Midlands Science’s Annual Report is now available to read online and it details another year promoting science, technology, engineering and maths to a range of audiences across the midlands. Over 18,000 people engaged with activities, workshops and events and there was a 9% increase in female participation compared to 2020. Research on activities also found that 72% felt that STEM was important to the future of the midlands and workshops saw participants increase their interest in science by 50%. A number of activities in 2021 were focused on the science associated with climate change and climate action and research on these activities found that 75% of participants felt a greater sense of agency about climate action as a result of activities. This is an unforeseen benefit and addresses the growing issue of climate anxiety.
In 2021, Midlands Science was supported in its work by a diverse range of partners and it is grateful for the confidence shown in its work. This support allowed us to reach more people in a more meaningful way and create an awareness of the value of science to society and the economy in the midlands. Commenting on 2021 activities Chairperson Dr Craig Slattery said; “I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone, especially so many young people for continuing to engage so wholeheartedly in science during 2021 with us. You are an inspiration to us all through your enthusiasm and curiosity.”
Midlands Science achieved Level 1 Social Return On Investment in 2021, showing our commitment to managing the social value we create. It means making better, informed choices about what we do, informed by evidence and data driven evaluation. In 2021, we received a Cathoirleach Award from Westmeath Council for our work and we also joined the European Science Engagement Association. EUSEA is an international knowledge-sharing platform and accelerator of innovation in the fields of public engagement with science.