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.”

Local video company supports science centre

Techniquest Glyndŵr was a lucky prize winner in a competition held recently by local video production company CreativeJigsaw based in Penyffordd. The prize was a professionally filmed and produced promotional video that was offered at a substantially reduced cost.

This week the final version of the video was passed on to Techniquest Glyndŵr, the product of a day of live filming at the popular science centre based in Wrexham followed by the necessary production editing.

The charity will now be making use of the film to help increase public interest in the centre and raise awareness of its potential move into Wrexham town centre into the former TJ Hughes building in Henblas Square/Chester Street.

Scot Owen, Techniquest Glyndŵr’s Centre Manager said

“We have been wanting to produce a promotional video for some time and the competition provided an ideal opportunity to produce a high quality video at an affordable cost!
Having just seen the final version of the film I have been impressed at the way CreativeJigsaw have been able to highlight the fun and excitement of what we do. It is surprising to see how a day of filming can be transformed into such an attractive short promotional video. It will be a fantastic help in telling more people about what we do.”

The film will now be used whenever possible when the Charity attends public events and has just been posted on Techniquest Glyndŵr’s Facebook and YouTube channels. It will shortly also be uploaded to the Charity’s website at www.tqg.org.uk.

Nigel Edwards, proprietor of CreativeJigsaw commented:

CreativeJigsaw were very pleased to have Techniquest Glyndŵr as one of two second prize winners in our recent competition. It allowed them a 50% discount against the cost to produce a film that will help promote the centre and also boost its case for funding”.

Major funding bid submitted by Techniquest Glyndŵr

Techniquest Glyndŵr has just submitted a major bid to the Wellcome Trust under their ‘Inspiring Science Fund’. Co-funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Wellcome, the Inspiring Science Fund supports science centres across the UK. It is a capital fund promoted by the Association of Science Discovery Centres that helps centres rethink what they do and what they offer to the public.

Seizing the opportunity to fund the development of a town centre base in Wrexham, North Wales Science, the charity that operates Techniquest Glyndŵr, submitted an initial proposal in October 2017. Following consideration of the applications by the grant panel Techniquest Glyndŵr was successful in reaching the second round, and invited to submit more detailed proposals by the 28th February.

On the day of the deadline the Chair of the Board of North Wales Science, Iwan Thomas formally submitted the detailed bid for funding and commented as he clicked the submission button

“It’s a proud moment as Chair of the Board to click the submit button on our funding bid. Here’s to a long term future in our potential new Wrexham town centre base, working with partners.

A huge thanks to the team in Techniquest Glyndŵr and Wrexham Glyndŵr University for all their hard work! Fingers crossed now!”

Techniquest Glyndŵr will then be invited to London to meet the Inspiring Science Grants panel in mid-June when the team will be grilled over the details and feasibility of their bid with the successful organisations notified in July as to the outcome of their bids.

Techniquest Glyndŵr has been working with support from Wrexham County Borough Council, Wrexham Glyndwr University to develop their bold plans and the funding bid, if successful, will enable a major science discovery centre to operate from the town centre location.

Scot Owen the Centre Manager said:

“We think we have made an excellent case for this funding, combining as it does, our desire to develop our operations in the town centre location but also complementing a variety of regeneration initiatives focused on the town centre including the Ty Pawb arts hub due to open in April.

We have had great support from our local MP Ian Lucas, our Welsh Assembly Member, Lesley Griffiths and AM Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport in the Welsh Government who have all written letters of support for our bid. Wrexham County Borough Council have also been extremely supportive providing input thorough a number of different departments to help us on our way.

We are still interested to hear from any local businesses and industry who may wish to become involved with us and help with sponsorship. You can contact us via our website www.tqg.org.uk or by email info@tqg.org.uk  “

Techniquest Glyndŵr calls out for votes to bag a share of Tesco’s bag fund

Techniquest Glyndŵr, Wrexham’s very own Science Discovery Centre is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.
Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 raised from carrier bag sales in Tesco stores awarded to local community projects.

