Public Engagement Grant Scheme
2013 Public Engagement Grant Scheme
Kim Barnett, National Trust
Step into the Light Fantastic!
Visitors to Woolsthorpe Manor – the birthplace of Sir Isaac Newton – will investigate fundamental properties of light in a new interactive area as part of the Manor’s Science Discovery Centre. Visitors of all ages will explore concepts such as shadows, colours and the wave / particle nature of light through a range of simple experiments, and gain a deeper insight into these ideas by talking to the Science Centre volunteers. Woolsthorpe Manor currently attracts around 34,000 visitors per year. The exhibition is planned to open by the end of February 2013.
Siobhán Nicholas, Take the Space
Stella is a new play by Siobhán Nicholas which tells the story of two female astronomers: Caroline Herschel from the 18th century and Jessica Bell, a fictional astronomer from the 21st. The double narrative and the fact that both female characters simultaneously inhabit the same house in Bath, will invite the audience to consider concepts of time and space. The play will open at Greenwich Theatre, before embarking on a UK theatre tour. Stella is aimed at audiences aged 12+, and aims to reach over 1000 people. For more information about Stella including a list of tour dates visit www.takethespace.com.
Ra Page, Comma Press
Thought Experiments: Physics through Fiction
Comma Press will commission five acclaimed, literary authors to write short stories that will engage with five classic thought experiments from physics, as part of a wider piece of fictional drama. Physicists will be paired with the authors to act as consultants, in addition to writing an explanatory afterword about the thought experiment for each piece. This project aims to celebrate the creativity and ingenuity of physics when it is forced to talk in hypotheticals in order to solve a real-world problem. The stories will be presented at a public event in June 2013 at the Manchester Digital Laboratory, with the authors and scientists present.
Dominic McDonald, Science Oxford
Copenhagen comes to Abingdon
On 13 March 2013, as part of the Oxfordshire Science Festival, Science Oxford will stage a performance of Michael Frayn’s play Copenhagen at the Amey Theatre in Abingdon. Copenhagen focusses on the trip made in 1941 by Werner Heisenberg to see Niels Bohr and it aims to engage local people with the science of the atom, the scientific history of the town in which they live, and the moral dilemmas faced by scientists. The play will be performed as a dramatic reading by three members of the local Studio Theatre Club amateur dramatic group and an audience discussion of the scientific and moral issues raised in the play will take place after the play. It is expected an audience of 200 people will attend.
Scot Owen, Techniquest Glyndŵr
Physics in the Castle
During the spring and summer school holidays of 2013, presenters from Techniquest Glyndŵr will deliver a series of shows and workshops to visitors at three rural historical castle settings in Wales. The workshops and shows aim to engage people of all ages and backgrounds with physics in a historical context and activities will include making trebuchets and investigating how pulleys make lifting things easier. The shows and workshops will take place at Rhuddlan Castle, Flint Rugby Club (next to Flint Castle) and Chirk Castle and it is expected that 100-150 people will take part at each event. Dates of the events will be available on the Techniquest Glyndŵr website.
Jay Stewart, Gendered Intelligence
Celebrating Gender Diversity in the World of Physics
Gendered Intelligence will run a campaign exploring and challenging the complexity of gender stereotyping within the field of physics. This will include a discussion workshop for 25 young transgender people (aged 13 – 25) on 23 February 2013. Following the workshop there will be a panel discussion in March for an audience of 75 and speakers will include an expert on gender diversity within physics, and a trans identified physicist. An online media campaign will present findings from the workshop and panel discussion to a wider LGBT audience of 1000+.
A Transportable Modular Bed of Nails for Outreach Events
During 2013, visitors to a number of public events in and around Sheffield will experience what it is like to lie on a bed of nails. The exhibit will be facilitated by physics communicators and concepts such as ‘why is it better to sit on many nails as opposed to just one?’ will be explored. The activity will appeal to all age groups and aims to engage 1000 people over the course of the year. Events will include The Sheffield Festival of Science and Engineering, and Norton Farmers’ Market. A full list of events and dates will be available online once they are confirmed.
Tony Simmons, Combe Mill Society
Combe Mill Physics Trail
Combe Mill has a fully functioning steam mill engine, and on eight special steaming days in 2013 there will be an interactive physics trail for visitors, facilitated by specially trained volunteers with backgrounds in physics and engineering. The trail will visit four key area of the mill - the waterwheel, steam beam engine, tower clocks and forge, allowing visitors to explore the physics concepts through interactive exhibits and expert facilitators. The trail expects to reach 3200 visitors and more information about the trail and days the trail will be running will appear online once confirmed.
Kathryn Dagless, Hampshire & Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology
Science Digs For History
Science in Action: underwater excavation is a set of hands on resources created by Hampshire & Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology, funded by a previous IOP Public Engagement Grant (Round 2, 2012). The resources enable people of all ages and backgrounds to explore an airlift in an interactive way, highlighting the role of physics in archaeological digs. During 2013 the resources will become more widely available as members of three local Young Archaeologists Clubs will learn how to use them, make a short online video to explain the physics, and run their own activity for the general public. More information about the resources will appear on the HWTMA website.