ICG’s Professor Claudia Maraston has been recognised for her excellent public engagement activities in the inaugural SEPnet Public Engagement Awards. SEPnet (the South East Physics Network) has awarded prizes to 4 researchers from across their partner institutions for their exceptional contribution to engaging the public with their research, and highly commended a further 4 researchers for their projects.
Professor Maraston was Highly Commended in the ‘Public engagement with research to enrich cultural life: Project awards’ category. She was nominated primarily for her role in setting up and running the ‘A Visit from Space’ programme in collaboration with Dr Daniel Thomas and Dr Jen Gupta. A Visit from Space takes a team of ICG staff and students into a different primary school each month for a morning of space activities, including a talk by Professor Maraston, classifying galaxies in Galaxy Zoo and making a scale model of the solar system. Working with the University of Portsmouth Education Liaison and Outreach Team, the programme has targeted local widening participation schools, reaching over 500 key stage 2 pupils since summer 2013.
Professor Maraston, along with the other prize winners, has been invited to attend a prize-giving ceremony at the SEPnet Graduate Network Summer School at NPL, presented by Prof Jim Al-Khalili. The full press release, including details of all the winners, can be downloaded here: Researchers receive awards for Public Engagement (Word document).