Three groups in every Tesco region are shortlisted to receive a cash award and shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think deserves the most funding.
Techniquest Glyndŵr is one of the charities on the shortlist in the Wrexham area and is hoping to fundraise enough money to celebrate their 15th Anniversary in style by offering a celebration event free to the general public in the Summer holiday period.

Scot Owen, Centre Manager at Techniquest Glyndŵr said

“It’s fantastic news that we have been selected to be in the running for money from the Bags of Help scheme at Tesco. We hope that shoppers will remember us as they vote in-store so that we can have a generous share of the funding that will be made available.

We want to use the funds to mark our 15th year of operation with an exciting celebration event which will be open to the public free of charge. The more funding we can win, the better the event can be, especially since we also want to make use of our newly acquired additional space in the Town Centre.
We want this celebration event to attract as many local families as possible to highlight the way we have been able to bring the excitement of science and technology to children over the years.

From when we opened in 2003 we have seen a steady and consistent growth in visitor numbers and engagements, from approximately 40,000 in our first 18 months to 82,655 in the last year.”

Voting is open in the Tesco Extra store in Wrexham from 1st March to 30th April. Customers will be able to cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.”

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered over £43 million to more than 10,000 charitable projects around the UK. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different charities every time they shop.

Alec Brown, Head of Community at Tesco, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for March and April. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see these come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said:

“We’ve been thrilled to see the diversity of projects that have applied for funding, ranging from outdoor classrooms, sports facilities, community gardens, play areas and everything in between.
“We’re looking forward to learning the results of the customer vote and then supporting each group to bring their project to life.”

Funding is available to community groups and charities looking to fund local projects that bring benefits to communities. Anyone can nominate a project and organisations can apply online. To find out more visit www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp .

Bold plans for Wrexham Science Centre

 

 

Techniquest Glyndŵr has just announced the successful conclusion of negotiations for an additional space that will soon be available for the popular Science Discovery Centre in Wrexham to engage new audiences in the excitement of science and technology.

The former TJ Hughes premises located between Chester Street and HenblasSquare, Wrexham has lain empty since 2011 when the retailer closed its doors in the town for the last time. With the signing of a 12 month agreement the building will now have a new lease of life, playing host to a programme of community science events, exhibitions and fundraising events which are being planned by Techniquest Glyndŵr to take place over the next year.

 

Working with support from Wrexham County Borough Council, Wrexham Glyndwr University and the Welsh Government, the Techniquest Glyndŵr team are excited by this opportunity. It will help to reach new audiences, develop new partnerships and closer links within the town centre whilst retaining their existing presence on the university campus.

It is hoped that the events will be a prelude to the ambitious plans of North Wales Science Limited, the charity that runs Techniquest Glyndŵr, to move its operational base to the building in the centre of Wrexham in 2019.

 

In front of the former T.J. Hughes building, Henblas Square, Wrexham are Chair of the North Wales Science Board, Iwan Thomas (R) together with Scot Owen, Centre Manager Techniquest Glyndŵr (L) and Mandy Jones Exhibition & Events Coordinator Techniquest Glyndŵr.

Making the announcement on behalf of the charity, Iwan Thomas, Chair of the Board of Trustees said:

“Techniquest Glyndŵr has a fantastic offer and this opportunity to have a presence in the town centre will really help to put us on the map and attract even more visitors to the town.
This development will also add significantly to the cultural offer being developed by Wrexham County Borough Council, including the Ty Pawb arts hub, which will help to create additional footfall to all of the town centre businesses.

With this presence in a prominent location in the town,in addition to our current centre,we will significantly increase our ability to engage people of all ages with science and technology.”

The negotiations have been complex and have involved the owners of the building MCR Property Group, Wrexham Borough Council, North Wales Science Limited and Wrexham Glyndŵr University agreeing a feasible plan to take over the building on a short-term basis. This is prior to the outcome of a series of funding applications which will enable the transformation of the building into a major visitor attraction as a large science discovery centre right in the heart of Wrexham town centre.

Lynda Powell, Director of Operations, Wrexham Glyndŵr University and a board member of North Wales Science Limited said:

“The University had the foresight in setting up North Wales Science almost 15 years ago.Since then the charity has grown into the significant presence that Techniquest Glyndŵr has both on our campus and more widely in the community.

