The Collective Memory aims to share informal learning and evaluations from public engagement activities, responding frequent requests from the science communication community that we should all do this. Collective Memory offers the opportunity to share experience from a wide variety of public engagement initiatives with the option to back these entries up with formal evaluations. Using the Collective Memory will enable you and your organisation to build up a record of your projects and learn from others across the field, bringing up the quality of initiatives across the board. There’s no shame in sharing what didn’t work as well as what did – it’s what you learnt, and all of us can learn, from doing the project that’s important.
Benefits of using the Collective Memory site include:
Building a portfolio of public engagement project evaluations which could be used to provide evidence for future funding
Demonstrating your expertise in the field
Using a structured framework for personal reflection and evaluation
Contributing to and using a diverse resource that can provide guidance on a wide variety of projects, building on what others have learnt by doing
Getting in touch with other practitioners to discuss learning from projects
The upgraded site now supports document upload – if you have a backlog of formal evaluations, why not share them online?
At the great North Museum from now until the 12th April, Newcastle University’s interactive Lego exhibition looks for answers to some of the greatest questions regarding the urban environment, population growth and town planning and design.
The project is involving the public in the construction of a giant Lego town. Around 110,000 bricks are being used to create the ‘mini-city’, which will take shape over the course of the exhibition and whose size, scale and purpose will be determined by the public working with University researchers.
Summer Residential Course Opportunities for students with an interest or natural ability in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths!
Educational charity, The Smallpeice Trust is looking for current Year 11 students to apply for a place on a Low Carbon Energy residential course over the summer. They will gain experience of university and industry that will accelerate their personal development and their potential for greater academic achievement.
Yr 11, Low Carbon Energy
Newcastle University, 23rd – 26th July, 2012
The move towards a lower carbon economy requires us to develop a portfolio of low carbon energy technologies for the electricity, heat and transport markets. Sponsored by Senergy, a global energy services company, this course introduces you to the wide reaching opportunities in this fast changing sector and the difference you could make within this area of engineering.
What will I be doing?
Learning about the different forms of low carbon energy including wind, waves and tide through a series of masterclasses and laboratory sessions
Having question-and-answer sessions with leading experts from Senergy in low carbon energy and marine engineering
Using state-of-the-art research facilities including wave tanks, wind-wave-current tanks and circulating water tanks to conduct tests and experiments
Learning about the engineering challenges involved in capturing, distributing and storing energy from the environment
Competing in teams to design-and-make the most effective and innovative low carbon energy capture devices, tested in commercial and research test facilities
Benefiting from the experience and guidance of student mentors from marine technology and engineering
This course is subsidised and costs £225 which includes all accommodation, meals, course materials and fully supervised social activities. Students can apply directly from the Smallpeice website. Applications are reviewed and places allocated on a first come, first served basis.
STEM Ambassadors under 30 years-old working in careers relating to ethical or ecological issues are sought to contribute to a careers guide that will be sent to schools and colleges nationwide. The guide looks at Ethical and Green Careers and will be published by Babcock Lifeskills.
The time commitment would be less than one hour and there would be no travel involved: the communication would be done entirely by phone or email. You would be asked to send a few photographs to illustrate the text. You would be sent a list of standard questions, and a deadline by which a response would be appreciated. You would be sent both a draft for approval, and a copy of the final product.
Everyone who teaches physics, from to PGCE students to technicians to fully seasoned teachers, are being offered a day of training sponsored by The Institute of Physics, Science Learning Centre North East and Durham University.
A range of interactive workshops will provide the opportunity to explore some of the latest development in physics and new resources for teaching physics in the classroom.
There is a choice of four workshops, of which participants will need to select two from the following: “Physics and Toys”, ”ICT in the science classroom”, “Jolting the jaded – do physics” or “Seeing inside the body: practical medical physics activities and resources”. More information can be found here.
The day is being help at the Durham University
on 21 June 2012 from 9.30 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.
