SCI-FUN in the community
For over two decades, the SCI-FUN Roadshow has delivered a ‘science centre’ experience to schools and communities in the Edinburgh region.
The University’s SCI-FUN workshops offer opportunities for members of the public to see how science relates to our everyday lives. The workshops also aim to encourage young people to consider the sciences when it comes to choosing their subjects for study.
The range of hands-on activities covers the broad spectrum of the sciences, including blood cells, forces, perception, fibre-optics and many other ideas. For example, our infra-red Communication exhibit allows visitors to explore how fibre-optics aid broadband technology, while the Cube Illusion image demonstrates how the separate (yet interacting) roles of our eyes and brains help us perceive the world around us.
The SCI-FUN team works closely with researchers in the University to develop new activities which relate to recent innovations, so that the content is kept interesting and up-to-date.
Our students are heavily involved in delivering the scheme, providing visitors with the opportunity to discuss the different scientific concepts in more depth, and it also offers positive role models of students to young people who want to ask about what life at university is really like.
I found out you can do cool little tricks with a vacuum and a beach ball. It was great fun and I learned a lot.
Widening participation and engaging families
To support the University’s widening participation programme, SCI-FUN prioritises visits to focus LEAPS schools and annually adjusts its visit schedule to include new communities. One recent example was the Forth SCI-FUN Family Day - a collaboration with the Raising Aspirations in Science Education programme and City of Edinburgh Council.
In addition to visiting schools, we like to engage family groups at community events and festivals because research shows that close family members have a strong influence on whether or not young people develop an interest in science. If we can appeal to more members in a family, there is greater potential for longer-lasting impact on the young people participating in our activities.
Find out more
To find out more about the scheme, visit the SCI-FUN website or contact Stuart Dunbar, firstname.lastname@example.org, Engagement Manager in the College of Science and Engineering. To check whether we’re coming to an event near you, look at our events calendar.
Other science engagement projects
Staff and students at the University have developed a range of different science-related activities and workshops for schools and community events. If you would like to find out more, or arrange a school visit, or invite us to take part in your community event, then please contact STEM@ed.ac.uk and your enquiry will be directed to the most suitable people who will respond.