Projects from eight UK Science and Discovery Centres have been selected to receive grants of £15,000 to develop new and creative digital ways to engage and involve under-served and under-represented communities and audiences with STEM.
The selected Science Centres were chosen from a host of applicants from across the UK to join this one-year national Digital Innovation and Engagement Programme, which includes Science Centres being given training and support through a series of masterclasses and ideation sessions, bringing in the latest knowledge and expertise, as well as the funding of £15,000 to develop and deliver their individually co-created digital innovation projects with their communities.
The eight selected Science Centres are:
Glasgow Science Centre
Dundee Science Centre
Kielder Observatory on the English – Scottish Border
Techniquest in Cardiff
The National Space Centre in Leicester
We the Curious in Bristol
Winchester Science Centre
Proposals from these centres were selected for the Digital Engagement and Innovation Programme because their projects demonstrated plans and ambition for inspirational digital practice that would change the way they involve under-served and under-represented communities and audiences with STEM.
The projects range from co-creating inclusive digital community platforms with youth groups and university teams and home-start in Dundee to bringing under-represented voices through story-telling and lived experience into the climate conversation for bespoke climate cafés in Glasgow in the run up to COP26.
Other selected centres include Kielder Observatory in Northumberland (very close to the Scottish border), situated in the largest expanse of dark night sky in the whole of Europe. The team there will co-create a project with communities in Sunderland focussed around observing space using the non-visual means of a radio telescope, so communities can drive the telescopes. The National Space Centre in Leicester will work closely with local groups with special educational needs and together co-create new Space Clubs.
Project Inspire is a one-year national Digital Engagement and Leadership Programme for UK Science Centres, led by ASDC. The project has been developed by ASDC following consultation with the sector and has two strands which together will support selected Science Centres to adapt and grow during this time of change, and help them to innovate with their communities.
The two Project Inspire strands are:
The Digital Engagement and Innovation Programme for Science and Discovery Centres to develop new and creative digital ways to engage and involve under-served communities and audiences with STEM.
The ASDC Leadership Programme to nurture and support emerging Science Centre talent to become the inclusive and dynamic leaders of the future. Details will be launched in Spring 2021.
Project Inspire is a collaboration with the Inspiring Science Fund, a partnership between UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Wellcome.