Dundee Science Centre

Dundee Science Centre Helps Power the Future

Dundee Science Centre has been empowering local families through a series of projects and activities, as part of a National Climate Campaign uniting Scotland’s Science Centres.

The team at Dundee Science Centre created 150 climate-themed community kits for young people, containing a mini solar-powered windmill as well as other items to show how earth and environmental sciences connect to climate change and marine environments.

Over 1,000 primary school pupils took part in the centre’s experiments and challenges during COP26 Schools Week, while in February the centre transformed into a range of different habitats showcasing animals of air, land and sea to demonstrate the effects climate change has on the world’s wildlife.

Fintry primary school

Pupils from Dundee’s Fintry Primary School engaging with the Ring Cloud exhibit.

The activities have been created as part of a project building on the legacy of COP26, during which Dundee Science Centre first united with Science Centres in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen to launch the National Climate Campaign under the banner ‘Scottish Science Centres Together for Climate’.

Brought together by Glasgow Science Centre, the centres have joined forces to inform, inspire and empower a diverse audience to tackle the climate crisis and ensure the discussion on climate change remains open.

Working together to further climate science education in their communities, the National Climate Campaign saw each centre deliver a coordinated and interactive campaign of over 89 events, reaching over 13,000 members of underserved and underrepresented audiences by the end of March 2022. The programme strived to make science more relatable and helps learners build up their science skills to understand the world around them.

Elsewhere in Scotland, Glasgow Science Centre have hosted weekly community visits and film screenings, shining a light on the importance of science in the community and engaging with groups who are unlikely to visit Glasgow Science Centre regularly and can be most affected by climate change and its effect on lifestyle. In total Glasgow Science Centre have facilitated 16 community group visits this year to the Science Centre, including visitors from Glasgow Disability Alliance, Yorkhill Green Space and African Challenge Scotland.  They have engaged 374 people who may have not visited the centre before, while also offering 3,000 primary school pupils in remote, rural and deprived areas access to their online interactive ‘Learning Labs’.

A highlight from Aberdeen Science Centre’s 20-event programme was last month’s Supper and Science Evening, where families came together to cook an evening meal at Northfield Academy. While the meal was cooking, Science Centre staff ran a series of climate-themed workshop activities, including one where they recreated an oil spill with feathers and soap, to give the children some hands-on climate science experience.

In Edinburgh, Dynamic Earth staff delivered STEM kits to local children’s hospitals. These boxes give young people the chance to explore connections between ocean depth and pressure, experience augmented reality colouring-in, build their own rope and more, bringing science directly to them wherever they are.

Carlene Cura, Development and Fundraising Advisor, Dundee Science Centre said: “As COP26 approached, the climate emergency dominated the news and will, quite rightly, remain high on the news agenda. Now and in the future, Scotland’s Science Centres have a responsibility and an opportunity to bring these important global topics down to a grassroots level, into our local classrooms, community centres and homes, from city centre flats to rural communities.

“We see it as a privilege to take these important messages, make them accessible and relevant to all and shape fun and engaging activities around them, creating impactful, memorable activities for our audiences and helping them understand and explore the role they can play in our futures.

“It’s particularly important that these messages reach underserved communities who may not typically visit a science centre or have the digital resources to access our activities online, but whose potential to make a difference is exactly the same. That’s where our community outreach box has been extremely valuable, giving individuals and families the chance to get involved wherever they live, and whatever barriers they might face.”

George Wickenden with one of the kits.

Stephen Breslin, CEO of the Glasgow Science Centre said: “We set up the National Climate Campaign to ensure that there is a legacy of climate engagement left behind after COP26. We hope that by providing communities across Scotland with our knowledge and resources, we can act as a magnet for climate engagement and help empower young people to make considered decisions and learn what climate change means for them.”

Environment Minister Mairi McAllan said: “Young people have been among the strongest voices calling for urgent global action to address climate change. This campaign will make sure that young people in communities across Scotland continue to play a key role in our journey to becoming a net zero nation, delivering a lasting legacy for COP26, and making their voices heard loud and clear.”

For more information on the National Climate Campaign and Scottish Science Centre’s climate change education programming visit https://www.glasgowsciencecentre.org/discover/our-world-our-impact