With our close working relationship developed over the years we are pleased to have been able to assist with this venture as part of a long term growth plan for Techniquest Glyndŵr.

I would particularly like to acknowledge the proactive support of the building’s owners MCR Property Group which has made this development possible.”

Techniquest Glyndŵr is launching a major fundraising initiative which will involve eventsand applications to a variety of potential funders including charitable trusts and local industry. The charity also hopes to establish stronger links with local technology businesses as part of the bold development plan by making possible the acquisition of exciting new interactive exhibits and the development of additional science workshops and shows.

Scot Owen the Centre Manager said:

“For a long time we have been looking at ways to have a more visible presence in Wrexham, and our current location has made it difficult to attract the sort of visitor numbers we want in order to ensure a longer term sustainable future for the centre.

The opening of the temporary town centre venue will be a great way to celebrate our 15th year of operation and we intend that this new presence will help ensure that Techniquest Glyndŵr will be thriving for many more years to come.”

Techniquest Glyndŵr’s Exhibition and Events Coordinator, Mandy Jones commented:

“Recent news showed that Wrexham has a growing tourism economy which is now worth nearly £116 million.
With this additional presence we are hoping to be able to contribute further to that growth by attracting new visitors to the town and this is the exciting first step towards developing a permanent town centre site.

We are looking to the public and local and regional industry to help us achieve our charity’s ambition to develop this additional base into an exciting ‘go to’ venue right at the heart of the community”

 Comments are invited about ideas on what could be incorporated within the new base - activities, facilities, exhibitions, events. Please leave your comments below with your suggestions

 

Sensory Tunnel Visit

Techniquest Glyndŵr has worked with Guide Dogs for The Blind Cymru to bring their sensory tunnel van to the Science Centre for the day as part of a programme of visits they have organised to the area. The team of 4 from Guide Dogs Cymru accompanied the van to help make contact with members of the public and students as part of a bid to recruit volunteers to help the organisation.

During the day a steady stream of visitors came to try out the challenge for themselves including staff and students from Wrexham Glyndŵr University, members of the public and staff from Techniquest Glyndŵr.

Jacqui Hughes-Jones, from the Guide Dogs Association said
“We have brought the van with us today as part of our campaign to recruit local volunteers to our organisation. There are a number of visually impaired people in the area who are keen to have a sighted volunteer to work with them as they develop their skills to negotiate their life without sight.
We are also looking for local student ambassadors who would be interested to talk about our work in schools.
Tomorrow we will be visiting the Tesco Extra store near the Border Retail Park in the centre of Wrexham so I am hoping between the two visits that we will be generating lots of interest amongst people from the Wrexham area."

Nathan Fry the Guide Dogs Engagement Officer was welcoming visitors to the van explaining what to expect as they tried out the sensory tunnel.

He explained

"In this van we have created a mini-environment fitted with various obstacles that might be found on the street. By putting on our special “mindfold” mask, visitors will be able to experience the disorientation that occurs when the eyes are open but there is nothing to see because their vision has been temporarily obscured by the mask.
Once inside the van, we ask people to try and identify all of the various items that have been installed just by the sense of touch and set against the background noise of a typical street scene.

Being visually impaired himself Nathan added,

"This challenge really helps to make sighted people aware of some of the issues associated with moving about in a world without sight. You might come across all sorts of unexpected items on the pavement

 such as wheelie bins, bicycles and even parked cars that could be tripped over.
By bringing this van today, as well as raising awareness of visual impairment we are also hoping to recruit some additional volunteers and increase the support for our valuable work, not only locally but across Wales."

The team also had brought along a couple of trained guide dogs, “Kayley” and “Mason” who were able to be part of the visit because they were officially ‘off duty” and away from their owners and these provided a popular additional attraction to the visit.

Mandy Jones, Senior Exhibition and Events Coordinator at Techniquest Glyndŵr said

“Techniquest Glyndŵr always likes to support other charities and when Guide Dogs Cymru approached us about bringing their sensory tunnel challenge to the area we thought it would be an interesting additional activity we could host but also help them at the same time.
Being situated on the University Campus is ideal for their visit since they are particularly interested in recruiting volunteer Student Ambassadors to help with their visits to schools in the area raising awareness of their work.”

