Community Science Engagement
We work in partnership with our local community through a vibrant collection of science engagement activities, including a community science festival and mentorship programme.
Science Mentors at Castlebrae Community High School
Science Mentors@Castlebrae sees PhD students and postdoctoral scientists mentor Castlebrae Community High School senior pupils in science, technology and mathematics subjects. The project was the brainchild of Sabrine Gogolok, a past post-doctoral scientist at CRM.
Sabine Gogolok and Cathy Southworth discuss the Castlebrae High School pupil mentoring project
In the Year of Young People (2018), we worked with Young Scot to co-develop the mentoring scheme with the young people at Castlebrae Community High School identifying how to develop the scheme to best suit their needs. We now hold a full day's training for the mentors equipping them with skills in mentoring and tutoring the young people.
Community Science Festival
Now in its third year, the Craigmillar Community Science Festival is held on the last Friday in March in the run up to the Edinburgh International Science Festival. Held in partnership with The Community Alliance Trust at The White House Kitchen Community Cafe, the festival sees young people in the community demonstrating science to Festival-goers alongside scientists from the Centre and elsewhere at The University of Edinburgh.
The next Festival will be in March 2020.
The White House Holiday Science Club
2019 saw the first Holiday Science Club developed to support our local Castleview Primary Schools in support of the Rolls Royce Science Award Competition Entry. This was instigated by the CRM Administrative team and run in partnership with The Community Alliance Trust at The White House Kitchen Community Cafe. The two day club was open to 8-12 year olds and their parent/carers from the wider Craigmillar community.
CRM works in partnership with the White House Kitchen Community Café to run a Holiday Science Club
School Pupil Laboratory Internship
In June 2016, at the end of a visit by pupils from our neighbouring school Kelsey Wallace plucked up the courage to ask if we had any vacancies for work during the summer. Encouraged by her drive and enthusiasm the spark was lit for the beginnings of an internship programme, now offered annually by CRM to a pupil from Castlebrae Community High School.
Kelsey Wallace reflects on her internship:
"I never really liked biology until I came here. School science is so different to science at the centre; it’s more interesting and feels more relevant and real to that which we do in school. It’s made me feel more confident about what I want to do when I leave school. I’ve not decided yet but I have ideas of biochemical science or nursing, so the work here was very relevant." "I told my classmates about the work and they all felt it was inspirational. It’s made biology easier for me, I understand it now, especially the cell work as at the centre it was so much more advanced. When I first came to the centre I felt awkward, I didn’t know what to do with myself, now I know what I’m doing, I know exactly what to do and when to do it, I feel more natural. I feel like I could go to another science building and get into it, feeling more confident."
In the summer of 2019, CRM also offered an internship to Tomas Soto, a pupil from Holy Rood RC High School. Reflecting on his experience, Tomas said:
"The month that I spent at the CRM is one that I will never forget. It was my first real experience in an area that I’m really interested in and I was able to learn about so many different parts of biology as well as about working in a lab. I also had the opportunity of meeting amazing and very interesting people from whom I got very good advice. "Even now, I am not able to describe with words how fun and just how different it felt from going to school. Although I had to give up my summer, it now feels like it was a small price to pay for the incredible opportunity I had and I would recommend it to anyone who has the chance to do it."