Time for slime in Ferndale

August 18, 2021

By James Paine, Community Engagement Officer

There is nothing scarier than a group of children.

If you don’t believe me, you’ve clearly never been kneeling down only to see a group of excited pre-teen children running straight at you, now at your head height, with any worry of injury due to collisions wonderfully absent from their heads. Couple that with being cooped up for the best part of 15 months and feeling a bit rusty when it comes to running workshops and meeting new people and it could be a recipe for disaster.

Fortunately, the only recipe we needed to worry about was that for making slime. True, this could also be a disaster, but it’s not in my home and with my carpets that excited children will want to show off the disgusting blobs of slime they’ve lovingly crafted. [I accept no responsibility whatsoever for what children do outside of workshops I run].

This summer, after many years of setting fire to things and training others to be accomplished and safe pyromaniacs (I was one of the show presenters) — I started actually doing my new job as Community Engagement Officer for Techniquest. It is, in many ways the same sort of deal. Take science and STEM activities to people and have fun. The real difference happens behind the scenes. I’m asking whether what I’m doing is the right thing to do? Does it make the biggest impact? What do people actually want or need when it comes to discovering more about and being inspired by STEM? Is there a way Techniquest can help fulfil some of those things?

Honestly I don’t know if I am doing all that yet. Maybe I’m not the person who should judge whether or not it’s what people want and should let people tell me if they enjoyed it. According to my feedback I’m amazing, so I’ll say yes. They did enjoy it. I also had fun. My own enjoyment of workshops and shows have been my main metric for a long time. If I’m having fun, I assume everyone is having fun, especially with hands on workshops. So far I haven’t been proved wrong.

At the time of writing, I’m about halfway through the summer workshops. I’m tired, I ache, I need to empty my car of gloves, pencils, beakers and other science paraphernalia. I’ve still got workshops for two different programmes to do (Project Inspire and Explore Your Universe), but my time in Ferndale has come to an end. I had a great time up there, it’s truly beautiful and I met some awesome people. Hopefully I’ll be back there soon with more fun things to mess about with, engaging with the community. As a Community Engagement Officer should do.

The picture is our final goodbye after the utter chaos that is making slime. It was gross. I still don’t get why kids love it so much.

James is always looking for new people and places to work with. If you have a need or a want in your community for STEM and self-described “probably controlled chaos”, James can be reached here.


Find us

  • Techniquest, Stuart Street, Cardiff, CF10 5BW

Contact us

  • 029 2047 5475
    Mon–Fri: 9am–5pm Sat–Sun: 10am–5pm
    While we always endeavour to answer calls, when the centre is busy it may not always be possible.
    If you leave us a message we will respond to you as quickly as we can.

Opening hours

  • Techniquest’s opening hours vary — visit the Opening Times page to find out the current hours.

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  •   What is Techniquest?

    Techniquest is an educational charity, with a science centre in Cardiff Bay. Our mission is to embed science in Welsh culture through interactive engagement. We provide a range of services to schools and teachers to complement formal education provision in Wales and work extensively with public audiences.

  •   Where can I park?

    We are pleased to be able to offer all of our visitors discounted parking with Q-Park, our preferred parking partner.

    The Q-Park operates the Cardiff Bay car park in Pierhead Street which is around 8 minutes walk from Techniquest.

    We have agreed a special discount rate for our customers of 15% off all pre-bookings.
    Pre-book and guarantee your space here using the code TECHNI15.

    There are also nearby pay-and-display car parks on Stuart Street and Havannah Street. Please do not park on Havannah Street itself.

    We regret that there is no parking on-site at Techniquest.

  •   Who is it for?

    Techniquest is suitable for all ages! We do have special events for certain groups, however — see Toddler Days and Home Educator days.

  • I have a different question.

    Please see our dedicated FAQ page.

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