The day is an excellent opportunity and is completely FREE, with lunch and refreshments included. Places must be pre-booked through the Science Learning Centre North East. (Failure to attend without prior notice will incur a £25 administration fee.)
From Monday there will be 46 unique QR code stickers in locations across Newcastle City Centre. Scanning the code will take you to a website with further information about the chemical relevant to that place or product. You might find an Ethanol sticker down the pub, or caffeine at the coffee shop, but the challenge is to find all 46, including some you may not be familiar with.
What is a QR Code?
A QR Code is like a barcode, but it links to a webpage. They are readable using free apps downloadable to any smart phone (e.g. BlackBerry, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone)
What if I don’t have a smartphone?
You can request a booklet which will be sent to you as a PDF to print out, then you can tick off the QR codes you find, making a note of their location.
Yes! If you would like to help increase awareness of chemistry and its importance to Newcastle’s history by displaying a relevant QR code at your workplace, your school or anywhere else you think may be relevant please do contact firstname.lastname@example.org, requesting the QR codes you would like to display.
Tuesday 8th May
Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester
Are you looking to improve and develop skills for maths outreach? Do you currently do public engagement in maths and want to improve, or are you looking to try and incorporate the ‘M in STEM’ into your work?
BIG’s forthcoming skills day helps dispel the myth that Maths is a difficult and scary subject, among communicators as well as the public, and we hope to make it easier for people to engage with and to see the kind of work being done to popularise maths, as well as learning approaches to delivering their own sessions.
There will be three very skilled Maths communicators running the day: Matt Parker, Joshua Award-winning maths communicator and ‘Stand-up mathematician’, Nicola Stock, Centre for Life and Dr Sara Santos, from the Maths Busking project.
The event will cost £50 for BIG Members and places are strictly limited to a maximum of 20. Non-members will need to join BIG first at an annual cost of £30.
The Royal Academy of Engineering
Regional STEM Teacher Coordinator
The Royal Academy of Engineering is seeking to appoint an experienced and resourceful teacher of a STEM subject who can enthuse other teachers and support the development of STEM in their local schools.
The aim of the Connecting Teachers project is to create a national network of support for STEM teachers, ensuring they have the knowledge and confidence to engage a greater number and wider spectrum of students in STEM. The role of the Teacher Coordinator involves establishing a network of local schools and providing support, guidance and training for the teachers of STEM subjects in these schools.
The Academy already has 16 Teacher Coordinators in post across the UK and is looking to add to this number. We are particularly keen to receive applications from mathematics and ICT teachers in the following regions:
• Northern Ireland
• North East
• West Midlands
• South West
• South Wales
• South East
Applications are also welcome from teachers of the science subjects, D&T and engineering.
Candidates should apply in writing to Dominic Nolan (Dominic.Nolan@raeng.org.uk) at The Royal Academy of Engineering, 3 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5DG. Please enclose a full CV and a letter outlining why you are suitable for the role and how you would set up and run a network. The CV must include the names and contact details of two referees.
Closing date: Monday 19th March (midday).
Interviews to be held on 2nd and 3rd April.
Teachers contribute an immense amount to society and sometimes do not achieve the recognition they deserve. One of the ways that the Institute of Physics sets out to redress this is through the Teacher Awards scheme. Every year a group of outstanding individuals from both primary-school science and secondary-school physics, are honoured alongside distinguished research scientists and industrialists at their annual awards dinner. In this way, they recognise that without dedicated teachers, our society would not have a physics-research community or a technological base.
If you nominate a teacher, it is asked that you to provide evidence of their achievements and contribution to the life of their school or college, both in and outside the classroom. It is also expected that these teachers will have been involved with the wider teaching community in some way, such as providing professional development for local colleagues. Pupils’ own opinions and support can provide important evidence for the nomination. The nomination process closes at the end of May.
It is easy to nominate a teacher; just download the forms from the Institute’s website and return a completed version.
Trying to think of interesting ways to engage your kids with maths?
