Seven UK Science and Discovery Centres will receive funding from NERC to engage local
children and families with the latest climate science.
One project will work with young carers, others will host after school clubs and a
community radio station.
The Operation Earth programme will offer inspirational environmental science activities to
children from a range of backgrounds. A popular national programme to engage school-aged children and their families with climate change and environmental science kicks off today on Youth Climate Action Day (Saturday, 5th December).
Operation Earth Phase 2 will take place across 7 UK science and discovery centres in Edinburgh,
Glasgow, Cheshire, Leicester, Birmingham, Belfast and Wrexham.
The programme aims to inspire children, families and communities about climate change, the
environment and earth observation including how scientists are using space and satellites to
understand changes to our climate here on Earth.
Exciting projects across the UK
Each centre will create their own projects using Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
funding in partnership with the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres (ASDC).
Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh is working with young carers to offer special Operation Earth Boxes full of hands-
on activities. The team at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire have set up After School STEM clubs with local
schools to bring the fun climate and environmental science activities to children, and Glasgow Science Centre is hosting slots on their community radio and have launched the Spark magazine to share climate and other science with a wider audience during the lockdowns.
In Phase one of the programme launched in 2018, more than 200,000 children and adults participated in person and over 37,000 of these met and talked to environmental science researchers at ‘meet the expert’ events. The first phase also saw Earthy, from the Operation Earth family show visit Downing Street as part of Green Great Britain Week.
Inspiring kids to get active on climate change
This year, with families facing coronavirus restrictions and Science Centres intermittently closed due
to lockdowns, many children and schools are unable to visit. Phase 2 will focus on engaging children
and families at home and online with fun activities and will connect children and families with some
of the UK’s most talented environmental research scientists.
The seven Science Centres are:
Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh
Glasgow Science Centre
Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Cheshire
National Space Centre, Leicester
Thinktank and Birmingham Museums Trust, Birmingham
Xplore!, Wrexham, Wales
Dr Penny Fidler, the CEO of ASDC and Programme Director of Operation Earth said:
We are delighted to be leading this climate and environmental science programme in partnership
with NERC. Their world-leading scientists have done so much brilliant research into climate, and it is
clear we as a society need to make rapid progress towards net zero.
200,000 people took part in our first phase of Operation Earth, and this new programme reaches into
communities with the latest climate science. We hope children and families across our nation will be
inspired by the science and how it’s done, so they can explore, discuss and question - and perhaps
inspire change locally, or become the environmental entrepreneurs and scientists of our future.
Alison Robinson, NERC’s Director or Corporate Affairs, added:
“Operation Earth is a creative and engaging programme designed to inspire our children and young
people. We are thrilled that despite a challenging year, we are kicking off a new phase of the project
with the Association of Science and Discovery Centres.
“Youth Climate Action Day is all about tackling climate change. I hope this programme might help
spark a passion for environmental science, and inspire children to become the next generation of
scientists, innovators and industry leaders who help to solve some of these big challenges we face.”
For more information visit the Operation Earth website: