On International Museum Day 2022, 36 small museums across the UK were awarded funding of up to £3,500 by the Royal Society to engage communities with local science stories and projects.
Places of science aims to celebrate projects that will evoke curiosity, interest and enthusiasm by exploring science in a creative way, while also contributing to the museum sector’s recovery. The projects awarded span topics like mental health, infectious diseases, engineering and palaeontology, and provide a hands on way to explore and engage with science.
Mansfield Museum is proud to announce it will receive the maximum award available - £3,500 – to deliver its Mansfield stargazers project.
Mansfield Museum will invite local primary schools to the museum to explore their space-themed exhibition and related collection items. Following their visit, children will receive a stargazing pack which will allow them to continue their exploration of the night sky at home. The project will also invite the children to contribute to real-life scientific discovery by asking them to measure how dark their sky is by counting the number of stars that are visible within the constellation of Orion and sketch the phases of the Moon.
Cultural Services Manager, Sian Booth, tells us more:
“In partnership with Sherwood Observatory Mansfield Museum will inspire a love of the night sky with children in Mansfield's Priority Neighbourhoods Warsop, Oaktree, Bull Farm, Bellamy and Portland.
Our aim is to inspire a love of science through workshops delivered either at the museum or local schools. Children will be invited to engage with our Space Exploration exhibition and items in our collection relating to the cosmic world.”
Cllr Stuart Richardson, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Growth at Mansfield District Council continues:
“By connecting with Mansfield Museum, local schools and children will be more civically engaged and proud of their local assets and community. Stargazing is one of the most universal ways of engaging with science. It's free, available to anyone and you don't need any specialist technology or knowledge. I am very excited to see how this project develops and am grateful to our Cultural Services staff for obtaining the funding to make it possible.”
Professor Jonathan Ashmore FMedSci FRS, Chair of the Places of science panel, and Professor of Biophysics at UCL said:
“The projects funded use a diverse range of creative activities and content to inspire their local communities. All of these museums welcome and embrace their science stories, past and present.
“Many of this year’s awardees are also actively trying to make sure that their projects are accessible to everyone in their local communities. I would like to encourage you to look out for the displays, festivals, and exhibitions, that celebrate the science on your doorstep and that will inspire local generations to come.”