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In pictures: Bringing STEM fun to Cambridge shopping centres





A ‘STEMtots PopUpScience Centre’ for young children has opened at The Grafton shopping centre in Cambridge, following a positive reaction to one at the Grand Arcade.

Run by Cambridge Science Centre, the new PopUp at The Grafton is aimed at toddlers and pre-schoolers and is open on weekdays from 9.30am to 4pm.

Cambridge Science Centre STEMtots at The Grafton. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Science Centre STEMtots at The Grafton. Picture: Keith Heppell

It has already proved popular and has been well attended during the first week. It is due to remain until June, funded by the National Lottery and Association of Science and Discovery Centres.

CEO John Bull said: “We are taking our unique PopUpScience Centre offering out into the local community and into the heart of people’s everyday life. We are no longer waiting for people to find us.

“Our experiences at the Grand Arcade, which is aimed at slightly older children, have shown us how much people value the unique interactions we offer which showcase the various facets of STEM.

“Our focus on fun, hands-on science is appealing to a broad audience, and by bringing our interactive shows, activities and exhibits into these popular spaces, we are seeing a huge increase in children excited and inspired by science.

“Over the recent half-term week, we welcomed over 3,000 visitors to the Grand Arcade and have seen over 39,000 visitors at our various community PopUps. Through this STEMtots PopUp, we are working to show the power of STEM to improve people’s lives.

“As parents play with their toddlers, experimenting and exploring the world through our exhibits, we want to build their confidence, familiarity and aspirations for a future linked to the wonder of science and technology.”

Cambridge Science Centre STEMtots at The Grafton. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Science Centre STEMtots at The Grafton. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Science Centre STEMtots at The Grafton. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Science Centre STEMtots at The Grafton. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Science Centre STEMtots at The Grafton. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Science Centre STEMtots at The Grafton. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Science Centre STEMtots at The Grafton. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Science Centre STEMtots at The Grafton. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Science Centre STEMtots at The Grafton. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Science Centre STEMtots at The Grafton. Picture: Keith Heppell

He added: “Over this year, which is also our 10th anniversary year, we plan to take further PopUpScience Centres into new communities, and as soon as these opportunities are finalised, we will release the details.

“Again, these hubs will be open for all members of the local neighbourhoods to explore, including schools and community groups. We want to thank the like-minded people in the management teams at the Grand Arcade and The Grafton centre who have helped us bring this vision to reality.

“Without their support and the support of our sponsors and funders, we would not be able to inspire these young people to explore and discover science.”

The centre on Clifton Road closed at the end of last year but remains the headquarters for Cambridge Science Centre, an independent science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) engagement charity devoted to inspiring young people through hands-on experiences in STEM learning.

MP Daniel Zeichner visited STEMtots as part of British Science Week. Picture: Keith Heppell
MP Daniel Zeichner visited STEMtots as part of British Science Week. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Science Centre STEMtots at The Grafton. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Science Centre STEMtots at The Grafton. Picture: Keith Heppell

[Read more: Cambridge Science Centre back with a bang as Bloodhound hits the trail]

For more information, visit cambridgesciencecentre.org.



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