For the first time since the pandemic, children from across mid Wales have had the chance to experience ‘hands on’ learning at Aberystwyth University’s annual science fair.

1,600 children from 26 different primary schools were given the chance to learn about a range of scientific fields including physics, maths, computer science and robotics, as well as geography, psychology and more. The university set up an indoor planetarium which took pupils on a journey through the solar system, and showed how it corresponds to our understanding of time, and its integral part in our ability to tell the time.

The fair, which is held as part of British science week, aims to inspire primary school pupils to find a ‘buzz’ about science. For its fifth year, the fair was able to return to normal and give children the full ’hands on’ interaction its organisers envisioned.

Teleri Lewis, Aberystwyth University’s Head of Student Recruitment and Widening Participation said: “I’m so happy to see the fair back to normal. We want the fair to inspire pupils in science and its stem subjects, and to show that science can take them further than the subjects they are taught in the classroom. It’s a fun packed two hours where we hope to instil children with a buzz about science.”

“There are more schools here this year than ever before, the numbers are amazing. 1,600 pupils have been here across three days.”

Llanilar Primary School’s Deputy Headmaster, Gregory Roberts, called it a great chance to get children learning about different elements of science. Mr Roberts said: “For the children, this really is a great day to learn about different elements of science. They get to interact with the stalls and the staff to really explore these interests and cement the opportunity for them. Events like this are key to having the opportunity to see science at work.”

These feelings were echoed by Craig yr Wylfa Primary School’s Headteacher Kevin Jones, who said: “We come every year and it’s a great experience. This isn’t something we could replicate at school and it’s a really engaging way of showing how broad science really is - it’s much broader than what we teach in school. You never know where an experience like this could lead someone in the future.”

Dewi Roberts was manning the Geography stall. Mr Roberts works on the university’s Coastal Uplands Heritage and Tourism project. He has been to many science week events as part of his work, but said the fair at Aberystwyth is ‘one of the best’. Mr Roberts said “It really gives children that buzz effect. It’s great seeing children coming out of places like the planetarium with a ‘wow factor’ feeling. It’s the best way to make them think and engage with these subjects so much more.”