An exciting collaboration between the University and Discovery Planet, a Thanet-based, Community Interest Company (C.I.C) set up to bring exciting learning and creative experiences directly to the local community, now has a destination venue on Ramsgate High Street.
On 10 March, the innovative and welcoming community space was opened, where regular interactive workshops delivered by research scientists from Kent will take place over the coming years. The space opening was timed to coincide with British Science Week 2022 (11-20 March), a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths.
The hands-on workshops for school children and members of the community launched with a free three-day event called Light Fantastic, which explores the amazing properties of light. The Light Fantastic sessions were delivered by Kent’s Applied Optics Group and touched on the fact that light science has many medical applications, such as enabling an examination of people’s eyes. There were 500 participants over the three days, including 242 students between the ages of 8-14 from nine schools and over 100 members of the public.
Light Fantastic is the first of a series of monthly workshops taking place through to Autumn 2022.
The following workshops are scheduled through Spring and Summer 2022:
- 21-23 April – exploring materials for energy storage
- 19-21 May – observing space with telescopes
- 16-18 June – focusing on meteorites
- 7-9 July – examining how science can help us explore heritage
It is hoped that the Discovery Planet Shop, funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, will foster an interest in science among the local population and encourage future generations of scientists and engineers hailing from Thanet to make their mark on the world.
Dr Victoria Mason, who leads the project from Kent, said: ‘We are delighted to have opened an official space for Discovery Planet workshops where we hope to inspire the local community with fun and memorable explorations of science. With the workshops delivered by research scientists, it also presents the opportunity for young people to ask them questions about the science field, what it’s like to work in science more generally and the routes into different careers.’