Preparing for the new term

With the school holidays mostly over for the schools that we serve we are now gearing up for the new term with preparations on our educational programme.

We are in the final stages of producing our new programme which we will be offering to Primary and Secondary schools across North Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, Wirral, Warrington and Merseyside.

Our programme can be delivered here at our base in Wrexham and combined with access to our 65+ interactive science exhibits or presented on site at schools in the region.

If you are thinking of supporting your STEM curriculum with some engaging, interactive science presented by our skilled and enthusiastic Science Communicators  please call us on 01978 293400.

A flying theme to three days of Family Science Fun

This week Techniquest Glyndŵr will be opening up its temporary pop-up venue in Wrexham town centre for three full days of science fun and interaction in the run-up to the Bank Holiday on 23rd, 24th and 25th August between 11am and 4.30pm. Entrance to the activities will be free of charge.

In a unique collaboration with the RAF and its celebrations marking its 100th year, the Wrexham based science centre will be presenting an even bigger range of activities over the three days in the former TJ Hughes building in Chester Street/Henblas Square with the additional input from the RAF.

The country’s youngest armed service will be bringing along staff and presenting a special displays showing the role that Wrexham and its people have played in the success of the RAF over its first 100 years and a display illustrating the importance of Wales to the RAF as part of RAF100.

As a special on  August 25th only  the National Archives will be running a drop-in at their stand showing you how you can trace your family history and its connections to the military – sure to be popular so come early to see how it’s done!

The local Defence Electronics and Components Agency (DECA) from MoD Sealand (formerly RAF Sealand) will also be hosting a number of practical interactive STEM activities for children at the venue on all three days with the aim of inspiring the younger generation to take an interest in science and technology.

As a special additional activity, on Saturday 25th August only the RAF have arranged for the National Archives to host a stand offering drop-in sessions to visitors so that they can be taken through their families’ military history and be given ‘how-to’ instructions.

On the theme of flight, Techniquest Glyndŵr will be running special flight workshops where children will be able to construct flying

models to take away whilst Glyndŵr University Computer Science department will be bringing along their mini drones for children to practice their flying control skills.

Elsewhere in the ‘pop-up’ families will be able to try their hand with a number of interactive science exhibits brought from the main Science centre on the University campus with additional exhibits on special loan from the Winchester Science Centre.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throughout the three days prizewinning “Diddy Car Races” will be run for each of three age groups of children on a specially cordoned

 

off course which takes advantage of the smooth surfaced walkways around the ground floor of the building. Winners of each age group on each day will win a family voucher to visit Techniquest Glyndŵr, and on the Saturday a prize draw will be held with the prize being a new Diddy Car.

 

 

Senior Exhibition and Events Officer Mandy Jones commented:

“It’s been brilliant being able to work with the RAF and Wrexham Council to add to our special pop-up events in the town centre. With what we have planned it will make a fantastic run-up to the Bank Holiday weekend for everyone especially since it is free of charge. And with the fly pasts of famous RAF aircraft, a Hercules aircraft on Thursday 23rd at around noon and a Dakota aircraft around 3.15pm it will certainly liven up the town.
I would say to everyone in the Wrexham area to come on down over the three days and have some great family fun to start the Bank Holiday weekend in style! ”

A scientific Playday

A Scientific Playday in Wrexham!

 

Techniquest Glyndŵr provided a major scientific boost to Wrexham’s popular Playday which took over a number of places in the town centre of Wrexham last Wednesday 1st August.

 

Making full use of the empty former TJ Hughes building in Henblas Square, the Wrexham based Science Discovery Centre laid on a huge array of fun activities designed to engage with children of all ages and their families all absolutely free. And visitors flocked into the building in their hundreds to take part.

 

 

The ground floor of the building was packed with fun seeking families for the whole day and was filled with a range of stalls, activities such as diddy car racing, juggling and special interactive displays.

 

 

 

 

Several departments of Wrexham Glyndŵr University had brought along staff and equipment to the PlayDay event and were providing a variety of interactive experiences throughout the day.

