Cosmology Exhibition at the National Eisteddfod of Wales 2014

Lead Research Organisation: National Eisteddfod of Wales
Department Name: Learning


The National Eisteddfod is the premier cultural festival of Wales, held mainly in Welsh. It is an 8 day festival held annually during early August at different locations within Wales, Vale of Glamorgan (Llandow) in 2012, Denbigh in 2013. The National Eisteddfod will be held in Llanelli in 2014. Total attendance at each festival usually exceeds 160,000. The site includes a main pavilion of capacity 3,500, with approximately 10 smaller satellite pavilions, including the Science & Technology pavilion, all surrounded by some 300 commercial and other stands. At each of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Eisteddfodau, the total space allocated to Science was: pavilion and other buildings (600sqm) and external exhibitions (400 sqm).
Attendance at the Science Exhibition has consistently been in excess of 27,000 over 8 days for each of the past 3 years.

The primary objectives of the Eisteddfod Science and Technology programme are to:
1. Promote the Public Understanding of Science - To provide innovative opportunities for visitors to become better informed about various aspects of Science and Technology (STEM) subjects.
2. To provide Welsh "science-producing" bodies such as Universities with an opportunity to showcase their achievements locally, regionally and globally.
3. Create interest and excitement in STEM subjects leading to improved attainment in Science KS3, KS4 and KS5 and to motivate students.
4. To stimulate young people to consider careers in STEM subjects.

Aims of this project

1. To promote and raise interest and excitement in Astrophysics and Cosmology through the medium of Welsh and English.
2. Inspire young people (11-16) to take up opportunities in STEM subjects and to consider a career in Space Science.
3. To engage the public with the results of the Planck telescope and Herschel Space Observatory in a way that is novel, exciting and accessible
4. To provide a stage for STFC funded Institutions to communicate their research to a wide ranging audience; specialist, children and the general public.
5. To stimulate thinking and to promote a dialogue with the public on Astrophysics and Cosmology (STFC Key Science Questions)
6. Provide an additional major outlet for STFC-funded S+S programmes ("Herschel: Unveiling the hidden Universe", "Back Down to Earth", FT and related educational programmes) and to raise awareness of the opportunities for schools
7. To make science accessible to pupils in underprivileged and remote areas in Wales.
8. Indirectly and in the long term increase the take-up in STEM subjects at A-level and University (the proportion of students in Wales taking up STEM at A level is significantly lower than the rest of the UK)
9. To support the Welsh Government's 'Science for Wales' strategy by raising aspirations and attainment in Science and to contribute nationally to an improvement in PISA results where currently Wales have fallen significantly behind England, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Planned Impact

If the proposal is successful a press release will be constructed by the National Eisteddfod. This will also be online at the National Eisteddfod website, Facebook page, this will also be sent to STFC. The project will also be featured in the festival's monthly newsletter which has a circulation of 20,000. Details of the project will be sent to all schools in Wales. The project and its outcomes will also be featured in the Science Alliance Wales newsletter, ASE newsletter to schools and through the STEMNET providers in Wales ( The National Science Academy is also an important outlet to disseminate the project. The project will also be disseminated to the National HE STEM programme.

All resources produced will be bilingual and made available and presented to the STFC. Dr Robyn Wheldon-Williams also works for Bangor University part time running Widening Access activities, aspects of the project will feature in Bangor's STEM Outreach provision. After the National Eisteddfod resources will feature in the Bangor Science Festival 2015, Wrexham Science Festival and National Science and Engineering Week. It will also be possible to record the Principal lecture and talks and place online.


10 25 50