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Durham University

Science Outreach and Engagement

Science Ambassadors

Science Ambassadors are young people who aim to inspire others. The project aims to build young people’s confidence and science identity. Since our first Ambassador project started in 2011, over 2000 young people across the North East have become involved and many more nationally through our work with the Institute of Physics.

Ambassadors receive training in communication skills and in developing and delivering hands-on science activities and projects. They get the opportunity to meet and work with young people from other schools and communities. Working with their teachers or community project leaders, and with support from Science Outreach and Dr Jenny Search (DrReSearch), they then take responsibility for running activities that benefit their school and/or community.

From our youngest KS1 ‘Science Super Stars’ who get their peers involved in working scientifically, to KS2 Science Ambassadors who have run projects including coordinating and presenting community science fairs, running science clubs for their peers and making films for local businesses.

A-level Science Ambassadors have taken more responsibility, developing their own workshops which they have then taken into their feeder primary schools, and coordinating programmes with younger students.

KS3&4 Science Ambassadors do so many amazing things too. For example, Science Ambassadors are an integral part of Durham University’s Celebrate Science every year, some are trained in mentoring to support younger pupils, and we’ve even taken some to the House of Commons to highlight their work in inspiring others. The training programme for KS3 now forms the Institute of Physics’ Science Ambassador scheme which is being rolled out nationally.

Youth groups have also been involved and the young people of Success4All’s WEYDA group produced short films highlighting some of their excitement and interest in science in just one week.

Here you can read the thoughts of one of our ambassadors.

The Science Ambassadors scheme is the subject of a "How to" guide to good practice published by the Ogden Trust.

In January 2020 we celebrated training our 2,000th Science Ambassador in the North-East. This milestone was featured in the Northern Echo and the Durham Advertiser.

Groups interested in getting involved should contact Lorraine whose details can be found on the right hand side of the page.

For more information please contact:

Dr. Lorraine Coghill
Tel: +44 (0) 191 33 42288
Email: l.s.coghill@durham.ac.uk