Wrexham’s very own science discovery centre is celebrating a record-breaking year after doubling its visitor numbers.
Techniquest Glyndwr welcomed more than 80,000 people through its doors in 2016, with plans to further increase that figure over the next 12 months.
Five years ago, around 40,000 a year were attending sessions at the attraction, which is based at the Wrexham Glyndwr University campus.
The rise includes an influx of youngsters from primary and secondary schools across North Wales and beyond, engaging in interactive demonstrations and workshops covering all aspects of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) curriculum, as well as games, puzzles and fun exhibits.
Iwan Thomas, Chair of the Board of Trustees to the charitable company North Wales Science, which operates Techniquest Glyndŵr, said steps were being taken to further enhance the popular venue’s profile and strengthen its business model after Welsh Government funding cuts.
“Techniquest Glyndwr is one of the hidden gems of North Wales, there is so much we can do to further improve its standing, both nationally and in the community,” he said.
“To have doubled visitor numbers – especially the number of school groups – is a fabulous achievement.”
He added: “We are now asking the business community and people in Wrexham to get behind us as we look to grow even further. We do have limited resources and funding cuts mean we’ve had to review operations and the way we do things.
“This is a worthwhile and valuable organisation with considerable strengths and we would like to thank the many people who’ve visited Techniquest Glyndwr over the years for their continued support.”
More live events – such as the gathering which took place at the centre to celebrate the launch of UK Astronaut Tim Peake to the International Space Station – are planned over the coming months, as well as new and interactive sessions with school groups of all ages.
The popular science shows, special events, Astronomy Club, TechZone (a computer programming club) and specialist toddler days will all continue to run.
“We will be working hard over the next few months and years to make sure that not only will the organisation survive but it will become a centre of excellence for the region in informal STEM education,” said Iwan.
“Our relationship with the University will grow ever closer and we will all be working together to educate the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians, and making sure they have plenty of fun along the way”
Scot Owen, Education Manager at Techniquest Glyndŵr, added: “Over the past five years we have grown considerably as an organisation and have assembled a great team who are experts in their field and passionate about what they do.
“Our mission, to communicate science and technology in exciting and innovative ways to all people regardless of age, ability or background is at the forefront of everything we do.
“We are committed to raising the skill levels and aspirations of young people and promoting the public understanding of science and technology so that people are better informed when faced with contemporary science issues.
“I believe that the increase in engagement figures is testament to our contribution to a vibrant local and regional economy and community and the development of the next generation of the labour market in the region.”
Techniquest Glyndŵr is particularly keen to work with technology and engineering companies to help bring classrooms alive by linking real-world situations which demonstrate scientific principles to the curriculum delivered.
Links can be through sponsorship of outreach visits to schools, the offer of on-site visits to industrial operations, or collaboration in the development of additional interactive exhibits/workshops to augment the programme of activities available to the region’s schools and colleges.
For further information visit the Techniquest Glyndwr website – alternatively you can follow @myTQG on Twitter.