After dark science returns to Techniquest with brand-new events line-up

By Raspberry Jim,

 

Techniquest’s exciting After Hours events are making an “unforgettable” return to Cardiff with time travelling fun and a live escape room set to thrill visitors.

The popular over 18s events, which allow visitors to explore the science centre at night, are making a comeback in October with an exciting line-up of evenings already announced.

On October 17, After Hours will return by delving into the futuristic world of science and technology with its highly anticipated After Hours: Into the Future night.

The evening will immerse visitors in emerging technologies and cutting-edge virtual reality and augmented reality experiences, allowing them to get a realistic glimpse into the future.

Then in December, Techniquest will be transformed into an escape room unlike any other. On December 5, Techniquest will join forces with Breakout Cardiff for the intriguing After Hours: Codebreaker event, which will challenge visitors to crack codes, unravel mysteries, and collect clues as part of the exciting evening.

In the new year, the science centre is taking a dip in the deep with its After Hours: Under the Sea evening on February 7. Exploring the wonder of the sea, visitors will be diving into ways that they can help the world’s oceans.

Techniquest CEO Lesley Kirkpatrick said visitors were in for an “unforgettable” new line-up of After Hours events, which have been sponsored once again by Admiral.

Mrs Kirkpatrick said: “We’re delighted to be working alongside Admiral for our brand-new season of After Hours events and are thrilled to be receiving their support once again this year.

“We’re constantly working to make science as accessible and fun for everyone. Our After Hours events aim to do just that, offering a combination of both learning and socialising in a relaxed format. We hope to continue the success of previous After Hours events this coming autumn.”

All After Hours events include full use of the venue’s 130 interactive exhibits and access to a fully licensed bar. Visitors will also be able to grab a bite to eat from Cleverchefs, which will be providing themed street food for each event.

Visitors are encouraged to book early to avoid disappointment as tickets are limited. For full booking information please visit – https://www.techniquest.org/plan-your-visit/after-hours/

Techniquest Planetarium project marks 50th anniversary of moon landing

By Raspberry Jim,

 

Techniquest is set to take one giant leap into space exploration thanks to a special project marking the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

The educational charity, based in Cardiff Bay, is developing a bespoke show for the centre’s Planetarium to mark the historic event, thanks to new funding from a leading government body.

Techniquest has been awarded £6000 from the Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) to celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission in 2019.

The funds will be used to develop the innovative new show, which will take visitors on a 360-degree journey through the solar system to explore the mysteries of the moon.

The funding was awarded after one of Techniquest’s science communicators, Martin Palmer-Smith, submitted the idea through its online ideas platform, Simply Do Ideas. The platform is a digital suggestion box which allows staff to pitch ideas and feedback opinions.

Following his submission, his idea was taken forward to the STFC where it received significant recognition, resulting in financial support of £6000.

It has also received a £1000 donation from Tula Trust to help deliver its school outreach programme, which reaches over 50,000 school pupils in Wales annually with its inspirational STEM-focused programmes.

Clare James, fundraising manager at Techniquest said: “We’re extremely grateful to be receiving incredible financial support from both the STFC and Tula Trust, which have both recognised the work that we’re doing to inspire the future generations of cutting-edge scientists.

“As a charity, we rely heavily on the generosity of individuals and organisations to help us on our mission to deliver interactive STEM learning experiences, to not only young children, but people of all ages.

“Thanks to STFC, we’re delighted to begin developing our public Planetarium show to mark Apollo 11’s historic anniversary. We’ll also be using our generous donation from Tula Trust to deliver inspiring outreach programmes to schools across south Wales.”

Techniquest receives charitable boost to engage young children

By Raspberry Jim,

 

Educational charity Techniquest is continuing its mission to inspire the next generation of scientists after receiving generous donations and scooping a high-profile grant.

The science discovery centre, based in Cardiff Bay, conducts inspirational school outreach programmes, reaching over 50,000 pupils in Wales annually.

Thanks to new donations from charitable trusts, its primary school outreach will enjoy significant financial support.

The Simon Gibson Charitable Trust recently selected Techniquest as one of its 140 financial beneficiaries, gifting £4,000 to the educational charity for the second year running. The donation will be used to deliver free outreach to schools in the Glamorgan area, which will see 8 schools engaged with STEM subjects.

The educational charity has also won new support from the Schroder Charity Trust, with a boost of £5,000 to its outreach for Key Stage 2 pupils in disadvantaged communities across south Wales.

