Scottish Green MSP for North East Scotland, Maggie Chapman has visited Dundee Science Centre to explore the October STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Club.
Each week, a different pre-selected set of 20 children enjoy a packed programme of workshops and activities, created in partnership with the University of Dundee. In addition to their Living Wage Accreditation, Dundee Science Centre also received the Gold Green Tourism award this year. Green Tourism is the largest sustainable certification programme of its kind to operate globally.
As well as exploring the recently transformed attraction, youngsters can design and build amazing contraptions using a range of materials, make their own science snacks, learn about forensics, make slime, and get to grips with dino rocks and fossils.
Maggie Chapman stated, "This was a really interesting visit, and great to see the important work Dundee Science Centre is doing in breaking down not only the myths that surround STEM subjects, but also breaking down community barriers. They do a great job is ensuring kids from different parts of Dundee get to learn and play together. It felt like they had known each other for weeks even though most had only met each other that day."
The October STEM Club, aimed at children from primaries one to seven, is open to children referred by local community groups and children of University of Dundee staff members and postgraduate students who have had serious challenges maintaining research momentum due to the Covid-19 pandemic. New infrastructure to adapt to the pandemic, including more online services, have been provided.
Ms Chapman added, "It was good to hear stories about how the STEM Clubs had boosted kids confidence, especially as we come out of the worst of the pandemic. I saw this in action: kids working together to create model coral reefs from kinetic sand. This was a reminder for me that, with COP26 just around the corner, and the urgent need for a just transition in our region, STEM will be vital to our fairer, greener future.
"The kids taking part in these clubs are our future. Dundee Science Centre should be rightly proud of their role, and I hope that further funding can be identified to ensure their work is secure, and sustainable for the long-term."
Lorraine Lemon, Head of Business and Operations said, “We were delighted to host Maggie’s visit and showcase the important contribution we make to the green agenda.
“As Maggie saw for herself, we’re working hard to ensure that our visitors explore STEM in a fun and accessible way, often not even realising they’re learning! Yes, we’re partly here to entertain and provide a fantastic visitor experience but our wider remit sees us excel as educators and influencers, from encouraging sustainable travel to highlighting the small steps people can take through our exhibitions, shows and workshops.
“From our youngest visitors through to students, we’re reinforcing that STEM has an endless appeal and presents countless exciting and viable career options. We also hope to inspire other local businesses to up their game, positioning Dundee as a truly sustainable place to live and visit.”
While the STEM Holiday club is by invitation only, the Dundee Science Centre is open daily from 9am until 5:30pm until the October 24 2021. Tickets must be booked in advance.
For more information and to book, visit http://www.dundeesciencecentre.org.uk/
Dundee Science Centre is a charity and lifelong learning resource for the community.