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18/19 In Review: Community Engagement

Posted: 27 December 2019

Doing more for the Community

For Edinburgh Science, community engagement is a year-round focus, with events and ticket offers during the Festival time, bespoke workshops during the school holidays, science experiments at community days and more. In 2019, the Edinburgh Science community engagement strategy branched out from north Edinburgh and Leith to include west and south-west Edinburgh. This year we reached an estimated total number of 8,258 people across all our community work.

City Art Centre School Days

We opened up our Science Festival flagship family venue City Art Centre two days early for schools across Edinburgh. Eight primary schools joined us in 15 different workshops across five floors of our science playground. We welcomed 405 students and their teachers to City Art Centre this year. All transport and costs were covered.

The schools that attended were: Balgreen Primary; Craigentinny Primary; Leith Primary; Lorne Primary; Royal Mile Primary; St David’s Primary; St John Vianney Primary; St Joseph’s Primary.

‘Our children wouldn’t have been able to access this event – either with school or in the holidays, had they had to pay for it.’


At #EdSciFest 

During the Festival we offer complimentary tickets to various events for community partners. This year we focused on tailoring the offer for the specific interests of the groups and creating suggested day visits to the Festival. Tickets were available for a range of Science Festival events including Melody and Sam: Record Breakers, City Art Centre, Fossil Frontiers and The Gendered Brain among many others.

In total around 300 people from 18 community partners took up the opportunity to attend tickets to paid events, with many more participating in the Festival’s free drop-in activities around the city. Broomhouse Centre; Citadel; Clovenstone Community Centre; Fetlor Youth Group; Leith Community Education Centre; Muirhouse Housing Association; North Edinburgh ARTS; North Edinburgh Childcare; One Parent Family Scotland; Pilton Community Health Project; Pilton Youth and Children’s Project; SHE Scotland; The Prentice Centre; TRIM/FoWP; VOCAL; West Pilton Neighbourhood Centre; Wester Hailes Youth Agency; and With Kids.

‘Caleb loved the Fossil Frontiers, he is only 5 but found it soooo inspiring. He has been going on about science, about his fossils, telling everyone what he learned – peer education in action. It created a new found love of what he wants to do in life.’ 

Parent at North Edinburgh Arts

Heriot-Watt Family Day

Returning for a second year, the free day of events on the University’s campus welcomed an estimated 4,500 people. A range of hands-on activities from coding robots to making glow sticks and lava lamps were spread across the university playing field and into the squash courts!

Busking Bikes

Our Busking Bikes have been very active this year and have reached an audience of more than 3,000 people across the city. The bikes have appeared at Cameron Toll, Ocean Terminal, Hunter’s Square, Edinburgh Airport, Scottish Parliament, City Art Centre and the Gyle Centre along with four visits to community centres and fun days.

Beyond the Festival 

This year, our Festival 2019 Science in the Spotlight theatre production, Melody and Sam: Record Breakers, travelled to community centres and primary schools to deliver the show free of charge. We engaged with local community partners to reach an audience of over 450 people from Pilton Youth and Children's Project, Citadel Youth, WHALE Arts, Towerbank Primary and Craigentinny Primary School.

Train the Trainers

We delivered a training session to youth workers and community professionals from the Lothian Association of Youth Clubs. The session provided specific resources and techniques on how to engage young people with science and technology in educational and community settings. The session was aimed at professionals that did not have a science background and was designed to increase their confidence and skills in these areas, and empower them to deliver cultural and educational activities relating to science and technology within their local communities.

‘I’ ll be able to take the experiments learnt here into my groups with children. Great to have been able to give them a try first.’

Participant on the training programme