With a grant of over £5,000 from the UK Space Agency, the science discovery centre will be using a portable planetarium to deliver free Starlab sessions to 1,500 primary school pupils.

The Space for All grant supports the outreach aims of the agency, encouraging the use of space as inspiration for teaching and learning and raising awareness of STEM subjects in the United Kingdom.

Clare James, fundraising manager at Techniquest said: “We’re delighted and extremely grateful to be receiving such incredible support from The Simon Gibson Charitable Trust, the Schroder Charity Trust and the UK Space Agency.

“As a charity, we rely heavily on the generosity of individuals and organisations to help us on our mission to deliver interactive STEM learning experiences.

“By taking our educational outreach programmes and Starlab in to local schools, these incredible donations will be used to inspire the future generations of cutting-edge scientists.”

Techniquest secures £3m funding for The Science Capital

By Raspberry Jim,

Techniquest has secured £3m of funding to make science more accessible to the people of Wales.

Awarded through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Wellcome Trust’s Inspiring Science Fund, the funding means that Wales’ much-loved educational charity can move forward with its plans to radically transform its science discovery centre in Cardiff Bay.

Earlier this year, Techniquest announced plans for The Science Capital — a project which encompasses an extension of its building on Stuart Street and a repositioning exercise to extend and diversify its audiences.

Along with the new funding, the charity has match funding from Moondance Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, Welsh Government’s ‘Invest to Save’ fund, and Proton Partners International, meaning it now has the capital to move full steam ahead with this exciting project.

Plans will shortly be submitted for the proposed extension, which will significantly increase Techniquest’s footprint.

The expansion will provide an additional exhibition space to house brand new content, which will be developed with businesses and academics at the forefront of the STEM agenda in Wales and supported by a programme of community co-production.

The new immersive and innovative exhibition areas and experiences will help Techniquest to diversify its audiences and increase visitor numbers by at least 40%.

Lesley Kirkpatrick, CEO of Techniquest said: “We are over the moon to be awarded this funding and are grateful to BEIS and Wellcome for believing in our ambitions. It is the culmination of over a year and a half of hard work from our talented team, who are extremely passionate about this next phase in our evolution.

“It means that our plans to expand our science discovery centre and extend our offering to make science accessible to all, can progress in earnest giving our charity a new lease of life, while ensuring a sustainable and long-term future in Wales.

“We’re extremely excited about turning our exciting plans into a reality.”

Science Minister Sam Gyimah said: “We want to bring the wonders of science to as wide an audience as possible and that’s why it is at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy. Today’s investment will help inspire people from across the country to learn about the truly amazing benefits that science and technology has on all our lives.”

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said: “Today’s funding announcement is a welcome boost to many science centres across the UK, and I can’t think of a more worthy recipient than Techniquest in Cardiff Bay.

“The centre is home to many fond memories of children and adults in South Wales and further afield, who were perhaps taking an interest in science and technology for the first time. This funding will allow Techniquest to leap forward in developing cutting edge STEM technology, attracting some of Wales’ sharpest science minds to take a lead role in developing our future society.”

Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Mark Drakeford said: “Techniquest plays an important role in promoting science amongst young people in Wales and I am pleased that the Welsh Government has been able to support the Science Capital project through our Invest To Save Fund.”

Taking its project name from a concept conceived by academics at Kings College London, which is a measure of people’s engagement or relationship with science, through The Science Capital Techniquest is committed to creating society that is equipped to understand, question, and enjoy science.

Lesley continued: “At Techniquest, we want to grow people’s science capital by highlighting the role science plays in our everyday lives and demonstrating how STEM and innovative technologies are shaping the future of our society.

“By growing science capital in individuals and the communities of Wales, we can help more people to see science as an important part of their lives and culture, which will help broaden opportunities and access for STEM-related jobs in the future and in turn boost the Welsh economy.”

February – was the month that…

By Raspberry Jim,

…flew by!

After the world’s longest January, it seems like February has whizzed by faster than Raspberry Jim on rollerskates.

With only a few short weeks to cram in our usual busy schedules, our jammers spent the month out and about, playing Cupid, and consuming far too much sugar.

Here’s what we got up to… … Continue reading

Techniquest puts STIs under the microscope for after dark Valentine’s Day event

By Raspberry Jim,

After Hours cropTechniquest is spreading the love in Cardiff Bay with its next instalment of its popular adult only event, After Hours.

