Operation Earth: Environmental science for families launches nationwide

8 February 2018

NERC's Operation Earth programme launches this month at 11 science and discovery centres across the UK.

Operation Earth logo

Visitors to the centres will get the chance to watch a family show, be a scientist and have a go at experiments. We hope that over 100,000 children and adults will engage in how environmental science affects our daily lives.

Universities & Science Minister Sam Gyimah said:

"The UK is a world leader in tackling climate change and, through our industrial and clean growth strategies, we are committed to the development of low carbon technologies, like electric vehicles and smart energy systems, to improve our quality of life and help protect our planet.

Operation Earth is a great opportunity for families to see the fantastic impact environmental science has on our lives and to inspire our next generation of world-leading scientists and researchers. I urge families from across the UK to visit their nearest participating science centre, get involved in some of the great activities and see for themselves this vitally important campaign in action."

Chief Executive and Executive Chair Designate of NERC Professor Duncan Wingham said:

"NERC science and researchers have been integral to developing Operation Earth and scientists local to each centre are involved. Visitors will be able to speak to people working on environmental science in their local area and understand the positive impact this research has on all of us."

Young boy in Earth costume

The family show tells the tale of Earthy, our planet Earth costume character with its very own ice cap. Following the show, visitors will be able to try their hand at a selection of experiments, specially designed for 6-11 year olds. In one of these, kids will investigate air quality and think about what they can do to improve it. In another, they will have to try to spot as many different plants and animals as possible in our indoor meadow, before becoming a citizen scientist back home.

NERC, in partnership with the Association for Science & Discovery Centres (ASDC), developed Operation Earth in collaboration with NERC researchers and three expert partners, the Natural History Museum, Dynamic Earth and the Eden Project.

See Operation Earth in action at:

  • Catalyst Science Discovery Centre, Cheshire from Monday 12 February
  • Techniquest Glyndŵr, Wrexham from Saturday 24 March
  • Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh from Saturday 10 February
  • Eden Project, Cornwall from February
  • Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Manchester from Monday 2 April
  • Natural History Museum, London from February
  • National Space Centre, Leicester from Saturday 10 February
  • Oxford University Museum of Natural History from Monday 12 February
  • The Observatory Science Centre, Sussex from Saturday 10 February
  • Thinktank, Birmingham from Monday 19 February
  • W5, Belfast from Saturday 3 February

Find out more at Operation Earth website - external link .


Further information

Sylvie Kruiniger
NERC media office
01793 412593