A prestigious award and a new programme of events for Thanet’s Discovery Planet team

Discovery Planet directors Nikki Hildesley and Dr Vicky Mason receive the Ogden Trust award

Thanet’s Discovery Planet team’s enthusiasm has been supercharged over the summer as a result of winning a prestigious award for their work from the Ogden Trust, which supports physics education and learning.

The coveted award was presented to Discovery Planet directors Nikki Hildesley and Dr Vicky Mason during a ceremony at London’s Royal Society.

The win recognised not only the recent opening of their Discovery Planet shop in Ramsgate High Street, but the many science-based workshops and events they have delivered across Thanet, in partnership with the University of Kent, over the previous eight years. The hands-on workshops and events have engaged thousands of local people with a vast range of science topics.

Photo Pete Bateson

The judges said of Discovery Planet’s work that it “showed deep understanding of what constitutes good community engagement…and a strong commitment to widening participation”.

Discovery Planet’s Director Xanthe Pitt said: “All the hard work that goes into the workshops and events is made worthwhile by the positive response of the people that come along. We show that science relates to every aspect of our lives and that learning about it can be fun, whatever your age or educational starting point.”

CSI workshop Photo Pete Bateson

The team is hoping that isle residents have also recharged their batteries over the summer and are raring to go for an exciting new programme of free science workshops in the coming months.

This kicks off on October 13-15 with a workshop on forensic science, when you’ll be able to find out whodunnit using cutting edge scientific techniques!

Further topics and dates for the diary are:

Electricity on November 24-26;

The human heart on February 9-11;

Biodiversity on March 16-18 and

Science skills on May 18-20.

A surprise topic will be chosen by lucky students from Small Haven School who are going to collaborate with university scientists to design a workshop to share with the rest of the community in July next year.

Thursday and Friday sessions can be pre-booked by school groups, but on Saturdays it’s free of charge, there will be no need to book, and people can just drop in at the start of each hourly session, between 10am and 3pm (which is when the last one begins). The 10am slot will be a special calm session, for those that require a quieter environment.

Learning about fingerprints Photo Pete Bateson

The team can’t wait to welcome thousands more inquisitive minds in the coming year, and ask that you look out for posters and leaflets, check out their website www.discoveryplanet.co.uk,  or follow them on Facebook @DiscoveryplanetUK, Twitter @ScienceSpaceCr8, or Instagram  @ discovery_planet_0 for further information.

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