With support from Admiral, the adult friendly night will return on Thursday February 15th. Visitors will have the chance to explore the centre’s exhibits, in addition to a few exciting extras for those who are looking for a non-traditional Valentine’s evening. … Continue reading

Techniquest brings the tricks and treats for Half Term

By Raspberry Jim,

With Half Term on the way, Techniquest has revealed its Halloween-themed line-up of entertainment for family friendly fun.

The science discovery centre, based in Cardiff Bay, will be indulging in all things spooktacular with two special Halloween themed shows. The first show, Graham the Ghost, will introduce children to Techniquest’s very own Casper. With an interactive plot, children will have to help Graham, a friendly ghost, pass a test to join the Ghost Union after he loses his glow.

The centre will also be hosting a Spooky Science show all week, where visitors can find out if a pumpkin can carve itself into creepy faces, or if coins can scream.  There’ll also be a chance to find out whether science can help make ghosts or mix potions.

For something a little less scary, the Star Tours show will also be available all week. Star Tours takes the family on a journey into the night sky, following constellations and learning all about how stars live and die.

As well as its shows, the centre’s main exhibition floor will be open all week for visitors hoping to keep the family occupied. For those looking forward to getting in the spooky spirit, they are encouraged to come along in their favourite costume.

 For adults, Techniquest’s Halloween festivities will begin on Thursday October 26, when After Hours makes its deadly return. Dressed in lab coats and faced with a grisly crime scene, visitors will be asked to solve the case using CSI techniques. Enjoying a full bar and food on offer from The Grazing Shed, the event is strictly for over 18s.

Lesley Kirkpatrick, CEO at Techniquest, said: “We can’t wait to kick off our Halloween celebrations next week, and there’s so much on offer for the whole family. Even though it’s Half Term, there’s still an opportunity for children to learn in a fun and colourful environment, and to engage with STEM learning with friends and family.”

Lloyds Bank raise over £25,000 for Techniquest

By Raspberry Jim,

Lloyds Bank is helping ensure Wales develops a scientifically literate society through raising £25,000 for educational charity Techniquest.

The science discovery centre in Cardiff Bay was chosen as the recipients of the bank’s fundraising efforts earlier this year.

Since then it has hosted two events in support of the charity, which is Wales’ largest provider of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) enrichment activity.

Techniquest were the stars of Lloyds’ Einstein-a-Go-Go fundraising ball a few weeks ago, where £16,000 was raised through a raffle and silent auction.

Hosted at the Mercure Cardiff Hotel, the fundraiser welcomed over 200 people who enjoyed a three-course meal and a night of entertainment, including a guest appearance from Britain’s Got Talent’s The Balloonatic.

While back in May £10,300 was raised at a musical extravaganza held at the science discovery centre where guests enjoyed performances from Mark Llewellyn Evans, Manon Ogwen Parry, Alexander Johnson and Pendyrus Male Voice Choir.

With few people knowing that Techniquest is a charity-based organisation, both events helped raise the profile of the much-loved institution which has welcomed over 5m visitors since its opened 30 years ago. Lesley Kirkpatrick, CEO at Techniquest said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support from Lloyds Bank and are indebted for the support they have given us.

“We have so many exciting plans for the future to develop Techniquest and the significant amount raised by Lloyds will make a huge difference. It’s crucial that we invest in our offering so that we can continue to inspire and engage the next generation in STEM and in turn support the Welsh economy.”

Jonathon Cave, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank, said: “Techniquest has such an important role to play in Wales. Through both in-reach at its science discovery centre attracting communities across Wales and outreach at schools across Wales, it is very successful at making science both fun and engaging. To ensure the charity has a sustainable future and can develop its offering further, we were more than happy to support them.

“We’re delighted with how much we’ve raised which we know will be put to good use and want to thank all the guests that joined us at our events.”

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Techniquest strengthens team as events take off

By Raspberry Jim,

Techniquest, the educational charity in Cardiff Bay, has recruited a conference and events development manager to spearhead its brand-new event services.

The science discovery centre has welcomed Gareth McTiffin into a new position at the organisation, having launched its events offering in May to diversify revenue streams.

Mr McTiffen brings a wealth of experience to the organisation having worked for Merlin Events and Pinewood Studios, overseeing a diverse range of venues and attractions including the London Eye and Thorpe Park.

