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A montage of exhibits

Oriel Science is a public engagement and schools outreach project which showcases Swansea University’s research in the community. It is the UK’s first and only university-run, research-led science centre, designed as a shopfront for passers-by to see, feel and touch university research – a perfect place for the public engagement with research. By crafting snapshots of the University’s research into compelling, visceral exhibits, it engages, educates and enthuses all creating impact via public engagement. Oriel Science particularly targets communities who have poor participation rates in University education.

Oriel Science launched a pilot city centre exhibition in 2016 attracting 16,000 public visitors and nearly 1,000 students on organised school trips. Since the pilot, Oriel Science has been active showcasing University research at over 100 events interacting with 150,000 people.

In May 2021 we launched our large city-centre which has welcomed thousands of visitors and school students despite the effects of Covid. Oriel Science is the first University experience of 40% of our visitors, fulfilling our remit to address under- representations. Teachers taking their classes to visit Oriel Science have been impressed with our interactive workshop programme, saying it:

  • inspired the students to think innovatively and to try new things, thinking about the world differently,
  • was educational and relevant to the curriculum and benefitted the students’ learning,
  • was really enjoyable with excellent content and staff. All pupils discussed how much they wanted to return.

Please see our information about school visits if you’d like further information.

Project lead: Professor Chris Allton