I gained a new appreciation for my community and the people in it, and saw first hand how the arts and sciences, along with the process of learning, exploring and trying out new things, can bring us closer together.
Something that is surprising – but also liberating – is that no-one tells you what you should do. We came up with the ideas and although Shelley gave us some guidance about what might work and what might not, in the end, it was about what we wanted to do and although that was scary – what if no-one came, what if we’d completely missed the point – it also left us free to do what we knew most about.
Gary Howard is the CEO of Complete Forensics C.I.C. and has been delivering inspiration to the next generation of scientists since 2013. He has been a finalist for Freelancer of the Year 2016 and is a Small business Saturday UK Champion after his company was featured as a Top 100 company in 2014.
Dr Elizabeth Glennon is a scientist at King’s College London researching Alzheimer’s disease (her full title is Alzheimer’s Research UK fellow, but that doesn’t really tell people what she does!). Lizzie spends most days in the lab looking after tiny brain cells and peering at them under a microscope to try and find out how genes are involved in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. At Brockwell Lido Fun Palace, Lizzie learnt how to make amazing shadow puppets! And how to put up and take down marquees in the rain.
Sioux Peto and Colin Barnard run Polka Dot Arts – a small arts space in Teynham where their main focus is the environment and recycling. They like their projects to connect people to the places where they live, looking at and making use of their surroundings. At their Fun Palace, Sioux learnt that children still love making dens and dancing barefoot on the grass and Colin learnt that poplar tree wood is easy to carve.
Lewis is a part-time neuroscience researcher, full-time science communicator and a fiddle player based in Edinburgh. He believes that science is culture that everyone can engage with, and loves mixing science with the unexpected. Last Fun Palace, he learnt how to make felt, why there aren’t so many red squirrels any more and that he was a ‘super-taster’.