Sidmouth Science Festival 2013

Project aims:

To show how science and technology play an important part in everyday life. Aimed at the whole community.


To involve local primary and secondary schools. Other community organisations. Bringing scientists of international reputation to give talks in Sidmouth. University Outreach hands-on experience.

Summary of activity:

The festival included talks by internationally recognised scientists, hands-on activities from universities, colleges and schools, discussions (café scientifique), science trails, science demonstrations at local schools and the Norman Lockyer Observatory. Every primary school pupil in the Sidmouth area produced a science in art painting, all of which were exhibited in the Kennaway House gallery in the centre of Sidmouth. Four Secondary schools in the East Devon region contributed to the student project day held at Sidmouth College.

Evaluation approach:

Completion of Evaluation Forms and Observations at events and voluntary inputs by visitors.

What went well:

• it was successful in gaining the support of over 30 community groups, businesses, churches and educational establishments; all offering their time voluntarily to organise many aspects of the week’s activities.

•it drew together people of all age groups from the community in a positive way.

•over 1500 children and students from schools in Sidmouth and the locality made a direct contribution (art and science projects, science trails) and attended science demonstrations

What was learned:

1. More chemistry, biology and technical science

2. A maths talk, pitched at younger generation

3. A talk organised in partnership with Sidmouth College (G&T group, Science Club) & then invite pupils

4. Printed hand-outs to expand lecture contents

5. More for 6-10 year-olds

Top tips and advice for others

Need enthusiastic organisers sharing a wide range of skills with experience in and contacts across science, engineering, technology. Also required are people skilled in administration and publicity to make contacts in local schools, organisations (WI, civic associations) and commercial establishments (shops, hotels).

About the contributor

Bob Miles
Vision Group for Sidmouth

Team of volunteers who wish to bring an understanding of the importance of science and technology to the wider community.…

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