Operation Earth is a national STEM programme that engages, inspires and involves school-age children and their families and communities with NERC’s world-leading environmental science research. The programme highlights the relevance of contemporary environmental science issues to everyone’s daily lives and to society's future. It is led by ASDC and Phase 1 was created in partnership with three development partners – Dynamic Earth, Eden Project, and Natural History Museum – with scientific expertise from NERC.
Science and Discovery Centres across the UK are delivering the programme, which includes an interactive show and a range of hands-on activities. Highlights include meeting ‘Earthy’ during a health check and testing the air around us in the mobile air testing lab!
Operation Earth 2.5 which ran from September 2021-July 2022, built on all the training, knowledge, enthusiasm and partnerships for environmental science and sustainability currently with science centres and museums across the UK. This phase developed and focussed the content of the programme towards celebrating the UKs role in COP26 – as well as other Key Content Areas of biodiversity, oceans and clean air. The 13 science centres and museums that were active during the project period engaged with 140,587 kids and their families with hands-on activities and in person events and workshops.
All the Science and Discovery Centres that are and have delivered the project diuring one of the phases are listed below:
Catalyst Science Centre
Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre
Natural History Museum
National Space Centre
Oxford University Museum of Natural History
The Observatory Science Centre
Glasgow Science Centre
Exeter Science Centre
Life Science Centre
Former Project Director (2018-2021) and former CEO of ASDC, Dr Penny Fidler, said:
“If we truly want our nation’s young people to be inspired and motivated by environmental science and consider it as a career for their future, we need to give them imaginative and creative hands-on opportunities like these so they can see how enjoyable the questions and challenges of real science are. We are delighted to be working with NERC and to have together selected ten fantastic Science Centres to deliver this inspirational national STEM programme.”
NERC’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Alison Robinson, said:
“At NERC we are thrilled that environmental science is at the heart of this national engagement programme. Our science reaches across the globe and into all parts of our daily lives. This programme gives young people and families a hands-on way to get involved with some world-class NERC science and see how it is relevant to them. We hope everyone who takes part will be inspired to get involved in the debate around environmental science as a great way to help solve some of our big future challenges.”
Notes for Editors
The UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres: (ASDC) brings together more than 60 of the UK’s major science engagement organisations including all the key science and discovery centres and science museums. The ASDC membership makes up the largest network of science engagement professionals in the UK who together engage over 20 million people each year with the wonders of science. Ten million of those we engage are school-age students and over ten million are girls and women. Between them, these centres work with 385,000 members of the public every week of the year, in all parts of the UK, helping people to explore and delve into science in a hands-on, involving and personal way.
ASDC is an educational charity based in Bristol. A map of all the UK centres can be found at www.sciencecentres.org.uk and we are on Twitter @sciencecentres.
NERC is the UK's main agency for funding and managing research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. Our work covers the full range of atmospheric, Earth, biological, terrestrial and aquatic science, from the deep oceans to the upper atmosphere and from the poles to the equator. We coordinate some of the world's most exciting research projects, tackling major issues such as climate change, environmental influences on human health, the genetic make-up of life on Earth, and much more. NERC is a non-departmental public body. We receive around £330 million of annual funding from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). www.nerc.ac.uk @NERCscience
Twitter links and hashtags
Please tweet using @sciencecentres, @NERCscience and the hashtag #OperationEarth