Thursday, 25 November 2010

time to reflect

Having a couple of days off R&R and hoping to be creative about next years holiday programme. Catalyst has always put on public engagement events for visitors during the school holidays. We have come to the end of the 2010 season so I now have to put together the 2011 programme of activities. This should be fairly easy but.... we have just had the most successful year since 2006 and a fantastic summer.... so no pressure then!
This year I put together a programme that used all the old favourites and known crowd pullers because, as ever, money was tight and we needed a really good holiday season.
So I put on a giant bubbles session, we made soap and bath bombs, I did a super cool science show where we made and ate liquid nitrogen ice cream ( over 12 litres!!). Our public loved all this - add to it an incredibly successful Spooky Science October half term with sell outs on many days and you can see my dilemma - what do I do to top all that??
My team - the creative Carrie-Anne and the amazingly organised Helen - all work with me to put on this spectacular so this year we have had not only the main attraction but also hands on events in the lab and self guided fun in any available space we can use! Science busking in the galleries, 3D films in the theatre, puzzles in the Gossage room plus of course all the hands on exhibits on the 3 floors of the centre. That is alot for 3 people to organise - how I wish we had some really good, energetic volunteers that we could rope in for more than the odd day or two.
We have had some super volunteers in the past but often they can only offer an odd day here or there which is great but I can't plan around them so I need to create things that 3 of us can do.
I have a hands on show/workshop based around old fashioned medicines which could be re-invigorated and I would love to do something about the incredible things you can see down a microscope.
All this takes time - and money would be a bonus. I found an old folder with notes from 1998 about the holiday programme - it was all free then and they had a budget! Plus they actually bought in a guest speaker for one week - what luxury.
So obviously writing this blog is procrastination - I know what I should be doing - being creative! So I'd better go and do it......

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