Here at Edinburgh Libraries’ Children and Young People’s services, we are finding new ways to work with our partners during lockdown.
Last year the theme of the children’s Summer Reading Challenge was ‘Space Race’ so some Edinburgh Libraries staff prepared by attending outreach and storytelling training provided by the Royal Observatory, getting us ready to share the story of how 50 years ago Apollo 11 landed on the moon. These sessions were run all over the city, including at the Discover initiative.
This year, things need to be different, so we are working on being able to deliver online sessions to our Chatterbooks and school library groups. Watch this space…
Fiona, who works at the Royal Observatory has shared with us the changes to her working day.
“Hello! My name is Fiona and I am part of the Public Engagement Team at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh. Our small team can usually be found in the Visitor Centre, which is part of the original Victorian buildings on site. My day-to-day job is organising a public programme of events that aim to inspire, engage and involve people in the amazing technology and science that happens at the Observatory.
Before the lockdown, I would start my day with a long walk up the steep road to the top of Blackford Hill. I had always felt so lucky to be able to look out across Edinburgh every morning: ‘best view in the city’ I would tell my friends and family.
After the lockdown, I now start my day with a short walk downstairs to my ‘home office’ in the dining room. Unfortunately, not the ‘best view in the city’ but it does the job! Myself and the team (including Ivor, my new feline assistant) have been working hard to make sure we can still share the wonders of the universe with you all.
The first events to make the move online are our Astronomy Talks. Although we can’t invite you in person to the Observatory there is room for people to join from all corners of the world. The record so far is someone watching all the way from New Zealand! If you are interested in astronomy and want to find out more, please join us!
Visit our website to register for free upcoming talks. Talks are most suitable for an adult or young adult audience, but everyone is welcome to tune in and there is always time for questions at the end.
For the younger space fans in your family, we are currently putting together fun interactive sessions for uniformed groups and school aged children. We are also working to create some short videos and easy to follow activity ideas to keep you busy at home.
As we look to an uncertain future, we hope that we can find new unique opportunities to work together. If you represent a local community group or school and have an idea of how you would like to work with us then please get in touch via email firstname.lastname@example.org, we would love to hear from you.”
You can follow Royal Observatory Edinburgh on Twitter to keep up to date @RoyalObs and follow the #STFCScienceAtHome for lots of free STEM activities for the whole family.
With many thanks to Fiona from the Royal Observatory Edinburgh team for sharing an insight into her working from home day.