In 2014 LGFC set up a new outreach educational venture for the North West of England. This was an ideal opportunity for the association to develop its core values of providing personal development and social education for children.
The aim of the Educational Hub at LGFC is to enthuse and inspire school children in the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) with an emphasis on hands-on use of equipment wherever possible. The delivery concept is that LGFC will coordinate a team of volunteers from its membership, and from the local community, who will present sciences via workshops held at LGFC throughout the year.
The idea was initiated with support from the STFC (Science and Technology Facilities Council) and built on the designation of LGFC as a Dark Sky Discovery Site in 2011 The Educational Hub builds on LGFC's experience from the Dark Sky events in terms of delivery but the focus will be on workshops for school and youth groups staying at the Centre. In the early years of activity (2014-15) the aim was to increase the range of subject elements from our core in Astronomy to include Sustainability and Geological Science. The first school visit took place on 24th-25th October 2014 and the Education Hub has been active since then. We anticipate that the subject areas and the number of school parties visiting will increase in the years to come. To do all this we have built up a pool of volunteers drawn from LGFC membership and from the local community.
Astronomy, Sustainable Energy and Geological Science are the highlighted subject areas that the Educational Hub has offered to schools and youth groups from the outset. Other subject areas come readily to mind - chemistry and biological sciences for example in relation to the changes in the Ennerdale valley brought about by forestation and deforestation and then there is the history and artefacts of human occupation of the valley. Accordingly, we are currently developing themes on the biology and ecology of Ennerdale and the Archaeology of the valley. If you have ideas or expertise on these or other subject areas within the scope of the scheme, please don't hesitate to come forward with your thoughts and ideas. We would like to hear from everyone who would like to work with us to develop the Education Hub. To find out more, all you have to do is contact us via the EducationHubCoordinator.
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Pupils from Bridgewater High School Science Club discussing LGFC's hydro electric scheme as part of their workshop on sustainability