Inaugural Science Jamboree a great success

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Over 250 Brownies, Cubs and Beavers from across Cheshire and Merseyside descended on the University’s Central Teaching Labs (CTL) to take part in the inaugural Science Jamboree.

The Science Jamboree comprised a number of science related activities so that those taking part could attain their science activity (and science related) badges at the event.

A total of 70 undergraduate and postgraduate students  worked in teams to design and deliver the activity sessions that fitted a simple, but strict brief, to ensure that the young people could attain their badges.  The students had been mentored by staff and post-docs from across the University since September.

The activities encompassed the worlds of biology, chemistry, physics, life sciences, archaeology and engineering.

The marine biology sessions introduced the pupils to concepts of filtering water, using mussels as an example.  The participants then designed their own marine robots to clean water.

Those who were taking their photography badge were able to excavate artefacts and photograph their finds in order to produce a document showing their discoveries.

There was also an opportunity for the visitors to learn about the electromagnetic spectrum and accelerators with PhD students from the Cockcroft Institute

Outside the CTL, rockets were fired and towers built to introduce the children to concepts of engineering.

Dr Helen Vaughan, a Lecturer in  the Central Teaching Laboratories who organised the Jamboree, said: “This was the first time we have organised an event for Brownies, Cubs and Beavers .  Outreach teams from Environmental Science, Physics, Chemistry and Life Sciences  came together to design and deliver this event and make it a big success, which we hope to repeat.

“The young people were able to achieve their science activity badges and the students who supported the event gained employability skills such as communication, team work and real-world problem solving.”

The Deputy County Commissioner for Merseyside Scouts said:  “On behalf of Merseyside Scouts I would like to thank The University of Liverpool for organising a fantastic day.  It’s been a great opportunity for Beavers and Cubs to explore science and learn new things.  There has been a great variety of activities from DNA extraction to animation and everything in between. We are pleased to work in partnership with the University and look forward to future fun projects together.”

Julie Houlton ADC Cubs, St Helens said: “Young leaders were keen to come today, not only to support their cubs and leaders but also to look around the University with a  view to coming here in the future to study.”

Feedback from participants was extremely positive and included:

“One of our cubs with learning difficulties joined in with everything when most of the time he does not.”

“The best day ever…A big thank you to everyone who organised and helped today.”

“A fantastic opportunity for the young people to look around a university and get involved with some activities.”

This project was funded by the Faculty of Science and Engineering as a co-curricular opportunity for undergraduates.