October 30, 2011
A group of young carers enjoyed a day out at Oakwood Theme Park as part of a pioneering new project aimed at engaging youngsters with the world of science.
The event was organised by The Darwin Centre and included behind-the-scenes tours of the Pembrokeshire park as well as a series of scientific experiments and workshops.
As part of the event the youngsters, who all care for a relative, were given data recording devices to measure both the speed and the G-force of the park’s different rides and were given talks on engineering by the staff.
Manager of the Darwin Centre, Marten Lewis, said: “The visit was part of a pilot scheme to see if we can engage with younger people by taking the ideas of science and engineering out of the classroom and into the exciting world of theme parks.
“Everyone had a great time and it was also a wonderful respite for the youngsters who could just enjoy a fun day out without any worries.
“Our overall aim is trying to make science and engineering more appealing to young people – if we can connect the subjects with rollercoasters then we might get them thinking about taking the subjects more seriously in school, and considering the potential for careers in the world of designing and building cool things like theme park rides,” he added.
The travel and administration costs for the trip came from a donation from the trustees of Pembrokeshire Carers Outreach, project management costs were covered by the Dragon LNG Darwin Experience and staff support came from Pembrokeshire County Council.
Oakwood Theme Park’s Andy Hygate said: “We’re hoping this pilot visit will become a regular event next year. It’s a fantastic way to bring the world of science and engineering to life for young people.
The Darwin Centre for Biology and Medicine is a charity that was established by Professor Anthony Campbell in Cardiff in 1993. It moved to Pembrokeshire in 1999.
The Centre’s aims are to excite young people about science, particularly at the cutting edge, and provide a vehicle for professional scientists and naturalists to engage with the public.