British Science Festival 2023 – Community Grants

The British Science Festival is coming to Exeter this year from 7th-10th September, and we’re delighted to be a Festival Partner for this exciting event!

The British Science Association is providing grants of up to £600 to community groups / organisations in and around Exeter, to run their own science activities during the festival – and we’re here to support communities during the application process and in delivering their activities.

The grant applications are now closed – but you can find out more about each project below to get inspired!

Art and Energy CIC

Art and Energy CIC will be running 4 workshops with people from the Exeter Diocese Network of Churches across Devon to look closely at mosses and discover the vital roles that they play in responding to the climate and ecological emergencies. The participants will look into the ecology of moss, and contribute to The Mossy Carpet; a mass-participation artwork which aims to inspire a huge audience about climate action, the importance of mossy environments, and discovering everybody’s creativity and connectedness. The sessions are on Thursday 7th September: 10:00-11:30am, 1:00-2:30pm, 4:00-5:30pm & 7:00-8:30pm, The Garden Room, The Old Deanery Exeter. Book your place here.

CoLab will be running two workshops for their members on the theme of Planets and Stars, guided by academics in the University of Exeter’s Astrophysics Group. During these workshops, the participants will find out about local research and broader topics in astrophysics and astronomy, whilst carrying out creative activities with space-themed refreshments.

Exwick Community Association will be organising a bioblitz to help the local residents find the nature that lives all around them, whilst highlighting the careful science of observation and recording data. They will be counting and identifying plants, insects and animals, and photographing, sketching and recording them to map their location. Their findings will be turned into a creative display in the Exwick Community Centre to share with the wider community.

Interwoven Productions CIC are working with Chestnut Nursery and Wynstream Primary School to engage families in the Wonford area with a community-led landscape/heritage project. When the school site was re-developed in 2005 archaeologists identified Bronze Age and Iron Age ditches plus a range of artefacts from different ages. Children and their families will explore the science of remote sensing archaeology through the history of their local area.

Makeshift CIC

Makeshift CIC will be running a workshop for women to help introduce them to electronics in a fun, unusual way; by hacking children’s toys in a process known as ‘circuit bending’. The aim will be to create unique musical instruments and sound generators, whilst learning about electrical circuits and how sound is generated electronically. There are limited spaces – tickets can be booked on Eventbrite here.

Maketank Cultural Lab and Devon Ukrainian Association

Maketank Cultural Lab & Devon Ukrainian Association will be organising a 2.5 day workshop with young Ukrainian women who are currently living in Exeter, to envision the future of the city by introducing them to behavioural science and placemaking. They will learn how to identify the physical and cultural aspects of places to design meaningful solutions that can strengthen a sense of identity, access, and ownership of a place. The participants will use Blender software and 3D printing to visualise their ideas, which will be used to engage the wider public at the end of the workshop.

Positive Light Projects are running a day of experimental cameraless photography workshops for the general public. Working in their brand new darkroom, they will cover a range of analogue photographic techniques and alternative processes, including photograms, chemigrams, anthotypes, lumen prints and cyanotypes. This project aims to promote the sharing of stories and appreciation of different perspectives through photography, whilst highlighting the science of the photographic process. Their workshops are drop in and open to all. You can join in on Thursday September 7th between 10am and 4pm. More info on the Positive Light Projects webpage.

The Pelican Project Exeter CIC

The Pelican Project Exeter CIC will be working with Ruth MacLaren of Sciencedipity, to organise a workshop for its members in response to Exeter Science Centre’s Climate Exhibition that they will visit during the British Science Festival. The workshop will be a sensory and creative exploration of the science of the exhibition, which will aim to better connect their members with the local scientific research and its practitioners in the future.


Seed-Exe-Change (Exeter Seed Bank) will be organising the first ever Exeter Tomato Festival (ETF) for the general public, promoting tomato diversity and seed saving. They will be demonstrating seed saving and the fermentation process that is part of saving tomato seeds, whilst highlighting the science of taste, and encouraging people to grow-their-own. As part of this event, they will be growing their connections with the LGBTQ+ community by exploring queer belonging in the context of growing and connection to nature. You can take part in this event at the Daily Bowl Cafe by Exeter Central Station from 11-14:30 on Sunday 10 September!

We’re looking forward to supporting these projects as they develop! Find out more about the British Science Festival here, and make sure to check out our Climate Exhibition from 6-10th September!