 

 

The Forensics Department had organised a fingerprinting activity, virtual reality experiences and practice flights with mini drones were provided by the Electronics Department, and TV studio equipment was set up by the Creative Industries Department giving children the experience of being “on camera” in front of a green screen as in a real studio.

 

Bangor University School of Natural Sciences and the RSPB both provided interactive exhibits and experts in wildlife and ecology which supported the Operation Earth project which featured in Techniquest Glyndŵr’s public programme

 

 

 

 

Senior Exhibition and Events Officer Mandy Jones, who organised Techniquest Glyndŵr’s activities said:


“It’s been a brilliant day and we’ve been really busy. We were very pleased to add to Wrexham’s ever popular PlayDay activities by providing our special science engagement. Having different parts of Glyndŵr University contributing their staff and equipment really helped to add extra interest and I could see that a lot of our visitors were interested in what they had on offer.

The event also coincided with a visit of panel members from the Inspiring Science Fund who are currently assessing our funding bid to enable us to move permanently to the town centre. We were pleased to show them how much the public have got involved with us here and how popular we are with families.”

Free Family Science Fun Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday August 1st this year is a great day for kids in Wrexham. Lots of free activities for children to have fun.

 

Not only is it the ever popular Pay Day organised by Wrexham County Borough Play Services Department  but it is also the day that Techniquest Glyndŵr and Ty Pawb are getting together to offer a special Family Fun Day in the town centre.

Techniquest Glyndŵr is opening up the former TJ Hughes building again to offer a huge range of specially arranged activities and will be open between 11am and 4.30pm.

Entry to all venues is free!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The activities arranged by Techniquest Glyndŵr include:

  • A virtual reality under water  immersive experience within our StarDome
  • Diddy Car Races
  • A range of interactive science exhibits brought from the main centre at Plas Coch
  • A cardboard construction zone
  • Virtual reality experiences - provided by Wrexham Glyndŵr University
  • A mock-up newsreader set where visitors can produce their own newscast - provided Wrexham Glyndŵr University
  • Robotic Dementia cats - provided by Glyndŵr University
  • A stand with carnivorous plants with short presentations about biodiversity and climate change - provided by Bangor University
  • Stalls featuring a number of small local businesses offering their wares
  • and of course lots of circus skills demos

Over the road in Chester Street, Ty Pawb is organising their own activities to engage with families.

These include:

  • POP ART! – A Drawing disco for children for children of all ages where you can make your own neon artworks to chart music. activities
  • Face Painting from 11am – 1pm and
  • The Ty Pawb Treasure Hunt – Free and suitable for children of all ages. 

Street Festivals with a flavour of science.

Wrexham’s streets come alive each month with the regular street festivals which are organised by the Wrexham town centre partnership on the last Saturday of each month. Techniquest Glyndŵr supports the festivals by opening up the doors to the building which they hope will eventually be their future home between Henblas Square and Chester Street, the former TJ Hughes Wrexham store.

The Family Fun Science Days happen on the following dates:

Saturday 28th July 2018
11am – 4.30pm
Wednesday August 1st 2018
Wrexham Play Day
11am – 4.30pm
Saturday 25th August 2018
11am – 4.30pm
Saturday 29th September 2018
11am – 4.30pm
Saturday 27th October 2018
11am – 4.30pm

Visitors can take part in a lively variety of science themed activities taking advantage of the generous space offered by the whole of the ground floor of the former TJ Hughes building in the town centre.

One of the more popular activities for visitors is to take part in the continuous programme of StarDome shows which are presented in a continuous programme of shows in the science centre’s very own portable planetarium which is set up for each of the days.

Staff from Techniquest Glyndŵr also provided a selection of other science activities for visitors to take part in, various science busking and circus tricks and a small selection of the 65+ science exhibits brought from the main centre on Wrexham Glyndŵr University Campus especially for the event.

