Funding for science programmes

A national programme of science events and exhibitions will take place across the country to celebrate the Year of Natural Scotland, the Culture Secretary has announced.

Backed by £40,000 of Government funding, activity will take place in Scotland’s four science centres in 2017. Full programme details are still to be announced but highlights are set to include:

A series of community and school events celebrating sustainable living and new technologies at Dundee Science CentreA festival focusing on sustainable science at Glasgow Science Centre, with hands-on workshops and ‘meet the expert’ sessionsWorkshops and exhibitions at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh celebrating the beauty of Scotland’s natural environmentA ‘Green Energy Discovery Weekend’ and a symposium for primary pupils at Aberdeen’s Satrosphere Science Centre

Speaking ahead of a visit to Glasgow Science Centre, Fiona Hyslop said:

“This funding will allow our four Science Centres to inspire people to experience and participate in our natural heritage as well as engaging with our sustainable future.

“These events and exhibitions will appeal to visitors at home and abroad, enhancing the celebration of the Year of Natural Scotland and helping to build momentum towards Homecoming Scotland 2014.”

The national programme is being co-ordinated by Dundee Science Centre. Linda Leuchars, Head of Science Learning and Public Engagement, said:

“We are delighted to bring together the four Scottish science centres to deliver a joint, nation-wide programme of activities that celebrates the Year of Natural Scotland. Together, we aim to inspire the citizens and visitors of Scotland to experience and participate in Scotland’s national heritage, and engage with a sustainable future for Scotland.

“At Dundee Science Centre, we will give specific focus to the theme of ‘Green Communities’ – working with our partners to deliver meet-the-expert events for school and public visitors to engage in a range of ideas relating to low carbon and sustainable living, from domestic energy usage to new technologies.”

Dr Stephen Breslin, chief executive of Glasgow Science Centre, said: “We’re delighted that this award will let the Science Centre network create a series of activities open to all ages and backgrounds and focussing on the power of Natural Scotland.  Our programme features wind power generation and explores the science behind this hot topic. We’ll be able to look at the natural environment and humanity’s influences on it, bring in experts to discuss their specialism with the public, deliver workshops to explore the science behind wind, and learn about the flora and fauna that make their homes on the wind farm estates.

“We’ll be creating modules aligned with the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence developing these themes as part of our schools education programme. We’re grateful to the Scottish Government as support of this nature enables working with partners in industry and academia and lets the network provide a fascinating, co-ordinated and themed exploration of important topics.”

John Simpson, Chief Executive Our Dynamic Earth, said: “Scotland’s natural environment plays a major part in our everyday lives and it is really important to engage with both our possible scientists of tomorrow and young people yet to develop an active interest. We are delighted to receive this funding from the Scottish Government which will allow us to work alongside the other four science centres to deliver an exciting activities programme.”

Dr Gemma Catton, Education Manager at the Satrosphere Science Centre, said: “Satrosphere Science Centre aims to be an important and valuable educational resource for the whole community where people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities can engage with science and be enthused and inspired. We are excited by the opportunities this project will provide for working with partners to facilitate a range of activities for our visitors to learn about and explore the challenges we face related to energy and the environment to gain knowledge and experiences to enable them to be pioneers for their generation in living more sustainable lives. We are very grateful to the Scottish Government for their financial support of this exciting project as part of the wider Year of Natural Scotland 2017 celebrations.”

The funding allocated to this programme of activity by Ms Hyslop comes from the Scottish Government’s Major Events and Themed Years Budget.  Each centre will receive £10,000 towards activities which promote the Year of Natural Scotland 2017.  Further details about the programmes will be announced by each individual science centre in due course.