Prior to the pandemic, we would visit up to 14 local primary schools once a year with a quality in class science activity with enough practical kits for each child to have a go. In this way we reached over 800 children with an engaging science activity at least once a year. In addition we ran local after school science Clubs so we have a lot of experience of practical science with children.
Rural children are disadvantaged with regards to learning science versus their city cousins – they need to use the school bus so many cannot stay for after school science clubs; Nor can they get transport easily to the nearest science centre for the activities they provide.
We have always seen this part of our work as highly important. It is easy to say “Shouldn’t the Council do it?” but we work with reality, and the reality is that small rural schools cannot all easily be equipped with plenty of science equipment. They have neither the space nor frequently the expertise to design and store experiments to support the knowledge in the curriculum.
Since the pandemic we cannot go into the schools, so we have worked instead on designing and providing kits and sessions and training the teachers who want to use them. These are available to any local school teacher who wants to use them. We also have a range of equipment which we loan out to teachers.
The other area we are willing to help is in their coding agenda. It is extremely difficult to get coding specialists in school, so we are happy to come and run a series of coding sessions for classes to get them up and running – provided teacher learns too!