 

 

“Diddy Car Races” for three age groups of children are being held throughout each of the days on a specially cordoned off course which takes advantage of the smooth surfaced walkways around the ground floor of the building – with a leaderboard showing the fastest times for the children taking part, the races provide a fun prizewinning competition for children to take part in.

 

 

 

 

Other stalls at the events included local craft orientated small businesses,  local community groups providing hands-on activities for visitors and the very popular local fudge makers,

Little Fudge Box selling their hand made high quality confectionery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cardboard construction zone is set up to make use of quantities of large cardboard boxes which had previously been used to contain goods ordered for the science centre. It attracts lots of budding young architects to design and build small person-sized dens and various other imaginative structures which can be climbed into.

 

15th Birthday Celebration!

Techniquest Glyndŵr is 15 years old this year!

To celebrate the anniversary, we are organising a massive family science party over the weekend of 21st and 22nd July to take place at the discovery centre in Wrexham.

The celebration event will run from 11am until 4.30pm on both days of the weekend and entry just for that weekend will be absolutely free of charge.

Over the weekend an assortment of specially booked activities will be available including a climbing wall and a bouncy castle for visitors to try alongside other outdoor and indoor activities which will be adding to the existing 65+ interactive science exhibits in the centre.

 

There will also be a specially devised 15th birthday celebration science show being presented which includes a medley of the very best all-time favourite science demos, chosen by previous staff and current team members.

 

Senior Exhibition and Events Officer Mandy Jones is the longest serving member of staff at Techniquest Glyndŵr, having been recruited into the team in April 2003 after being a volunteer for a short spell just as the centre was getting established.

Mandy commented:

“I have seen the centre really grow and flourish over the years, having started in just one building with no educational outreach programme at all. We now have now grown to offer 5 separate zones, a live science theatre and a science garden for our visitors to explore and we have now become a major visitor attraction for Wrexham.

Not only that, but we now run an extensive educational outreach programme to primary and secondary schools across North Wales and in North West England and host a busy schedule of in-centre school visits.

In 2004, after the first full year of operations we had just over 27,000 engagements over the year, whereas in 2017 we logged over 73,000 engagements over the full year.

 

 

We have hosted lots of birthday parties over the years as part of our offer and they always proved a hit, but we thought now it was our turn to celebrate a birthday. We’re organising this massive birthday party event in July. It will be entirely free of charge for our visitors to have a great time celebrating with us.”

 

 

Iwan Thomas, Chair of the Board of |Trustees for the Charity said

“I am so proud to be chair of the board for such a great organisation. It carries out valuable work not only in North Wales but also into North West England inspiring the next generation of young scientists.

The charity North Wales Science has got a fantastic future ahead as our recently developed strategic plan rolls out. Despite the challenges presented by reduced funding from the Welsh Government I believe we have laid sufficiently good foundations now for the future; especially working in partnership with the support of Wrexham Glyndwr University and Wrexham Council on our vision.

With the work of the team here, our community partners, and the fantastic support of our visitors and clients, I am confident that Techniquest 

Glyndŵr will be serving the region for many years to come”

Thanks to a donation from Tesco Bags of Help scheme the science centre is able to make the weekend’s activities absolutely free of charge for the both the Saturday and the Sunday with free car parking included as well. 

With Wrexham General Station conveniently close, being just a short 10 minute walk away, the centre is certainly easy to get to.

 

Street Festival has a science twist!

Last Saturday Wrexham’s streets came alive again with another of the monthly street festivals organised by the town centre partnership. Supporting the event was Techniquest Glyndŵr who opened the doors again to the building which they hope will eventually be their future home between Henblas Square and Chester Street.

A steady stream of visitors came through the doors all day to take part in a lively variety of science themed activities that took advantage of the generous space offered by the whole of the ground floor of the former TJ Hughes building in the town centre.

One of the more popular activities for visitors was to take part in the continuous programme of StarDome shows presented in the science centre’s very own portable planetarium which was set up for the day. Through most of the day there was an excited queue of both young and not-so-young people to take part in a guided journey through space.