The MetroCentre has it’s very own ‘Maths Trail’, a walk that takes you through the Centre solving mathematical puzzles and questions using Metro Units to measure. Thousands of children have completed the trail during the ‘Maths in the Malls’ events, and it has been such a success that it is now a permanent fixture in the Centre.
Excite… Inspire… Celebrate!
Newcastle University, 4th July 2012
Can you spare just one day to help celebrate and reward the hard work of budding young scientists and engineers from across the North East?
The Big Bang North East is the regional heat for the National Science & Engineering Competition. It’s going to be an amazing day! Students will be educated and entertained through science, engineering, maths and technology enrichment activities provided by the Science Museum’s Punk Science, STEM Ambassadors, local companies, universities and charities. Amongst all the activities, students will be pitted against each other to win nominations to the Big Bang National Fair, and the prizes that are on offer.
We need your help! Judges help us select the winners and encourage the competitors to greater things. We’ll be awarding 10 nominations to the Big Bang National Fair in March 2013, along with a wide range of prizes.
Judges are only required to attend on the day, and you can’t fail to be inspired by the fantastic young people who are exhibiting their projects. If you, or your organisation, want to get more involved, find out about other ways here:
Maths Inspiration is one of the largest maths enrichment programmes for teenagers in the UK. It’s a chance for Year 11s and sixth formers to experience the UK’s most inspiring maths speakers live, in big venues, presenting mathematics in the context of exciting, real-world situations.
All shows have three interactive talks, an interval and a lively Q and A session at the end. Many of the shows feature mathematicians, engineers and physicists, making this the ideal STEM outing for schools.
Maths Inspiration are at Newcastle Theatre Royal tomorrow (2 March 2012) from 1pm to 3:45pm. Tickets cost £7 per student. Email email@example.com for more details.
The speakers will be Timandra Harkness, Matt Parker, Paul Shepherd and Mark Lewney doing talks on: “Maths in The Simpsons”, “How Maths Built the Olympic Stadium” and “The Maths of the Rock Guitar”.
The Star and Shadow Cinema. Thursday 8 March 2012. 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Free!
Inspired by this year’s Aurora Borealis and, as part of the Newcastle ScienceFest 2012, volunteers at the Star and Shadow will attempt to recreate (at least) 3 light experiments that changed our view of the world.
1. Recreating Alhazen’s experiment with candles and an ‘o’ sized hole, volunteers will see if they too can disprove the ‘husk’ theory of light (c965, Basra). How can all those light particles get through that hole? And why the heck IS the image upside down?
2. In the doorway of the Star and Shadow, volunteers will use paint and mirrors to recreate Brunelleschi’s demonstration of the perspective illusion (c1420, Florence).
3. With Newton’s mechanical theories sweeping the Western world, volunteers will, like Goethe, pick up the prism and say ‘hang about, this doesn’t actually make sense!’ (1790, Weimar). Join them in the attempt to make their own colour shadows – If Newton was right about colourific rays, then how could a yellow-orange light produce a shadow containing other colours?
Other experiments may arise on the day, depending on weather conditions, your ideas, and the results discovered.
This out-of-the-box poster competition is a simple way to take part in National Science & Engineering Week, either as homework or a class project.
The British Science Association is launching an ideas challenge for 5 – 14 year olds asking them to invent a multi-terrain global racer that uses renewable power.
Pupils will need to invent one method of transportation that can carry themselves and two friends across a range of challenging terrains in their global adventure! The race could last many weeks, so vehicles will need to be large enough to carry supplies.
Racers must be presented in the form of a poster with a drawing of the invention accompanied by an explanation of how it works. Full teacher’s notes will be provided.
Entries will be judged by a panel and the best researched and explained in each category will win a selection of prizes.
Macmillan and Kingfisher Childrens’ Books are generously providing £25 worth of books for each age category. There is also a Nintendo DS up for grabs for each of the younger age categories plus a Nintendo 3DS for the winner of the 11-14 age group. The closing date for all postal entries will be Monday 2nd April 2012.