Science museum

UK museum and science center events raise awareness of climate change

30,000 visitors to a series of UK environmental science and research events overwhelmingly say the events have boosted their interest in the subject.

Organized under the Operation Earth programme, the events started in October 2021 and ended last month, with the majority of activities directly related to COP26 in November 2021.

Events took place at the Natural History Museum, the National Space Center and the University of Oxford Museum of Natural History.

The project, led by the Association for Science and Discovery Centers (ASDC) and in partnership with the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), aimed to bring to life the relevance of NERC’s climate and environmental science and research to children and families.

After the conclusion of the project, ASDC reports that 85% of participants said they showed an increased interest in climate and environmental science after attending the events. 92% said they are now able to see a connection between climate and environmental science and their own lives.

The activities gave children and families the opportunity to experience what environmental scientists are working on and practice those skills on their own.

Participants took part in hands-on activities including using a leaf blower to take air samples and study air quality, examine the carbon footprint of popular foods, and learn how pollination works , as well as meet NERC scientists.

Shaaron Leverment, CEO of ASDC, said the project demonstrates “the crucial role that science and discovery centres, museums and eco-attractions play in delivering climate and climate science engagement activities. ‘accessible, convenient and place-based environment’.

A total of 13 museums and science centers participated in the project: Catalyst Science Discovery Center and Museum; Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh; Glasgow Science Centre; National Space Centre, Leicester; Natural History Museum, London; Oxford University Museum of Natural History; Techniquest, Cardiff; Think Tank, Birmingham; W5, Belfast; Exeter Science Centre; Life Sciences Centre, Newcastle; Science Oxford and Xplore!, Wrexham.

Sarah Atherton, MP for Wrexham who visited Xplore! said, “It was a wonderful opportunity to see the engagement that Xplore! facilitates within the local community of Wrexham. It really underscored the importance of involving whole families around such a crucial issue for the modern world.