 

Surprise visit from astronaut hopeful

Last Thursday (30thNovember) Techniquest Glyndŵr , Wrexham’s popular Science Discovery Centre located on the Wrexham Glyndŵr  University Campus had a surprise  visit from an astronaut hopeful who had recently taken part in the BBC2 TV series  'Astronauts - Do You Have What it takes'.

Seen here in her blue ‘flight suit’ Jackie is accompanied by Techniquest Glyndŵr Science Communicator Kevin Jones, with Clare Evans and Cerian Kassam

Jaclyn Bell was one of the 12 shortlisted out of 3,000 contestants of the televised competition. Unfortunately Jackie didn’t make it to the top to be nominated to the European Space Agency to be an Astronaut in one of the Agency’s space programmes but on the way she had plenty of amazing experiences as she progressed through the tough selection process as she told the staff at Techniquest Glyndŵr .

She said

“It was all pretty gruelling but there were lots of exciting firsts for me during the televised episodes, one of the biggest in the series of selection exercises was actually flying a helicopter.

Unfortunately, though, I had to drop out early since at the time I was not able to swim and couldn’t continue with the later challenges - I have since learned to be a swimmer!”

Jackie’s visit to Wrexham was as a result of her new role being Project Manager for the exciting science programme “Explore Your Universe” which is now being delivered by the Science Centre to schools and the general public.

‘Explore your Universe’ is a new national project celebrating the physical sciences which has been developed by The UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres (ASDC) together with Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).The aim of Explore Your Universe is to ‘inspire a sense of excitement amongst young people around the physical sciences by sharing the amazing stories and technologies of STFC’.Techniquest Glyndŵr  is one of just 20 Science Centres across the UK which are now delivering the programme.

 

Takeover Day

If you had visited Techniquest Glyndŵr last Thursday (16thNovember), you would have had rather a surprise! You would have found children doing jobs and taking on roles that adults in the Science Centre usually do.

Year 6 pupils from St. Peter’s Primary School in Rossett were invited by the school to apply for the six positions that would be offered at Techniquest Glyndŵr for the day.

Eleonora Abbiati, Jack Wills, Ianto Roberts , Alice King, Oliver Hennessy, Emily Powell were the lucky six children chosen to take over at Techniquest Glyndŵr for the day.

During the day they took on the various roles ‘behind the scenes’ that help make the science discovery centre a popular destination for educational school visits and a fun day out for families.

The children assumed the various roles in the centre including Supervisor, Presenter, Host, Project Coordinator and Marketing Officer.

Each of the children on the visit was allocated a Techniquest Glyndŵr Team Member to work with for the day as a ‘mini-me’. This meant that each child would get a flavour of what working in a Science Discovery Centre is like.

Oliver Hennessy helped the staff in the Marketing Team by taking pictures, interviewing children and staff  and composing and posting social media messages, whilst others answered the telephone and made calls to schools, helped to prepare a live science show, helped with welcoming another school on their visit to the centre, or worked the till. One child even helped with a live science workshop that had been booked by Belvidere Primary School from Shrewsbury who were visiting the centre on the day.

Oliver Hennessy , who took on the role of Communications Officer for the day said

“I have really enjoyed today. I think it is one of the best days I have ever had.”

During the day Oliver interviewed Jack Birch, a Science Communicator with Techniquest Glyndŵr;

He asked “ Do you enjoy your job?”

To which Jack replied

“Very much so. In fact this is the one job I look forward to when I come into work every day.”

Oliver  also interviewed fellow pupil Leonora – “What is the best bit about your role today and what other role would you like to take on here”

To which Leonora replied

“It was fun using the walkie-talkie to talk with the other staff. And if I couldn’t be doing this job helping as a Supervisor I would like to work with the Sales person.”

