th anniversary of the Hamilton Kerr Institute, the Museum's Department of paintings conservation, whose conservators sourced the pigments Professor Colin Pillinger and Hirst used in the spot painting. It will also coincidentally fit with the projected landing of the Schiaparelli technical demonstrator, which forms part of the first mission of the European Space Agency's ExoMars programme.

Dr Stephen Wilkins
University of Sussex

‘Lewes Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) Festival 2017’

1st January 2017 to 30th April 2017

(Credit: University of Sussex)

This award will support the ongoing development and expansion of the Lewes STEM Festival. The festival aims to encourage the general public to take an interest in STEM disciplines whilst also serving as a showcase for research undertaken in the local community – including local businesses and the universities of Brighton and Sussex.

Last updated: 28 June 2018


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