What’s been happening

1. Catalyst project update

We’ve had a busy couple of weeks with our first round of Seed Funds being awarded, our end of year report going to RCUK and our External Advisory Board meeting on 1 May. We spent a great day with the successful Seed Fund applicants and colleagues exploring key ideas for the projects. The External Advisory Board lived up to their brief of being our critical friends giving us lots to think about. Full reports to come!


2. Science at Work, Penryn College

Claire Young spent a day at Penryn College’s Science at Work day where over 200 year 8 pupils had a chance to talk to people from 12 organisations who use science at work. Kate Whetter who organised the event was delighted with how it went, with the Head of Science commenting that it was the best event he’d seen in his 20+ years of teaching. Claire commented on the day:

“I enjoyed chatting to the kids about my job and asking them what they wanted to do in the future. A lot of them told me that they wanted to do jobs that involve science, which is really positive and exciting. I think the day really inspired them and got them thinking about what they could do and how science is involved in their everyday lives.”

3. Dance Network Active research bursaries

As part of the Catalyst Seed Fund scheme Kerry Chappell has two bursaries available for dance teachers/educators to reflect on their practice and work with Kerry based on her AHRC-funded Dance Partners for Creativity Research Project. Full information here.

4. ESI open day and video

One of our Champions for Public Engagement, Caitlin Desilvey was part of the ESI launch week. She reflects on her experiences here:

“On Tuesday I spent a few hours with 10 very enthusiastic and inspired 10 year olds as part of the ESI launch week activities. The students, all in Year 5 at Penryn School, visited the ESI to talk about their favourite places in Cornwall, and what makes these places special. The students had been asked to do some research in advance of their visit, and came prepared with photos, sketches and short essays. Many of the favourite places were coastal–Gwithian Beach, Flushing Pier, Kynance Cove–but Tehidy Woods and Glasney Woods also featured, as did the Falmouth Art Gallery.

We started with the students sharing their places, and we also also talked about what we need to do to make sure these places stay special in the future. I explained that we needed their help in doing some research, and that what we do in the ESI is research places (environment) and how to keep them healthy and whole in the future (sustainability). The students took their research task very seriously, and created an amazing scroll with detailed drawings of their favourite places, populated by people, squirrels, dogs, crabs, dolphins and other creatures. Some of their work is featured an a short film about the day (www.exeter.ac.uk/esi/about), along with footage of the workshops attended by 130 older students. The ESI was buzzing!”

The feedback from the students and teachers we very positive with one student at Penair School commenting “it was fascinating to learn about what they are researching right now and to see the actual equipment they use for research – not set up as in a presentation – but actually in their labs and offices”

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