In his new role, he will be responsible for developing, marketing and managing the events offering at Techniquest.

Providing a unique and unusual backdrop for both personal and business occasions, Techniquest offers waterfront meeting and conference facilities, as well as its exhibition hall, planetarium and science theatre for venue hire.

For the first time in its history, Techniquest will this year host a series of Christmas parties for corporate organisations who are looking for something different.

Home to 120-hands on exhibits, it has already hosted the Cardiff Blues team for a team building day and hosted over 100 guests at its own 30th anniversary celebration last year, where Virgin Galactic’s commercial director Stephen Attenborough was guest speaker.

Speaking of his new role, Gareth commented: “I’m thrilled to join the team at Techniquest, as it has a truly unique offering for event bookers in Cardiff and the surrounding areas.

“Its architecturally acclaimed building is a perfect venue for many occasions – from corporate events, meetings and award dinners to wedding receptions, birthday celebrations and anniversary dinners.

“Being part of the story as Techniquest grows its events offering, was a huge draw for me. It also played a huge part of my childhood, and seemed like the perfect next step in my career.

“Having delivered corporate, private and ticketed events I’ve had to overcome many challenges that come with working within unique venues so I feel my experience is well placed to help Techniquest going forward.”

Lesley Kirkpatrick, CEO at Techniquest, said: “Our new events offering has generated a lot of interest since launching in May, and recruiting the right Conference and Events Development Manager was pivotal to our success going forward.

“As soon as we met Gareth, his experience really set him apart and made him the ideal candidate. We’re looking forward to working alongside him during this exciting new chapter for Techniquest.”

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Techniquest to sci-zzle this summer with new offerings

By Raspberry Jim,

Techniquest's Air-Mazing improvements this summer

Techniquest has unveiled the latest in a series of new offerings as part of its strategy to refresh and renew its visitor experience.

Ahead of the school summer holidays, the science discovery centre based in Cardiff Bay will be introducing three new interactive experiences.

The educational charity has given a new lease of life to its ‘Animate It’ exhibit to bring it into the 21st century. Tying in with technological advances, the new look ‘Animate It’ gives visitors of all ages the opportunity to create their own animation, either from scratch or by customising a series of figures and scenes. Once complete, visitors can watch their creation via a 55-inch screen and through a number of different viewing platforms from history such as the Praxinoscope, as well as being able to email it to themselves to share via their social media channels.

Through the school summer holidays, Techniquest will be trialling a web application to complement its hands-on interactive exhibits. Accessed through the centre’s free public Wi-Fi, the digital platform ‘Look Closer’ will allow visitors and its science communicators to delve deeper into the concepts behind a select number of exhibits, engaging further with STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

The third improvement being made is the introduction of a ‘human body hub’ featuring models of a brain mounted into a skull, a giant molar with dental cavities, an eye with eight removable parts including the iris, retina and lens, a heart, an occluded artery and arm with removable muscles. The human body hub will allow visitors to discover the structure of the different body parts and how they function.

The latest installations follow the launch of a virtual reality changing room last month allowing visitors to get a virtual representation of themselves in a range of costumes including professions, fairytale creatures and animals.

The developments are all part of Techniquest’s summer series, which includes BBC’s Terrific Scientific investigations, science demonstrations on the exhibition floor from Techniquest’s skilled staff and a new show for its Science Theatre. Sponsored by Air Products, Air-Mazing will delve deeper into what air is, what it contains and some of the amazing things that air can do.

Lesley Kirkpatrick, CEO of Techniquest said: “We’re always looking for ways to enhance our visitor experience and extend our appeal to audiences of all ages and we have invested in our offering ahead of the school break to do just that.

“Our new Animate It exhibit, Look Closer app and Human Body Hub will not only inspire and engage people in STEM, but will provide an engaging, memorable and innovative experience for those wanting a fun day out.

“We’re really looking forward to hearing visitors’ feedback on our improvements, particularly our Look Closer web application. This has come about as a result of a digital review of our offering. We believe we’re the first science centre in the UK to have its own bespoke digital application and it is something we hope to build on going forward.”

Techniquest is an educational charity based in Cardiff Bay. Visiting its science discovery centre is a good value, educational day out for all ages, whatever the weather. It prides itself on inspiring audiences to engage with science, technology, engineering and maths.

Techniquest is open every day throughout the summer holidays.

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