Monday, 5 March 2012

Have a go at science!

National Science & Engineering Week (NSEW) is now a well-established annual event that aims to celebrate science to the public and inspire the next generation of scientists by showing, through fun activities, how science, technology, engineering and maths relate to our everyday lives.

This year’s NSEW is the 18th to take place and once again a number of CEH scientists are taking part because they see that having a positive connection with the public, particularly with their local communities, is an important part of communicating about the state of the environment and how it is changing. And if that's not enough to convince you why they are happy to give up some of their free time to take part, well it's also because they find it fun!

Here’s a brief rundown of what our colleagues are up to for this year's NSEW - we hope you might have the chance to support them, or attend one of the other thousands of events and activities that are happening across the country for NSEW 2012.

Scientists from our Edinburgh site have organised two science “have-a-go” days at Penicuik Town Hall, on Saturday March 10 and Saturday March 17. Taking this year’s NSEW theme, “Our World in Motion”, as a basis, the events will look in particular at how pollution affects us and the environment. Using games, simple experiments, crafts and story activities, the days will examine how we can see the effects of pollution, ask why we should care and answer some of what we can do about it.

There will be contributions from scientists at CEH, Moray House of Education (Edinburgh University), as well as science creativity from Penicuik’s own “Making Space” from the Penicuik Arts Association. A feast of fun and information for all ages has been promised!

Our Edinburgh staff have also organised two free (but ticketed) science talks at the West Street Arts Centre in Penicuik on the evenings of Saturday March 10 and Saturday March 17. The first talk on March 10 is from Dr Andy Buckley, a CERN scientist, who will chat about aspects of the work with the Large Hadron Collider. The second talk is from Dr Brian Miller, head of Epidemiological research at the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh. Brian will discuss aspects of how the environment and pollution affect human health.

Click here for more information on the Penicuik events.

CEH scientists at Bangor, meanwhile, are among those supporting a project that will be taking eight secondary school groups out on field trips to peat bogs during NSEW to learn about carbon storage and climate change. The Moorland Indicators of Climate Change Initiative (MICCI) has now been operating for more than four years and organises events as part of NSEW as well as  other times of the year. The trips will allow the students to carry out fieldwork and gather samples for laboratory analysis.

Our enthusiastic colleagues at Bangor also help to organise the Bangor Science CafĂ©, which is proving very popular in the town. Check out their Facebook page for more information on another great way to learn about science. 

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Posted by Paulette.

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