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Impact & Engagement Awards: nominations for Department and Sedgwick Museum

last modified Oct 13, 2020 09:33 AM
The Vice Chancellor’s Awards scheme was established in 2016 to recognise and celebrate excellence in research impact and public engagement. Members of the Department of Earth Sciences and the Sedgwick Museum were nominated for two awards this year; Rob Theodore, from the Sedgwick Museum, for the Professional Services Award, and Sanne Cottaar and her research team, in collaboration with Rob Theodore and Helen Devereux at the Sedgwick Museum, were nominated for the Collaboration Award. The Awards recognise outstanding achievement, innovation and creativity in devising and implementing ambitious engagement and impact plans which have the potential to create significant economic, social and cultural impact from and engagement with research.

Professional Services Award nomination: Rob Theodore, Sedgwick Museum Exhibitions coordinator

Rob Theodore, who is Exhibitions coordinator at the Sedgwick Museum, has worked to help the public connect with and feel a part of the Museum.  In 2014 Rob initiated the Sedgwick Museum’s Community Cabinet project, in which he supports and enables members of the local community to curate their own displays of geological objects alongside the Sedgwick Museum’s collections. The displays showcase the collections held by visitors in the local area; revealing not only the science but the personal stories behind them.

Over the last 12 months, Rob has built and expanded this project, substantially  increasing its scope and ambition.  Through careful and respectful engagement with members of the public, he has shown how the Museum can build strong, meaningful and sustainable links with members of local communities, ensuring people feel part of the University. 



Collaborative Award nomination: Sanne Cottaar and her research team in collaboration with Rob Theodore and Helen Devereux in the Sedgwick Museum

Sanne Cottaar’s research group collaborated with the Sedgwick Museum to create the Deep Earth Explorers programme of museum public engagement, which is hosted at the Sedgwick Museum.  The project saw interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers, teachers and the Museum’s public engagement team – and was informed by public consultation. The Deep Earth Explorers exhibition showcases the team’s work on understanding the internal structure of the Earth, and uses engaging text and interactive and digital displays to help the public connect with their research.

Although the launch of the new programme was set back due to lockdown, the team worked hard to make resources available online. They also worked closely with school teachers to produce an array of teaching resources and lesson plans. The research group hope that their materials will not only help teachers incorporate geoscience into maths and science lessons – but will also illuminate the diverse opportunities and career paths available for young people interested in geoscience.

Following the recent reopening of the Sedgwick Museum, you are now able to visit the Deep Earth Explorer’s exhibition for yourself – free tickets available here.