Daresbury Open Week

13 July 2016

What better way to get people enthused about science than to hold an open week? From 5th July – 9th July 2016, Sci-Tech Daresbury did just that, and welcomed more than 9,000 visitors during a four-day celebration of inspirational science, technology and engineering.

Daresbury Open Day 9 July 2016
(Credit: STFC)

Daresbury campus partners, together with the Science and Technology Facilities Council, opened the doors for the first time in nearly 10 years. This was a rare opportunity for visitors to discover the breadth of science and engineering, why it is so important and the impact this science has on their own lives.

More than 7,500 people came to the public day on Saturday 9 July, the busiest day of all. It was a perfect opportunity for the research staff at the campus, and from across the whole of STFC, to inspire and encourage our younger visitors to consider taking up subjects through which they could become our next generation of scientists, engineers and technicians. More importantly it was a chance to explain the many routes to a career in science, such as university studies or through an apprenticeship at one of the UK’s science campuses.

Phill Day, Public Engagement Manager for Daresbury Laboratory, said: “Over the past week we’ve seen so many people inspired by the science taking place at Sci-Tech Daresbury. We set out to attract our next generation of scientists and engineers and, with the feedback we’ve received, together with seeing so many faces light up as people visited the different activity zones, I’m confident that we have taken significant steps towards achieving this”.

Visitors delighted in opportunity to take a ‘selfie’ with a T-Rex and star in their own Matrix-style ‘frozen time’ film sequence with the time-slice camera, and collectively burst more than 2,500 balloons with lasers. Many budding future scientists took the rare opportunity to explore one of the most advanced particle accelerators dedicated to cancer therapy research, as well as tour one of the world’s most powerful supercomputing facilities dedicated to industry, where new models of car are designed.

Comments on social media certainly showed the buzz of the activity.

"My 6 year-old and I enjoyed everything we experienced, from having our infra-red picture taken to 'driving' mini-rovers! But the winning attraction seems to have been the Dino Zone, especially fossil digging... Please, please, do not wait 10 years to organise another one!!"

"My 8 year old daughter may come back to work there now in the future so a job well done."

"So much to see, my 6 year old is now going to be a scientist."

 
DOW 2016

Daresbury Open Week 2016
(Credit: STFC)

 

As well as inviting the general public at the weekend, Sci-Tech Daresbury hosted an event earlier in the week which brought together more than a hundred business and industry leaders. Contacts were made and collaborations discussed during the networking opportunities and as the group toured the campus facilities and made links to their own work.

Leigh Lapworth from Rolls Royce said: “I really enjoyed the day. It was good to catch up with some old contacts and make some new ones”.

Ian Bland from ebeam Technologies, added: “It was so great to meet you and all your brilliant colleagues. We had a great time and were impressed with the facilities, the know-how available, and best of all, the innovation spirit.”

Two days of the Sci-Tech Daresbury Open Week were dedicated to schools with nearly a thousand pupils from Key Stage 2-5 and their teachers take part in activities linked to the curriculum.

The groups were involved in everything from engineering challenges to programming robots, to visualisation and rocket workshops. They enjoyed talks, had time in an inflatable planetarium and saw laser and telescope roadshows, among other activities aimed at inspiring them to take up a career in a STEM subject.

Images

Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000