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Nuclear Energy - GREEN CDT

Group of students stood in Trafford Centre at Science X event

Social responsibility

Nuclear energy affects all of us, and our programme takes great care to promote awareness of STEM among people of all ages.

We aim to create space for our nuclear scientists and engineers to talk about their research with the public and to listen to their views. From schoolchildren to parents to grandparents, this work is relevant to everyone.

Scott L. Heath / GREEN CDT Director

As a student on the programme, you'll have the opportunity to deliver hands-on science and engineering activities at a range of events, including Bluedot Festival at Jodrell Bank and ScienceX at intu Trafford Centre, and at schools in the local area.

By developing skills to communicate effectively with the public about science, you'll not only be able to spread the word about nuclear energy, but be well prepared for a future career.

Read about the activities that you can get involved in below.

Museum of Science and Industry

Student James Mansfield:

"As part of the NGN CDT we delivered a full day of activities for visitors to MOSI.

"For this, I was in charge of making and designing a 'selfie board' - a fully branded board with a cut-out section through which children could have their photos taken. This also involved buying props."

Student Anna Denman:

"As part of the NGN CDT we organised a "platform for investigation" science day at the Museum of Science and Industry. It was a one day event where we showcased all of the nuclear science activities we had created and designed ourselves. Our event followed "Nelly the Neutron" who took you around each aspect of the nuclear fuel cycle where you could play games and collect stickers to complete the information in our activity booklets. It was a fantastic day that was enjoyed by both adults and children, they particularly liked our fishing rod uranium mining activity and being able to drive a robot around to move nuclear waste."

Student Alex Jackson:

“The hands on activities we designed were great for engaging young minds and gave them a glimpse of the sort of work we do.  For adults and people who came to our event wondering why we do this work and how it connects to the wants and needs of the world, we were on hand to have a two-way dialogue with them where we both listen to concerns and propose to explore the issues based on our own experience and best knowledge of them.”

Schools and colleges

Student James Mansfield describes a visit to Thomas Rotherham College in Rotherham:

"This was an event that I arranged and organised. For this I led a team of around six other PhD students and postdocs from my department.

"We went into a local college and gave a short talk outlining the nuclear fuel cycle and then we delivered around five hands-on activities including impact-testing chocolate bars, measuring the radioactivity of substances, discussing nuclear waste disposal options, testing materials for their suitability as nuclear waste forms and identifying nuclear reactor parts.

"These activities were delivered in two identical one-hour sessions."

Student Alex Jackson:

“We took three hands on activities to St John’s Primary School in Salford for the children to engage with in the hope that they might see what a scientist does in the real world.  I learned a lot about how to go about illustrating difficult science concepts to low age groups as well as how to manage and organise a day of activities fairly for seven classes of children.  The primary school was very pleased with what we were able to bring and I’d definitely do it again!”

Science X

Student James Mansfield describes a recent event:

"This was a two day event engaging with children and their families in the Trafford Centre.

"Activities delivered included talking through and answering questions about a Lego model of a nuclear reactor, helping setup and play a game involving children 'refuelling' a model nuclear reactor and walking about (dressed as a banana) with various props and a Geiger counter to prove that radiation occurs naturally and in some quite unexpected places!"

Student Anna Denman:

"I really enjoyed representing the NGN CDT and Dalton at ScienceX where we talked with the public about all things nuclear science. I especially liked being able to engage with the younger children by showing them how Geiger counters worked and playing the nuclear reactor maze boards. It's a great event to be a part of with so many different areas of science being showcased."

Bluedot Festival

Student Anna Denman:

"I volunteered to work at the Bluedot festival which is a 4 day mini-festival at the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire. It's a fun mix of music and science with lots of activities going on all day. I worked on the Dalton nuclear science stall where we were showcasing our LEGO nuclear reactor and used a chalkboard to get the public to engage and discuss opinions on nuclear power. You're able to work in shifts so you can also enjoy the festival as an attendee for part of the day."