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A week of wins

The Otago Museum has had a successful week with both funding and awards.

On Friday 30 November, Museum staff were delighted to be recognised with the University Of Otago Business School Award for Innovation at the Westpac Otago Business Awards. The award was for the Museum’s ongoing projects to develop its audience appeal, including the opening of the Tūhura Otago Community Trust Science Centre, and its innovative public programmes. These included A Synthesized Universe – a collaboration between Otago Museum and musician Anthonie Tonnon – evening film screenings to coincide with global events, and Yoga with the Butterflies in collaboration with Hot Yoga Dunedin.

The Museum’s Science Centre Manager Samantha Botting was also a finalist in the Future Business Leader category.

Also of particular note in the past week is the ongoing success of the Otago Museum’s Science Engagement team with its outreach endeavours. The team has secured funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund, for three new and exciting projects:

Extreme Science II ($30 000) – Building on the success of the Otago Museum and Dodd-Walls Centre science engagement expedition to the Chatham Islands, this project will extend science outreach experiences to Stewart Island, Great Barrier Island and Aotearoa's remotest mainland rural schools and communities (including Fiordland, West Coast, East Cape and Northland).

Science Journeys: From Ship to Showcase ($28 700) – This project will guide a team of young people from low decile schools to develop their own climate-themed science showcase for public display, based on the research carried out on an international science expedition.

Science Show-offs ($16 500) – The project will use everyday objects to carry out intriguing hands-on science demonstrations and explorations at school playgrounds, sports fields, skate parks, cafes and shopping malls. The aim is to engage young people, empower them to understand the key scientific principles involved, and encourage them to share their knowledge with family and friends, both directly and via social media.