Staff from Techniquest Glyndŵr also provided a selection of other science activities for visitors to take part in, including basic computer programming, demonstrations of a humanoid robot programmed to dance ‘gangnam style’, various science busking and circus tricks and a small selection of the 65+ science exhibits brought from the main centre on Wrexham Glyndŵr University Campus especially for the event.

 

 

“Diddy Car Races” for three age groups of children were held throughout the day on a specially cordoned off course taking advantage of the smooth surfaced walkways around the ground floor of the building – with a leaderboard showing the fastest times for the children taking part, it provided a fun prizewinning competition for children to take part in.

 

 

 

Demonstrating his expert juggling skills, volunteer Robert Parkinson who works for a multinational science based

manufacturing company located in Wrexham was able to tutor many of the younger visitors in the finer points of juggling . Robert recently joined the volunteer team at the science centre and with the support of his employer, Solvay, he hopes to assist at future STEM related events that are planned from time to time taking place at the main science centre at Plas Coch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amongst the stalls and exhibits was a magnificent and very colourful menagerie of steel animals that was provided for the day by the British Iron Works based just down the road in Oswestry.

 

 

 

 

Other stalls at the event included local craft orientated small businesses, a local guiding group who provided a hands-on activity for people to make their own scented bath salts complete with young guiders on hand to assist and the very popular local fudge makers, Little Fudge Box were selling their hand made high quality confectionery.

 

 

 

 

The cardboard construction zone was set up to make use of quantities of large cardboard boxes that had previously been used to contain goods ordered for the science centre. It attracted lots of budding young architects to design and build small person-sized dens and various other imaginative structures which you could climb into.

 

 

 

 

 

One of the main purposes of opening the building for the day was to engage with the public and raise awareness of the bid for major funding that the science centre had submitted to the UK wide ‘Inspiring Science Fund’ offered by the Wellcome Foundation and the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

 

Senior Exhibition and Events Officer Mandy Jones commented :

“Opening up here today is just one of our programme of monthly pop up science eventsheld on the last Saturday of the month in the middle of town. Through these events we are hoping to engage with a much wider audience, simply because we are in the town centre rather than on the University Campus.

In our funding bid we have stated that a town centre location will significantly improve our ability to make contact with new customers and today’s activities are helping to demonstrate this and so far we have had great support from the public who have come through our doors today.

We have also presented our funding bid as an opportunity to contribute to a wider effort from a number of businesses and organisations in and around Wrexham to help re-vitalise the town centre with an increased variety in the “offer” of the town centre. It is hoped to encourage more visitors to explore what the town has to offer and helping to make the various businesses operating there have a more secure future.”

Science with a Portuguese heritage

Esta semana continuamos com nossa série contínua de eventos gratuitos de ciência em família ligados à herança portuguesa, através dos quais alcançamos nossa comunidade portuguesa local.

This week we continue with our ongoing series of free family science events linked to the Portuguese heritage through which we hope to reach out and engage with our local Portuguese community.

 

O evento desta semana, que acontecerá no centro da cidade de Wrexham no sábado, 2 de junho, das 14:00 às 16:00, será sobre Transporte e Navegação.

This week’s event, taking place in Wrexham town centre on Saturday 2nd June from 14:00 to 16:00, will be on Transportation and Navigation.

 

 

 

A Techniquest Glyndŵr estará novamente abrindo sua base temporária no centro da cidade, no prédio entre Chester Street e Henblas Square, que costumava ser a antiga loja TJ Hughes

Techniquest Glyndŵr will be again opening up its temporary town centre base in the building between Chester Street and Henblas Square that used to be the former TJ Hughes store.

 

Alinhado para este evento gratuito está o nosso sempre popular Planetário StarDome, no qual iremos explorar as constelações e estrelas que ajudaram a guiar os primeiros exploradores portugueses.

Lined up for this free event is our ever popular StarDome Planetarium in which we will be exploring the constellations and stars that helped to guide the early Portuguese explorers.

