“Everything we do is about creating paths for the scientists of the future.”
Our new incubator location will host a dedicated outreach space capable of welcoming a class of learners. This new space will create a unique learning environment with immersive tours, hands-on workshops and interactive lessons with scientists. We will continue to put young learners in the heart of our functioning science incubator, where they can be inspired by science entrepreneurs working to improve healthcare, quality of life and the environment around us.
Children will be able to ask scientists questions, and be propelled into the centre of the global conversations at the heart of science today. We want them to make discoveries, challenge ideas, learn what it’s like to be a scientist and view the world with new eyes.
Inspiration and education
Our outreach work is core to our values and inspiring the next generation of scientists is high on our agenda. With a background in primary education, in my career as a teacher and as an educational consultant, I have worked with many schools across Bristol. When taking classes on trips, I noticed that real life experiences were almost always the most valuable and rewarding. Hands on learning sparks interest in a subject in a special way; you see eyes light up with excitement as learners find their feet and become more aware and confident.
Classes get real life learning experiences when they visit the Science Creates labs. Visitors experience a tour of the labs and meet the companies working there, they put on PPE to try experiments and take part in live discussions with scientists.
“Our new incubator will have a dedicated learning lab which will be open, inclusive and dedicated to welcoming the community into the building, and will host school visits, outreach activities and courses to connect us with the outside world.”
A home for science learning
From the get-go, in our first incubator, I was aware that our school outreach days had a ticking clock attached. When all the labs were filled with member companies, there was no free space available for outreach, so I took the sessions ‘on the road’, visiting schools with a group of scientists each month, to continue to inspire.
Covid-19 presented the next obstacle for our outreach programme as schools closed and the world adjusted to more remote ways of working. This was a hard time for teachers and parents, juggling remote working and home education. We wanted to continue to provide rich, engaging opportunities for science learning and needed to find a new way to do this. In April 2020 we launched a weekly science newsletter jam packed with activities for school aged learners. The idea was to help parents and teachers bridge the gap between school and home learning. Our newsletter and national curriculum-linked learning plans bring science into everyone’s homes, and fill the gaps that might have appeared with lessons at school on hold.
Looking to the future
Going forward, we will have a dedicated outreach space; nicknamed ‘The Learning Lab.’ It will be an open inclusive laboratory dedicated to welcoming the community into the building, and will host school visits, outreach activities, courses and will connect us to the outside world. Built and fitted just like the other labs, it will create a unique learning environment.
Openness and inclusivity are key to all that we do at Science Creates and our lab spaces are no different. We look forward to strengthening our links with local schools in the area, including St Philips, Market Gate, Easton, Lawrence Hill and St Pauls, along with community groups in the area.
“We can’t wait to welcome everyone into our new space.”
About The Author:
Charlie Proctor is a teacher, educator, Chief Operating Officer at Science Creates and leads the Science Creates Outreach programme.
She is passionate about creating real life learning experiences.
Get in touch: Charlie@ScienceCreates.com