The latest phase of Operation Earth enabled ASDC to train educators, science communicators and community engagement professionals within our network with the latest ideas, developments and research relating to key programme content areas. It also trained NERC researchers with adaptable demos and techniques that encourage inclusive engagement with environmental science as well as building relationships between Operation Earth science centres and local researchers.
Building on the impressive legacies of Operation Earth 1 and 2, and the strategic partnership with NERC, Operation Earth 2.5 utilised existing equipment and collaborations, and the expertise of ASDC and the participating science centres and museums, to widen access and bring UK environmental science and research to life - involving and inspiring children and their families across the UK. Key Content Areas focussed on Climate Change and COP26, Biodiversity, Clean Air and Oceans, in a solutions-focussed National STEM engagement programme.
The Programme Vision: To engage, inspire and involve families with school-age children across the UK with the amazing stories, science and people of NERC's world-leading environmental research.
The Programme Mission: To enable science centres and collaborating NERC researchers, to reach widely across the UK during COP26 and into 2022, delivering interactive activities through innovative and blended approaches, that bring the relevance of the UKs climate and environmental science and research to life.
The Key Goals:
To engage, inspire and involve school-aged children and their parents, carers and wider families with a sense of curiosity and positivity about the UK’s environmental research and its applications for the future of our planet.
To support science capital using personalised and localised approaches that promote science centres and environmental science as relevant to daily life and something ‘for them’.
To showcase climate science and COP26 activities across the Operation Earth network, alongside the wider Operation Earth Key Content Areas: Climate change, Biodiversity, Clean Air and Oceans.
To equip science centres to be able to advocate for NERC science within Operation Earth science centres and to amplify the message of climate and COP26-themed regional engagement events to national significance,.
To train and upskill all participating Operation Earth phase 1 and phase 2 science centres, supporting and empowering engagement professionals to refresh their knowledge, regroup teams and expertise.
To increase the knowledge and skills of NERC researchers in delivering public engagement with research and encourage longer-term partnerships between science centres and NERC researchers.
To evaluate the programme, including the impact of training for science centres and NERC researchers and the impact of the engagement activities for audiences involved, exploring the perceived relevance of NERC science and research, alongside the effectiveness of various blended approaches of delivery.
Science Centres and Museums participating in Operation Earth 2.5
Glasgow Science Centre
National Space Centre
Natural History Museum
Oxford University Museum of Natural History
Xplore! Science Discovery Centre
In addition to these 10 partners we invited three new centres to join the project at the beginning of 2022. ASDC then provided them with training and grants to purchase Operation Earth kit. Those centres were:
11.Exeter Science Centre 12. Life Science Centre 13. Science Oxford
ASDC worked with OnData to provide evaluation on the three new centres and their expereicens joining Operation Earth in 2022. OnData requested that staff complete a staff refelction survey and carried out one-to-one intereviews after the first 6 months of delviery. The findings and impact from this evaluation process can be read below in their report with an Executive Summary attached at the front by ASDC Project Manager Cait Campbell