Help, there’s an alien in my park!

3rd August 2021

5,000 local primary school children are set for a summer science adventure, thanks to a new activity book

Using scientific themes from across the Norwich Research Park, the SAW Trust has produced an inspiring new initiative; a summer adventure activity book.

The book, ‘Help, there’s an alien in my park!was given out to 5,000 students in years 4 and 5 across Norfolk and Suffolk.

It is divided into six sections, each based on a different area of scientific research carried out at the Norwich Research Park, and includes challenges for young readers to complete.

Children can work through the book and complete the challenges over the summer holidays, using materials commonly found in and around the home, with little to no parental support. Designed to be accessible, the challenges encourage investigation and creativity that will help the young readers develop as independent learners and nurture an interest in science topics.

One challenge, for example, that was created with input from Quadram’s Lindsay Hall, explores how we digest food and how keeping out gut microbes happy keeps us healthy.

With pictures by local illustrator Daryl Blyth (Atom Boy designs and Illustrations) and a storyline written by CBeebies screenwriter Emily Dodd, the book aims to engage with even the most reluctant of readers.

Readers will be encouraged to bring their book back to school in the Autumn term to share with their teachers and peers. In partnership with the Quadram Institute, those who complete the book can also enter a competition to be in with the chance of winning an all-expenses paid trip for them and their family, to the London Science Museum and the Natural History Museum, courtesy of the University of East Anglia Outreach team.

This new initiative also hopes to lessen the negative impacts of the COVID-19 school closures on science education within the region, where disadvantaged households have been disproportionately affected, widening the attainment gap and leaving many students in need of extra support.

Alongside funding from partners from across the Norwich Research Park, the project has been kindly funded by Anguish’s Educational Foundation, John Innes Foundation and The Bedford Memorial Trust.

The hope is that this will be an annual initiative that introduces children to research taking place on their doorstep and helps nurture a lifelong appetite for science exploration. You can support this, and enjoy the summer adventure activities as well, by buying a copy of the book which is on sale now for £10 from the Bookhive in Norwich with 100% of the proceeds going to fund next year’s book.

Related Research Groups

Hall Group

Lindsay Hall

Related Research Areas