On 25th December 2021, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) launched from French Guiana on board an Ariane 5 Rocket. It has since unfolded its sunshield out to the size of a tennis court and over the course of its expected 20 year working life, will provide us with some of the most amazing images ever taken, from the beginnings of the universe to planets far beyond our solar system. The JWST has been in development since 1996 and is a huge step in humanity exploring the universe.
Techniquest celebrated this historic moment by hosting workshops in the run-up to the launch to talk about the JWST and all the amazing science and technology that makes it possible.
Exploring infra-red light, the 18 huge gold-coated mirrors and where the JWST will sit in space a million miles from Earth, we all learnt a lot about this amazing piece of technology with hands-on engaging activities and support from STEM ambassadors.
Project Inspire was there to do just that, inspire people about STEM. After lockdowns and school closures and some of the hardest years many people will have gone through Inspire was a chance for children to have some fun with science and encourage their development in STEM subjects.
The idea of the project was simple, bring science to people, whatever science they wanted. Each workshop theme was decided by those attending leading to some of our most unexpected and exciting workshops we’ve ever run. Over the summer holidays 2021 we looked at everything from Dinosaurs and black holes to how do astronauts go to the toilet in space and of course how to make the perfect slime.
We are trying to become a better part of local communities across South Wales by working with them and developing content that is for them, and by them.
With the UK hosting COP26 we took a look at environmental science as a part of Operation Earth. This series of workshops in and out of Techniquest encouraged people to ask questions about the environment, what we can do to help and what systemic changes need to take place to ensure that climate change goals can be met.
With support from Local MP’s and Cardiff Council members Techniquest is encouraging everyone to live more sustainable lives to support life and health and for future generations of life on Earth.
Operation Earth then went out on the road, traveling to community groups keen to talk about the environment and sustainability.
Partner: Valley Kids.
Scientists in Our Community is our new photography exhibition coproduced by local communities and generously sponsored and supported by HLM Architects, Wardell Armstrong and Hydrock, who are working on Techniquest’s new extension (opening Spring 2020).
The brief for entries was simple; capture an image or portrait of someone with an interest or background in STEM. For many young people, the key to engagement in STEM is the inclusion of the Arts to create STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Maths).
The gallery, which lends a new look and feel to our science and discovery centre, is the first of many projects which will be of, by and for our communities. The exhibition highlights the diversity of Cardiff and breakdown the barriers of how STEM is perceived.
Through a collaboration with Sherman Theatre, this pilot project was provided to Sherman 5 Members for a unique experience, linking science with the arts. The literature-based demonstration included a show for both adults and children, as well as a creative workshop.
Techniquest frequently provides outreach demonstrations and shows to schools across Wales, but this is the first of its kind to be provided within a local organisation.
The Sherman 5 project is about making the theatre accessible and helping people to overcome any barriers that may stop them from visiting. Techniquest are also continually working to become a centre that’s inclusive and welcoming to all audiences. Through this pilot we have trialled an alternative method of reaching new audiences, whilst also providing experiences and information to visit Techniquest.
We hope to provide further pilots in the future with other local organisations.
Partner: Sherman 5
Explore Your Universe was a 6-week programme running between September and November 2019, with a focus on increasing knowledge on topics such as Space and Physics.
Techniquest facilitated the multi-generational sessions with community partners by taking out kits that were engaging and interactive, such as the star dome, binoculars and learning about the scale and size of planets.