Hundreds enjoy latest science workshops at Discovery Plant HQ in Ramsgate

Discovery Planet Photo Pete Bateson

Discovery Planet opened the doors to its Ramsgate HQ again last weekend to hold a series of workshops called ‘Magical Materials’, all about atoms, materials, and how they respond to changes in temperature.

Around 250 Thanet school students and 200 members of the community were helped to understand scientific concepts through experiments which involved sticking their head in a cloud, smashing a banana, and crunching up chrysanthemums. The gasps of amazement from the crowds as billowing clouds filled the room were testament to how much fun the learning experience was.

Photo Pete Bateson

The workshops, which are funded by a generous grant from the Science and Technology Facilities Council, were delivered by Dr Vicky Mason from the University of Kent, who is working in partnership with Thanet based Discovery Planet to make sure that as many local people as possible get to understand the wonders of science and its relevance to everyday life.

Photo Pete Bateson

The grant is supporting a two-year programme of regular workshops on a wide range of topics, linked to research being undertaken at the University.

Photo Pete Bateson

All of the sessions are being held at a science ‘shop’ at number 47, Ramsgate High Street, which has the added advantage of bringing a disused commercial unit back into use in spectacular fashion.

Photo Pete Bateson

The distinctive new shop front and smart interior have been fitted out through a generous donation from London Array, with Array staff attending previous events about clean energy to talk about wind energy and the offshore windfarm visible from our coastline.

Photo Pete Bateson

The next workshop dates to watch out for are the 19th to 21st of May when people can explore how we observe space with telescopes; 16th to 18th of June when we’ll be thinking about meteorites; and the 7th to the 9th of July when we’ll be examining how science can help us explore heritage.

Photo Pete Bateson

Schools can book sessions on Thursdays and Fridays. Saturdays are set aside for members of public who do not need to reserve a place and can simply turn up for the workshops which start on the hour, every hour from 10am with the last one starting at 3pm. Attendance is free of charge for schools and members of the public alike.

Photo Pete Bateson

There is now a special quiet session for people who specifically need a calmer environment at 10am on Saturdays.

Discovery Planet Director Nikki Hildesley said: “We observed that some people were struggling a bit with the bustle and noise of the large groups, so in order to be more inclusive we decided to set aside an hour on Saturdays to create a quieter experience which caters better for those who have special needs.

Photo Pete Bateson

“So far this has worked well, but we welcome any suggestions as to how we can improve people’s experience and make all of our sessions as accessible as possible.”

Photo Pete Bateson

Watch out for information by following Discovery Planet’s various social media accounts or looking out for posters and flyers.

www.discoveryplanet.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DiscoveryPlanetUK

Twitter: @ScienceSpaceCr8

2 Comments

  1. Excellent stuff, hopefully it’ll inspire a few kids to pursue the sciences and real careers. Pretty comical though that an independent group are happy to let young kids get involved in proper experiments , when some of our local senior schools have degraded their science practical lessons to cutting and pasting pictures into books and in some cases won’t even do that as the students can’t be trusted with scissors and glue. Hopefully the tide will turn.

    • I’m appalled! Which of our local secondary schools don’t trust children with scissors and glue? They should be reported to OFSTED immediately.
      Well done, Discovery Park.
      I used to love seeing science demos when I was a child.
      Still do!

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