Scottish Government
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Funding for science projects

Forty-five science projects across Scotland are to receive a share of £650,000 from the Scottish Government's Science Engagement Scheme, designed to make science more accessible to the public.

The funding, which will benefit up to 280,000 people in every local authority in Scotland, was announced today by the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Fiona Hyslop, during a visit to Edinburgh Zoo to see one of the winning projects - the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's Wild Bus.

The Society, which owns both Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park, has been given £35,000 to enable the converted, double-decker bus to tour primary and second schools and give 15,000 pupils the opportunity to take part in animal based science workshops.

Fiona Hyslop said:

"The science engagement scheme is designed to help make science more accessible to the people of Scotland, complement more formal learning for science and inspire more Scots, particularly our young people, to take an active scientific interest in the world in which they live.

"It gives members of the public - from pre-school children to adults - the chance to meet scientists involved in a range of pioneering work, learn about how science impacts on their every day lives - from their fitness to environmental issues - and get involved in a range of fun but educational activities and workshops.

"I'm keen to encourage more young people in Scotland to consider science as a career, given its key role in supporting this country's future economic growth and recovery. These projects, together with the work we are doing to support science education in schools such as the introduction of the new baccalaureate, will help support those efforts."

The Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Anne Glover, said:

"This funding will enable up to 280,000 people across Scotland to learn more about how science impacts on their day-to-day lives and find out more about what exciting developments are taking place into scientific research in their area.

"Scots of all ages stand to benefit from these grants, including our young people, which is particularly important if we are to encourage and nurture our scientists of the future and ensure that Scotland maintains its long-standing reputation as a world leader in science and innovation."

David Windmill, Chief Executive of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said:

"We were delighted to receive this grant from the Scottish Government. RZSS already communicates science to over 750,000 people a year through Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park. The Wild Bus is the largest education outreach programme we have ever attempted and it will enable us reach a further 15,000 children throughout Scotland. Our education programme for the Wild Bus has been designed to help stimulate and nurture an interest in biological and environmental sciences and will begin its tour of Scotland in September."

The Science Engagement Grants scheme is run by the Scottish Government's Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser (OCSA) and supports projects that make science accessible, complement the school curriculum, provide opportunities for the public to meet scientists and discuss their work, and inspire the public about science issues and opportunities.

A full list of the winning bids/projects is set out below.

Argyll and Bute Regional Environmental Education Forum - £4,000 for an environmental education fair in Dunoon which is expected to attract around 1,600 people.

The British Science Association has received:

- £16,000 for the Scottish National Science and Engineering Week Grant Scheme to provide small grants of up to £500 for organisers of events during that week, across Scotland.

- £7500 for the Fields, Films and a Branches Forum, a suite of activities led by Scottish branches, including rural events, a forum event for volunteers and feature film screenings accompanied by discussions involving scientists.

- £3,500 for the Travelling Scholars scheme - discussion/lecture events for 400 people in remote north Scotland communities.

Café Scientifique Glasgow has - £1,242 for monthly public discussion events in Glasgow providing opportunities to meet scientists and discuss their work.

Citadel Youth Centre, Leith, Edinburgh - £7,203 for science activities and mentoring by STEM ambassadors for 150 disadvantaged pupils in the Leith area, many of whom have social and behavioural issues.

Clyde River Foundation - £3,795 for Meet Your River activities for 150 primary pupils in deprived villages/towns along the Clyde valley highlighting the science in their local river habitats.

Coatbridge College - £3,184 for Science Quest, providing lab-based activities for 380 five to10 year-olds in deprived areas.

Dundee Science Centre (Sensation) has received:

- £17,800 for the Tayside Science Engagement Initiative, a range of activities and events at Sensation for 7,160 people, including 'meet the scientist', Café Scientifique and communication training for local researchers.

- £12,664 for Tayside Community Science Project, providing activities for 375 people in targeted groups (e.g. disaffected teenagers) through work with community groups.

Earth Sciences Trust - £22,735 for activities in primary schools, explaining carbon capture technology to 400 pupils living near the power stations involved, who will then become 'peer explainers' about carbon capture at a public event for 4,000 people at the 2010 Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Edinburgh International Science Festival has received:

- £20,000 for Generation Science to provide science outreach shows to 36,300 primary pupils in urban areas, including areas of deprivation.

- £20,000 for Generation Science to provide outreach shows to 18,000 primary pupils in rural areas.

Engineering Development Trust - £10,000 for Go4SET, engineering-linked 'challenge' activities for 840 S2 pupils in 140 schools in Scotland.

Fife Council - £10,000 for Tomorrow's World Today, A science festival in March 2010 operating across various towns in the area, with an expected audience of 11,660 people.

Glasgow Science Centre has received:

- £34,320 for the development and delivery of activities for 6,200 pre-school children in a new dedicated area which will also be used by parents and people with additional support needs.