Matthew Roberts, a Year 6 Teacher at St Peter’s School Rossett and Manager for Key Stage 2 in the school said

“ We were approached by Techniquest Glyndŵr  to take part in this TakeOver Day and seeing it as a unique opportunity to involve pupils from the school in a real life experienceI was keen to accept the offer. After Cerian from Techniquest Glyndwr came to the school to give a live science demonstration I asked all Year 6 pupils to write an application letter to set out why they would like to take on a particular role at the centre for the day.

Looking through the applications I then had the hard task of selecting just 6 pupils to have this experience. I thought the opportunity was especially valuable since it helped to give the children the realistic experience of applying for something they might not necessarily be selected for. However I was keen that the six who were successful to be able to take part in this wonderful experience that they reported back to others in Assembly afterwards.

The lucky children that were selected were so excited to take part and I’m sure they will have got a lot out of it, especially when they will be practicing their communication skills in a realistic situation. The whole school is looking forward to hearing all about it when they return. ”

Assistant Teacher Mrs Roberts who accompanied the children to the science centre said;

“It has been wonderful to see how the children have been welcomed by the staff here to take part in this unique event. They have obviously enjoyed every minute of their day today and I am sure they will be telling all the other children what a wonderful time they have had.

The day’s event was part of the ‘Taking Over Museums’ initiative which organises a number of Takeover events in England and Wales where children ‘take over’ museums and take on the roles of staff for the day.

Cerian Kassam, from Techniquest Glyndŵr the organiser of the event said

“At Techniquest Glyndŵr, we’re passionate to include children and teenagers in science discovery and the ‘Take Over’ initiative is a great way to engage children in a slightly different way so that they get an idea of the excitement that lies behind our work.

Following previous hugely successful Take Over Days we were keen to involve another local school in this unique and fun experience. We hope to organise another event next year.”

Science Garden opens

On 29th September Techniquest Glyndŵr’s long awaited Science Garden was officially opened to the public. The opening ceremony at the popular Science Discovery Centre was attended by local MP Ian Lucas .

The themes of biodiversity, renewable energy and recycling are demonstrated within the science garden and were revealed to the invited guests including pupils from two local primary schools Ysgol Plas Coch and Rhosddu Primary School.

Financial support from various funders amounting to over £33,000, the in-kind support of a number of local companies and over 400 hours of volunteer effort have transformed a piece of unused ground to the rear of one of the buildings used by Techniquest Glyndŵr into an attractive, wheelchair accessible, outdoor space giving visitors an experience of various natural sciences currently not available within the indoor areas of the centre.

Operations Manager, Mandy Jones said

“We are so grateful to our various funders, Wrexham Borough Council, some generous local businesses, and not forgetting the many volunteers who have given their time freely in order to make our plans for a science garden become a reality.

I would also like to thank Wrexham Glyndŵr University for arranging the lease on the additional land for the garden. It has been great to involve students at the university, who have successfully combined work for their respective courses with practical outcomes for the project.”

She added

“I hope that, over time, the garden will become a much loved and visited feature to our centre especially since it can be visited free of charge during centre opening hours. It offers an attractive and quiet place to sit and possibly have a picnic”

There were four major funders to the science garden project and they included WREN who allocated a grant of £18,604 from the FCC Community Action Fund to carry out the basic landscaping works, fencing and creation of a pond. This funding was supported by additional 3rd party funding of £2,000 from Lendlease and Crownhouse, two main contractors involved in building HMP Berwyn.

The Awards for All Big Lottery Wales provided £4,849 which was used to provide rainwater collection equipment, seeds and plants, recycling and compost bins, outdoor seating made out of recycled plastic and a suitable CCTV system to provide security monitoring to the garden. The system can also be used additionally to monitor the interior of bird boxes which are planned to be installed in and around the garden in the future.

The Thomas Howell’s Educational Fund for North Wales provided £4,000 to purchase solar photovoltaic panels to generate electrical power for a water feature and an air pump for a heat store in the greenhouse, outdoor tables made from recycled agricultural plastic, a solar thermal panel to provide hot water for a wash hand basin and a weather station to monitor temperature, wind and rainfall in the garden and finally, Postcode Local Trust, a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, awarded £6,076 to purchase a solar powered water pump and high capacity battery, garden tools and equipment, a tool store, signage and additional plants and mulches.

