Wider World Project

British Science Week 2021 case study

Q&A with Mandy Stagg, a project manager at the Wider World Project

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

The Wider World Project is an organisation for young adults with additional support needs in County Durham. We deliver positive activities for young adults aged 16 plus – promoting opportunities to develop skills, confidence, independent living and promote positive disability awareness. Activities can include projects around health & wellbeing, history, life skills, music, enterprise, community work, etc.

What event did you run with the BSW grant? How did you use the funding?

The project was in two parts.

Firstly, 16 young adults from the Wider World Project were supported to research and try lots of science activities. They then decided which they enjoyed or found most interesting and used these to plan science workshops and activities for others.

The project members then planned science activities and workshops for young people and children with additional support needs up to 18 years old. Activities were fun in a friendly, welcoming environment and included science packs to use at home.

The workshops were a mix of face-to-face activities and remote, in response to COVID-19 guidance. Activities included experimenting with magnets, a water tornado, learning about space and science-related cookery packs to use at home.

They also planned and delivered science activities for other young adults with additional support needs 18 years plus, using the same plans as above. Activities included butter making and learning about volcanoes.

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

All ages involved expressed how much they had loved the activities. The simple activities and ones that could be done at home with household objects were a real hit – showing that science was within everyone’s reach. Many participants really enjoyed the science explanations behind the activities – we used Twinkl and other easy read resources.

The project has continued to include some science activities when planning programmes. Staff are now more confident to deliver science activities – both within workshops and remotely with activity packs and online learning.

The young adult members are keen to continue to include some science within their programme activities. They would like to plan other community science events in 2022. They loved trying the experiments themselves, then building their confidence and skills to plan for others. They felt very proud.

There was also a great opportunity to include a range of sensory science activities within the workshops – an aspect we hadn’t anticipated. We will continue to use these to meet particular sensory needs of some of our members.

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

The application process [for a Community Grant] was very simple, and there was a great deal of support from the British Science Week team. There are lots of resources out there to use that staff/leaders can follow to develop their own confidence in science delivery. Prepare a mix of workshops, with a remote back-up in case COVID restrictions interfere with face-to-face activities.


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