- £3,700 for How Fit Are You, opportunities for 1,000 teenagers to learn about science research methodology by measuring their fitness levels over a period of time.

Global Science has received:

- £15,000 for the Regional Technology Challenge, East Scotland challenge activities for 6,000 pupils, using female higher education students as mentors and positive role models.

- £35,000 for Climate Change, Your Future, an East Scotland regional rollout of a successful pilot that takes climate change science to 14,400 people in schools and the wider community.

Institute of Physics - £24,120 for Lab in a Lorry Scotland, a touring lab which will visit 3,260 11 to 14 year-olds in schools across the north-west Highlands, including Lewis and Inverness.

KP Technology - £10,000 for STEM Engagement in Caithness, providing a range of activities including shows for pupils and resources for a community STEM room to be used by 3,900 people.

Macaulay Land Use Research Institute - £25,000 for Murder, Mystery and Microscopes, public discussion events for 1,800 people combining a crime writer and an environmental scientist talking about forensic techniques.

Orkney Science Festival - £2,868 for Astronomy for the Islands, astronomy activities for 460 people in remote islands off the Orkney mainland.

Our Dynamic Earth has received:

- £20,000 for Dynamic Earth Unplugged Community Partners, activities and events for 4,000 people from under-represented groups.

- £20,000 for the Dynamic Earth Space Agency Event Programme, space and astronomy-themed events aimed at 9,500 people in a family audience.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh - £20,000 for the Biodiversity Spring Programme 2010, a programme of public events and activities in the new RGBE John Hope Gateway centre, expected to be seen by 25,000 people.

Royal Zoological Society of Scotland has received:

- £35,000 for its Centenary Wild Bus, which will tour primary and secondary schools, providing animal based science workshops.

- 2,160 for Behind the Scenes at the Zoo, opportunities for 30,000 pupils to see GLOW webcasts of science-based jobs at the Zoo.

RSPB Scotland - £16,858 for the Solway Science for Lifelong Learning, activities and resources, including a wheelchair-accessible sensory garden, for 28,300 people visiting the Mersehead Reserve near Dalbeattie, Dumfries and Galloway.

Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) - £5,000 for the Marine Science Festival Oban, a new science festival in May 2010 to reach 2,215 people.

Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) - £2,700 for Young Engineers and Science Clubs, Scotland North Showcase, a regional final event for 200 primary/secondary pupils involved in school science/engineering clubs.

Scottish Schools Equipment Research Centre (SSERC) - £27,162 for Gene Jury Remote, workshops and discussions for 1,500 primary and secondary pupils on the subject of genetics and ethical implications of research. Resources developed will also have a potential internet audience.

Scottish Seabird Centre has received:

- £17,500 for the Closer2Nature, an outreach project delivered in collaboration with Our Dynamic Earth for up to 8000 primary/secondary pupils on environmental/earth science themes.

- £9,000 for The Save the Planet Show, development and delivery of a new environmental show/workshop to 2,200 pupils and families visiting the Scottish Seabird Centre.

Scottish Stem Cell Network - £17,000 for the Stem Cell Roadshow, pilot of activities for 1200 secondary pupils in 10 to 12 Scottish schools.

TechFest SetPoint - £6,000 for Maths in the Pipeline, pilot activities in Dundee, Perth and Kinross, Argyll and Bute and Western Isles for 290 14 to16 year-olds that apply maths to real life problems of water supply.

UHI Millennium Institute - £35,000 for Science Engagement in the Highlands and Islands, activities involving UHI researchers taking their science to a public/schools audience of 2,510.

University of Aberdeen has received:

- £17,908 for its Public Engagement Partnership Model, researcher-led public/schools activities throughout the year, with an expected total audience of 8,350.

- £5,233 for its Community Cafe Science in Aberdeen City and Shire to support three 'Café Scientifique' projects, in an Aberdeen bookshop, a local health facility and in Banchory.

University of Dundee - £20,000 for PhD students to be recruited and trained as STEM communicators and to deliver a range of activities in and around Dundee, to a public audience of 5,920.

University of Edinburgh has received:

- £10,000 for SCI-FUN in the North of Scotland, delivering outreach science shows to 4,750 secondary pupils in north Scotland.

- £30,695 for Too hot to handle, GLOW-platformed podcasts by university researchers on topical science issues, expected to reach 5,700 secondary pupils.

University of Glasgow - £11,700 for Science and Creativity, an exploration through art, enabling 500 teenagers in the west of Scotland to explore the importance of creativity in science through discussion and project workshops with scientists and musicians.

University of St Andrews - £1,653 for Seaside Science, activities for 250 teenagers visiting St Andrews' beach which explain the science behind beach activities such as rock pools and the aerodynamics of kites.

Wild things! - £9,800 for Biodiversity Conservation Days, forest activity days in Moray-Highland for 560 primary-aged children from disadvantaged/remote areas in the north of Scotland.

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