Support for the garden was also provided in kind by various local companies and organisations. Genfit the Chester based renewable energy installation company installed the Solartwin solar thermal panel and hand-wash basin free of charge, local landscaping contractors Thomas Landscapes installed safety fencing free of charge for the pond area, and Wrexham Borough Council provided and delivered several tonnes of soil improver and mulching material free of charge to get the raised beds and planted areas into shape.

Local schools Ysgol Plas Coch and Rhosddu School together with a number of individual local residents collected over 3,500 2L plastic bottles which have been used to build a greenhouse with walls and roof made out of the bottles threaded onto bamboo poles, with timber for the framework being provided by Techniquest Glyndŵr.

Finally, over 400 hours of voluntary effort were given to the garden project, helping to shift topsoil, soil improver and mulch materials, carry out planting around the garden area, in the raised beds and pond and to design and construct the plastic bottle greenhouse.

After the official opening residents of Wrexham and visitors to Techniquest Glyndŵr will then be able to visit the new Science Garden as they wish free of chargeat times when the Science Centre is open.

Scot Owen, Education Manager of Techniquest Glyndŵr believes that the new development will make a huge difference tothe way that local people and centre visitors will be able to experience the Science Centre.

He said

“The Science Garden is a completely new development for us at Techniquest Glyndŵr. Up until now all of our interactive exhibits have been based indoors and have relied upon visitors coming to the centre and paying for admission.

The Science Garden, being an outside area, will give us an opportunity to have displays and exhibits related to the natural sciences which previously we have been unable to present.

Furthermore, because the garden will be open to the public free of charge whenever the main centre is open, it will mean that local residents will be able to pop round and enjoy the garden as it becomes established and develops without having to pay any admission.

We are really looking forward to further developments for the Science Garden as we involve partner organisations in new initiatives to build on what we have created already.”

He added

“We have been pleased to collaborate with various departments of Wrexham Glyndŵr University as we have developed the garden. For example, through liaison with colleagues in the School of Occupational Therapy in the University we have been able to incorporate elements of the garden that will offer sensory aspects such as texture, scent, sound in the garden.

Involvement of students in various courses such as renewable energy, graphic design and architectural design have produced designs and in some cases the installation of a number of features presented in the garden.”

We are looking forward to involving more students in the future as we develop further ideas that will chime with the broader themes of biodiversity, recycling and renewable energy that the garden seeks to demonstrate.

Wales-wide charity support project launched in Wrexham

The invited guests to the IoF Cymru’s launch event at Techniquest Glyndŵr included Ian Lucas MP, John Gallanders Chief Executive AVOW and Gareth Hughes from Big Lottery Wales last Tuesday October 3rd. 

An out of the ordinary venue was chosen by the Institute of Fundraising Cymru to launch their nationwide Fundraising Health Checks project last Tuesday (3rd October)

Techniquest Glyndŵr in Wrexham, North Wales’ very own Science Discovery Centre, hosted the launch of the Big Lottery Wales funded project amongst the interactive science exhibits in the centre.

The project will be working with 105 charities in all parts of Wales over the three years lifetime of the scheme providing one to one support to develop a tailored fundraising strategy.

Project Coordinator, Alison Pritchard said “ On behalf of the Institute of Fundraising Cymru I would like to say a big thank you to Techniquest Glyndŵr , the Association of Voluntary Organisations in Wrexham (AVOW) and Wrexham’s MP Ian Lucas for supporting this event today.

We are glad to be here in North Wales to launch this project which is intended to reach all parts of Wales and to promote this opportunity to the voluntary sector towards financial sustainability.

The project will be specifically targeting registered charities based or working in Wales Scot Owen, Education Manager of Techniquest Glyndŵr offered the Science Centre as a venue for the project launch.

He said “ The Institute of Fundraising Cymru is providing some fantastic support opportunities for charities the length and breadth of Wale, particularly the smaller ones and we are proud to support the Institute by providing a venue for the project launch.

The project will be helping charities to make the transition from grant funded local and national government sources to more diverse income streams.

We would like to thank Ian Lucas MP for his continued support for us as a science centre but also for the particular support he has given to the IoF Cymru’s project. ”