Inspiring Science Fund: projects we've funded

These are the science centres we supported through the Inspiring Science Fund.

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2016

Aberdeen Science Centre

A Lifetime with Science

£2,999,700

Aberdeen Science Centre’s (ASC) mission has always been to inspire, educate and enthuse people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities in science, technology, engineering and maths in an informal learning environment. ASC has more than 50,000 visitors each year and its core programmes are delivered to school groups, teachers, members of the public and community groups both in the centre and on outreach to areas included in the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. 

This project will transform the Aberdeen Science Centre into an accessible hub for learning and discovery, inspired by life-long journeys with science, using play, education, daily life, and engagement with topical issues. We will reinvigorate the centre’s outreach and community programme targeting under-served, geographically dispersed groups. 

We The Curious

Curious City

£3,000,000

Image of the new exhibition area to be built at the At-Bristol Science Centre

We The Curious has a culture of curiosity which it strives to achieve through a range of multidisciplinary, engaging experiences. Curious City will be a participative exhibition/experience driven by questions about science from the people of Bristol. We The Curious is reaching out to under-represented people across the city to gather questions that will be used to determine the focus of seven exhibition/experiences. This direct involvement in the creation of the exhibition is designed to encourage more visitors from under-represented audiences.

The foyer, shop and café will be changed to create a more welcoming drop-in space. There will be an Open City Lab where university researchers work with audiences on contemporary science questions, a Theatre of Curiosity where visitors can ask and explore questions, and an online digital question space. Curious City embodies the centre's commitment to a more participatory, multidisciplinary approach to creating a culture of curiosity.

International Centre for Life

Creative Explorations

£2,592,235

Image of the new space themed exhibition to be built at the International Centre for Life in Newcastle

The International Centre for Life is a science village in Newcastle upon Tyne that combines research, medicine, business, ethics, education and public engagement. Its aim is to ignite and nurture a curiosity in everyone for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and to encourage the next generation of STEM professionals. It also aims to make a positive economic, social and cultural contribution to north-east England. 

Creative Explorations comprises a new space-themed exhibition and a makerspace, designed to be both attractive and inclusive, that can be displayed in the science centre and at community venues and events in north-east England. Alongside this we will have a more targeted community programme to trial three different modes of engagement: an exhibition advisory group of teenagers with autism spectrum disorders (in partnership with North East Autism Society), programmes for young people in the care system (in partnership with Newcastle Gateshead Cultural Venues consortium) and contributing to the foundation of a new Children’s Community in the west of Newcastle (in partnership with the West End Schools Trust).
 
To ensure the success of these exhibitions and our move to greater inclusivity, an internal review will identify our strengths and weaknesses and help to set our direction for the next decade.

Thinktank

miniBrum

£1,411,150

Image of the new interactive gallery to be built at the Birmingham Science Museum

Thinktank at the Birmingham Science Museum is the only science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) engagement centre in the West Midlands. It provides a unique, informal and fun environment where visitors of all ages can learn about scientific discoveries, how science is applied, and how scientific developments change the way we live.  

miniBrum will create a new permanent interactive gallery and education programme delivering STEM learning for the under eights. We will create a dynamic learning platform that meets specific developmental needs of younger children through integrated learning experiences promoting emotional, intellectual and physical wellbeing. 

miniBrum will consist of a child-sized mini city where children and families can safely explore, play and learn. We will work closely with children, families and teachers from Birmingham’s communities in a co-production that develops the nature and content of the gallery. 

W5

AMAZE!

£3,000,000

Photo of the W5 building in Belfast

W5 (whowhatwherewhenwhy) is an interactive science and discovery centre in Belfast. It houses over 250 hands-on exhibits in four main exhibition areas and offers a changing programme of events, science demonstrations, shows and temporary exhibitions throughout the year. 

We need to change our strategic approach to better engage with our audiences. We aim to create a critical mass of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) engagement through multiple, joined-up informal learning opportunities rather than one-off events. We will increase touchpoints in W5 and the wider community linking education and public engagement. We will create new themed exhibition areas and experiences which will be immersive and memorable, where visitors can become fully absorbed and engaged. We will also develop a new approach to how we use technology, enabling us to create dynamic content and present information in new and unusual ways.