On a mission with Lightyear Foundation

You know when you meet someone and you just know you have a connection?  That’s how we felt when we encountered Lightyear foundation, we just had to get to know them better!

Lightyear Foundation

Lightyear Foundation is a charity devoted to changing the public perception of science through the promotion of scientific knowledge and understanding, innovation and encouraging people to be curious about the world around them. It works alongside students, teachers and communities in Ghana to share ideas of how local, cheap and easily accessible materials can be used to bring the high school science curriculum to life through hands-on, practical activities – dispelling the myth that practical science can only be done in a lab. Lightyear believes passionately in the potential for science to solve problems, make us healthier and happier, and open doors to great things for individuals and communities alike.

Watch this short video to get an idea of their workshops and approach:

When we found out about Lightyear foundation we contacted them to ask if there was any way we could help them in their excellent work. We came to the conclusion that the best thing we could offer was ourselves. Specifically some training from David Price and Rosie Coates to train the trainers leading the teams of volunteers in Ghana. The day covered best practice in science communication and activities ranged from making glovaphones to discussing how to develop and monitor volunteers’ skills during their time in Ghana.

A grand finale glovaphone orchestra at the end of our training Photo: science made simple (CC-BY)

A grand finale glovaphone orchestra at the end of our training
Photo: science made simple (All Rights Reserved)

Experience of the day

Fran Ling’s view of the day was:

‘Rosie and David were fantastic and the training came at just the right time for Lightyear. Their wealth of knowledge and experience in science communication, combined with their superb facilitation skills, allowed us to get to the heart of the issues and think deeply about the how, the when and the what of training volunteers joining a trip to Ghana for the first time. The workshop was the perfect combination of practical ideas we could take on, alongside group discussion and reflection to bring together the breadth of experience across the team. We came away energised with the potential for improving our induction programme and confident that the science made simple team had given us the tools to make this a reality.’

Building on experience

The first group of volunteers to be trained following the science made simple training day went out to Ghana on Saturday 14th June. We hope they enjoy their time in Ghana, use some of the techniques we showed them and inspire some of the next generation of Ghanian scientists along the way! We’re looking forward to hearing about their experience and continuing support the work of Lightyear Foundation.

Working with a social mission

At science made simple we’re passionate about giving as many people as possible the opportunity to experience the wonder and fascination with science that drives us. We generally do this by delivering science, engineering and maths shows to schools and festivals around the UK and the world.  Our staff are experienced and trained professional science communicators who get paid for what they do, either by schools and festivals or by funding organisations. Sometimes, like in the case with Lightyear Foundation, we feel we just have to offer that little bit more.  Our presenters choose one school or event each year which they give a free day to and we aim to help one worthy cause each year whose work chimes with our own mission either by donated time, financial contribution or by promoting their work.  If you think your should be the charity we support, do get in contact.  We know that we work within a fantastic community of people passionate about science and we’re keen to support them where we can.

Lightyear Foundation train their volunteers using science made simple balloon technique Photo: Lightyear Foundation

Lightyear Foundation train their volunteers using science made simple balloon technique
Photo: Lightyear Foundation (All Rights Reserved)


sms group shot with props smallWe are science made simple, a social organisation which promotes science, maths and engineering in schools and to the public. You can find out more about what we do, book us live in action with one of our exciting shows, or sign up to our newsletter and find out what we’re up to!


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