Both Techniquest, based in Cardiff, and Techniquest Glyndŵr, based in Wrexham, provide a range of educational services through interactive exhibits and learning materials available on sites across Wales and through outreach support programmes for primary and secondary schools.
The funding announced today will allow both centres to deliver programmes covering the full spectrum of the curriculum – from Foundation Phase to 14-19 learning.
For the first time in 2012-13, Techniquest will operate a newly updated range of schools science theatre programmes for primary schools, tailored to the curriculum for both Foundation Phase and Key Stage 2 classes. These are specifically designed to stimulate in-depth exploration of the exhibits in the main exhibition. Teachers are given digital cameras to capture moments from the day which can then be used back in school to complement learning in the classroom.
Meanwhile, Techniquest Glyndŵr’s work programme includes a new project for Key Stage 3 pupils aimed at boosting Wales’ performance in PISA tests. This will involve two full days of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities for more able and talented pupils in each of the secondary schools in Wrexham and Flintshire (reaching a total of 21 schools and impacting on 1,890 pupils).
The other programme, which will focus on employer related activities for 14-16 year olds, will involve 30 schools and deliver up to 1,500 additional pupil engagements. It will comprise an industry-linked workshop, followed by a visit to an industry workplace, where the students will witness professionals in action, with the aim of raising awareness of STEM careers and promoting take-up of STEM subjects at post-16 level.
Minister for Education and Skills, Leighton Andrews, said:
"One of the key aims of our Science for Wales strategy is to foster a passion for the STEM subjects from an early age.
"The funding I’m announcing today will allow both Techniquest and Techniquest Glyndŵr to go that one step further in engaging pupils with STEM subjects.
"By stimulating pupils’ interest early, we can ensure that more of our young people go on to excel in this area and consider science, maths, technology or engineering as the basis for future careers."