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By Caroline Parkins on

Celebrating British Science Week with Her Majesty The Queen

We were delighted to join Her Majesty The Queen earlier this week to celebrate British Science Week as we mark one year since we closed our doors.

Our Explainers took part in the virtual science showcase with The Queen which took place on Wednesday 10 March, in celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). The event was focused on space exploration and featured Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, Professor Caroline Smith and a group of primary school children from Thomas Jones School. Explainers Alexandra White and Fiona Evans joined on behalf of the Science Museum.

Virtual event with The Queen, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Professor Caroline Smith, Thomas Jones School and our Explainers from the Science Museum. Photograph by Isidora Bojovic © Science Museum Group.

On the morning of the event, our Explainers ran a virtual interactive session with the primary school children who are local to the museum. Together they explored the topic of space, discussed the fuel that gets rockets into space and witnessed the creation of a fireball with the Hydrogen Balloon experiment. The children then created their very own rockets using our Rocket Mice activity, where they tested theories on what made their mice fly up into the air, ready to share with Her Majesty later.

School children from Thomas Jones School taking part in a virtual session with our Explainers. Photograph by Thomas Jones School.
School children and teacher, Verity Handyside, from Thomas Jones School taking part in a virtual session with our Explainers. Photograph by Thomas Jones School.

The virtual event was hosted by space scientist, broadcaster and science communicator Dr Aderin-Pocock, who started with an introduction to British Science Week and the importance of STEM, which has been underlined during the pandemic, explaining that “STEM is very much a part of our lives”.

Then, Professor Caroline Smith from the Natural History Museum presented to Her Majesty the latest updates from the NASA Mars Perseverance mission, speaking about the meteorite pieces that were discovered in a driveway in Gloustershire earlier in the week.

Virtual event with our Explainers joining from Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery. Photograph by Isidora Bojovic © Science Museum Group.

Later in the call, The Queen heard from our Explainers. Alexandra White shared an update on how the Science Museum had been engaging young people in science throughout the pandemic. Then Fiona showcased how we’d adapted our experiments to deliver them online and detailed the activities carried out with the school children earlier that day and handed over to them for a demonstration.

Children from Thomas Jones School ready to share their Rocket Mice experiment with Her Majesty. Photograph by Thomas Jones School.

The school children demonstrated their own Rocket Mice experiments to Her Majesty, confidently sharing what they had learned. They then had the opportunity to ask Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE and Professor Caroline Smith questions.

Her Majesty closed the call, saying, “It’s been very interesting to hear from you all. I hope the children have enjoyed it too – they might learn something from it as well! Thank you very much indeed. It’s wonderful work you are all doing.”

Watch highlights from the virtual event on The Royal Family YouTube channel.