 

 

Haverá também uma série de atividades práticas para crianças que farão bússolas, sextantes de navegação e planisférios (gráficos especiais que mostram posições planetárias).

There will also be a range of hands-on activity for children which will be making compasses, navigation sextants and planispheres (special charts that show planetary positions).

Pacotes para levar para casa com informações para atividades adicionais para tentar em casa serão dados para as famílias que comparecerem ao evento.

Take-home packs with information for additional activities to try at home will be given to those families that attend the event.

Mais informações em info@tqg.org.uk ou 01978293400

Further information from info@tqg.org.uk or 01978293400

Newton’s Apple Pips take root in Wrexham

Three apple seedlings grown from apple pips from the very apple tree that inspired Newton’s theory of gravity have been presented to Techniquest Glyndŵr by National Trust Erddig, the historic major visitor attraction just outside Wrexham.

The seedlings were offspring from the apple tree that first took root around 400 years ago of the variety ‘Flower of Kent’.  National Trust Erddig has become famed for its large collection of apple trees and aptly, in the grounds of this stately home there is a fruit tree that has been propagated from the original over in Cambridgeshire.

As Erddig’s Head Gardener, Glyn Smith says

“These seedlings won’t exactly be the same as the original tree, as they will probably have been cross pollinated by other trees in the gardens here at Erddig and will also have genes from their parents and grandparents. So if they grow, there may one day be a new variety. Isaac’s Erddig Pippin perhaps?”

This unique collaboration between two local visitor attractions came about as a result of an initiative developed by the UK Association of Science Discovery Centres (ASDC) and National Trust’s property Woolsthorpe Manor in order to mark International Science Centre and Science Museum Day. This is a global event backed by UNESCO .

Apple pips taken from apples grown from the original apple tree at Woolsthorpe Manor were distributed to a limited number of science centres across the UK, with ASDC member Techniquest Glyndŵr taking part in November 2016.

As well as contacting Erddig for their support Techniquest Glyndŵr also involved children from two local schools in planting the apple pips that arrived from Woolsthorpe, the Welsh medium school Ysgol Plas Coch and Rhosddu Primary School.

Glyn Smith continued

“After Simon Brown from Techniquest Glyndŵr contacted me I agreed to participate in the project and we received just three apple pips from the tree which still survives at Woolsthorpe with the other precious samples being planted by school children near the science centre .

Originally the project was to work just with two local schools to plant and raise the pips and eventually plant them out, but I was happy to use my expertise in ensuring that there was the maximum chance of having live offspring from the seeds.

The pips needed around six weeks stored in a refrigerator, before actual planting, and several times they were nearly thrown out!
Without much hope that we would succeed in germinating any of the pips, to my amazement all three germinated and are now about two inches tall. I was pleased to hand them over to Simon for looking after in the Science Garden at the centre.”

Sir Isaac Newton was famously sitting under an apple tree, when a falling apple inspired his revolutionary theories about gravity and Techniquest Glyndŵr, having opened their new Science Garden at their base on the campus of Glyndŵr University, was keen to plant and grow an apple tree with such a close and historic connection with the world famous scientist.

A further scientific connection to the apple pips and tree was pointed out by Jannette Warrener, Operations Manager for Woolsthorpe Manor, National Trust’s attraction in East Anglia.

“Pips from our tree have been in space on the International Space Centre, originally sent up with Tim Peake as part of his ‘Principia’ mission. They have certainly travelled far and wide!”

She added

“I was delighted to have shared apple pips with other amazing sites for science across the country and hope that the project will have engaged young people with the fascinating story of Newton. He truly shaped modern scientific thinking here at Woolsthorpe when he worked on his theory of gravity and also explored light and calculus.”

The CEO of ASDC Dr Penny Fidler said

“We were delighted to have celebrated International Science Centre and Science Museum Day by sharing Newton’s apples seeds with families and the public through the impressive network of UK science centres. As a nation and a global society we have some major challenges ahead that will take scientific creativity and entrepreneurship to solve.

