Record numbers flock to Darwin events

Record numbers flock to Darwin events

Thousands of families attended three weeks of free workshops organised by the University of Aberdeen Natural History Centre.

More than 6,000 visitors flocked to the sessions – more than double the number who attended similar workshops staged by the Centre last summer.

Organisers are delighted with the response which they believe was also due to the involvement of all the partners which included model maker and taxidermist Steven Caine; story teller Pauline Cordiner; Satrosphere Science Centre; Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP); Ian McKay from the Aberdeen Federation of Racing Pigeons, The Scottish Cooperative and the University's Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.

Additionally staff at the Duthie Park David Welch Winter Gardens provided nasturtiums, ferns and tomato plants for the children to plant at the sessions which ran each week day between July 13 and July 31.

Marie Fish, Education Officer at the Centre, said: "We are absolutely thrilled with the success of our Darwin200 summer workshop series. It was tremendous to see so many children and their families who really seemed to enjoy the sessions. We were particularly pleased to see many more secondary children this year.

"We got some great feedback and it was really uplifting to see parents discussing what they had just seen and heard with their children."

Dr Andy Schofield, Science Promotion Co-ordinator at the University, added: "Our Darwin sessions were a great opportunity for the University of Aberdeen and our partners to engage with the wider community.

"Science and the public were brought together in a very exciting and engaging way - the workshops provided something for everyone."

The University's summer event also featured all 700 entries from the "location, re-location!" poster competition submitted by youngsters from secondary schools across the country.

This was the first year that the science-art competition was open to all schools throughout Scotland thanks to support from the Scottish Government and TechFest-Setpoint.

The David Welch Winter Gardens hosted the events which were part of the University's celebrations of 200 years since the birth of famous British naturalist Charles Darwin.