North Ronaldsay Community Association

British Science Week 2021 case study


Q&A with Alexandra Wright, member of the North Ronaldsay Community Association

Tell us about your community group. Who is involved, and what sort of activities do you usually run?

The community group we applied for the British Science Week grant through is the North Ronaldsay Community Association; we organise dances, lectures, meals and parties. We are an island of around just 65 residents, and so all of us are members of the community association by default. Eleven of us were involved in making the videos and we had help from a further 15 people who do not live here.

What event did you run with the British Science Week Grant? How did you use the funding?

We ran our annual North Ronaldsay Science Festival, but this year we decided to take the opportunity to open it up to the world, by making 17 videos that are hosted on YouTube here: North-Ronaldsay-Science-Festival-YouTube .  The videos have had almost 5000 views with 280 hours of watching time. They cover a range of topics and have been well received.

What was the lasting impact of your event? How has your community group continued to engage with science after British Science Week?

A major impact has been that so many of us had to learn how to make and host videos. This new skill came in handy for our North Ronaldsay Sheep Festival in August as it involved the production of six videos. The British Science Week grant definitely encouraged us with science engagement; we have applied for and won a grant to get kit for doing shore surveys as we were inspired by one of our Science Week videos on limpets.  We are also in the process of setting up a Wildlife Watch group on the back of interest in the natural world which is stimulated by the Science Festival.

What tips or advice would you give to community groups thinking of applying for a Community Grant for British Science Week in 2022?

Go for it!  You’ll learn so much, not only from the content of your British Science Week, but also from the process of putting on an event.  It’s a brilliant way to bring your community together as you can pitch it at so many levels. If, like us, you decide to make videos, you are also reaching out to the world and giving people a way of connecting to where you live.


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