Science Centres and Museums are at the heart of bringing the latest science to the public across the UK and helping children and adults to get involved with science in a hands-on and inspirational way, building the skills we need to create a better world for the future.”

Scot Owen, Centre Manager at Techniquest Glyndŵr, commented:

“As a member of the ASDC we were pleased to join in with this imaginative project and also help strengthen our links with two local primary schools as well as Erddig and the National Trust.

The story of Newton’s Apple is well known and by being able to have the chance to grow a living apple tree connected with this famous scientist and associate it with the story of how it helped to develop Newton’s theory of gravity I am sure it will help to fire up the imagination of local children and kindle a greater interest in science.

We would like to thank Glyn for helping to germinate and look after these valuable seeds. We’re delighted that we now have three healthy seedlings to nurture and grow on, ready for planting out not only in our own Science garden here at Techniquest Glyndŵr but also in the grounds of the two closest Primary Schools to our centre.”

Exploring the Physics of Transportation & Navigation!

Over the next few weeks we are reaching out to the significant local Portuguese community with a series of special science events which explore the physics behind transportation, navigation and exploration. Connecting the historical association of Portugal with these themes we will be delivering the sessions in English but we will have a Portuguese speaking member of staff on hand to explain anything that maybe unclear to Portuguese speakers.

 

~ How did the early European explorers navigate the seas?

 

~ How do aeroplanes stay in the sky?

 

~ What forces play a part in enabling us to travel by land,sea and air?

 

These events are free of charge and open to all, with activities suitable for the whole family. Come along any time between 2pm and 4pm to try them out for yourself, and find out more about Techniquest Glyndwr science discovery centre.

  • Saturday 19th May - Marchwiel Village Hall
    2pm to 4pm
  • Saturday 2nd June - Techniquest Town Centre Venue (the old TJ Hughes building, Chester Street/Henblas Square)
    2pm to 4pm
  • Saturday 9th June - Un Deg Un, Regent Street, Wrexham
    2pm to 4pm

These events will be followed by a FREE visit to Techniquest Glyndwr science centre on Glyndwr University campus, to see one of our live science shows and have a go at our hands on exhibits.  Join us at Techniquest Glyndwr from 1pm on Saturday 23rd June.

 

These activities are funded by the Institute of Physics

In Portuguese....

Explorando a Fisica do Transporte e da Navegacao

Junta-te ao Techniquest Glyndwr numa serie de eventos, para descobrires mais acerca da Fisica no que respeita aos transportes, navegacao e exploracao.

~ Como foi que os antigos exploradores europeus navegaram os mares?

 

~ Como e que os avioes ficam no ar?

 

~ Que forcas tomam parte em nos deixar viajar por terra, mar e ar?

 

 

Vem e explora estes temas atraves de actividades praticas e excitantes demonstracoes interactivas.

Techniquest Glyndwr fara eventos nos seguintes locais:

  • Sabado 19 de Maio no Village Hall de Marchwiel das 14 as 16 horas
  • Sabado  2 de Junho Techniquest Glyndwr novas instalacoes no centro da cidade (old TJ Hughes, Chester Street/Henblas Square) das 14 as 16 horas
  • Sabado 9 de Junho Un Deg Un (Regent Street) das 14 as 16 horas

Estes eventos sao gratis e abertos a todos com actividades destinadas a toda a familia. Vem em qualquer altura entre as 14 e as 16 horas para tentares por ti proprio e descobrires mais sobre o Centro de descobertas cientificas do Techniquest Glyndwr.

Estes eventos serao seguidos de uma visita gratis ao centro de ciencias do Techniquest Glyndwr, na Universidade Glyndwr.para ver uma das nossas demonstracoes ao vivo e participar nas actividades. Comparece a partir das 13 horas de Sabado, 23 de Junho no Techniquest Glyndwr.

 

Estas actividades sao financiadas pelo Instutito da Fisica.