More than 120 children at Penryn Campus Festival of Science

Children standing in a circle at the Festival of Science

The Festival of Science on the Penryn Campus. Credit Aurora Moxon

More than 120 primary schoolchildren attended the Festival of Science at the University of Exeter in Cornwall on Monday.

Children spent the day on the Penryn Campus, meeting scientists and doing activities including rockpooling, moth trapping and building a turbine.

The festival is the culmination of a project run by Professor Alex Thornton and the Widening Participation team at the university, in collaboration with five local primary schools.

During the project, university student ambassadors worked with schoolchildren to design and run an independent research project.

“We were very lucky to have so many from local primary schools joining us on campus for a tremendous day of interactive science fun,” said Professor Alex Thornton.

“It was brilliant to see the kids getting excited and learning about everything from rockpool beasties and manta rays to goose migrations and how to harness the power of the wind.

“To top it all off, the children showcased their own scientific skills, presenting magnificent posters of scientific research they had conducted in collaboration with our students at the University of Exeter.

“It was a privilege to meet the scientists of the future!”

The schools involved were Flushing, Kennall Vale, Mylor Bridge, Perran-ar-Worthal and Troon.

A Kennall Vale teacher said: “The whole project from start to finish has been brilliantly organised and resourced.

“The students were fabulous with the children – passionate and knowledgeable.

“The Festival of Science has been a fantastic finale for children to learn more, meet real-life scientists and showcase the work they’ve done with the university students. I can’t wait until next year.”

And a teacher at Troon said: “Fantastic project. Seeing the children’s faces in awe exploring all the scientific resources was amazing.

“Virtual swim with the manta rays, welding and holding creatures were our class’s particular highlights.”

The rockpools on campus were provided by The Rock Pool Project, working with University of Exeter students who brought rockpool creatures and set them up in a model pool.

Other external partners for the event included the Manta Ray Trust, Cornwall Space & Aerospace Technology Training (CSATT) and SpacePort.

The university would like to thank all those involved, including students, academic, technical and professional staff, for their incredible work in making this event a success.