Extra £2m to mitigate the impact of COVID-19
Scotland’s four science centres are being offered an extra £2 million in emergency funding to help weather the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The money is on top of annual funding of £2.67 million from the Scottish Government, and means they will be able to start to re-open in the autumn, with safeguards in place to protect visitors.
Since closing their doors in March, the centres – which employ around 400 staff – have continued to engage with school pupils of all ages, teachers, families and the wider public, including via video-based content.
Science Minister Richard Lochhead said:
“Our science centres are a valuable national asset, and even though they are currently closed to visitors, they have continued to deliver STEM learning opportunities through the creative and innovative use of online learning.
“From daily online videos and weekly themed home-learning programmes to stay-at-home science and STEM care packages, they have been providing valuable resources to support parents, teachers and young people during the school closures.
“Science, technology, engineering and maths impact our everyday lives and this has never been more relevant than in the current global pandemic. The huge contributions of Scotland’s STEM-related research and industry have being highlighted nationally and internationally throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
“This extra money puts our science centres in a stronger position to continue to showcase Scottish research and industry excellence in STEM, inspiring our young people and supporting their learning, while helping Scotland realise its ambitions as a science and innovation nation.”
Glasgow Science Centre, Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, Dundee Science Centre, and Aberdeen Science Centre collectively attract around 700,000 visitors and engage with a total of 1.5 million people of all ages annually – within the centres and through outreach and community programmes – playing a vital role in supporting education practitioners, schools, families and communities in every area of Scotland.
The four sites support access to public science engagement as part of the Scottish Government’s STEM Education and Training Strategy by stimulating debate and discussion around science and promoting science-based careers across a wide range of audiences of all ages and from all backgrounds.