Are You Ready To Be an ECO HERO This Summer?

Our very knowledgeable robot, Y, has another challenge for you this week. Y’s Wonder Club club is for budding scientists to share their adventures in science with our robot, Y, and other Whizz Pop Bang readers. All Whizz Pop Bang subscribers are automatically joined to Y’s Wonder Club and for a limited time this summer we’re opening up the club for everyone!

We have two weeks left so get ready for your scientist in training to put their capes on and become an Eco Hero! If you missed our previous weeks, go back and have a look at the Wildlife Watcher and Super Scientist badges to collect them all! We’ve got some great summer holiday activities that not only keep the kids entertained but do good for the planet too!

Complete these three challenges to earn your Whizz Pop Bang Eco Hero badge…

1)  Upcycle something

Choose an item that’s reaching the end of its life or is destined for the bin and transform it into something useful. For example, you could make a pencil case from an old bag, tie-die a stained t-shirt or freshen up an old wooden stool with bright paints.

2)  Make an environmentally friendly change

Make a lifestyle change that enables you or your family to cause less harm to the environment. Perhaps you could ask your parents if you could walk, cycle or scoot into school or to the park, instead of driving. Maybe you could reduce the amount of single-use plastics you use at home, eat less meat, or help your family to reduce your food waste.

3) Help to raise awareness

Spread the word about an environmental issue that you feel strongly about. You could design and put up a poster about an environmental issue, e.g. reminding your school friends to bring in reusable water bottles or encouraging awareness in your neighbourhood of toads or hedgehogs on the roads. You could write to your MP or your local shops or cafes to ask them to make environmentally friendly changes. Or maybe you could join an environmental campaign or protest.

Here’s how to apply for your badge:

1.   Download the Eco Hero application form. Print it out and complete the first page of the application form to tell us about how you’ve helped the environment. Attach any photos or drawings that you’d like to send to us. If you don’t have a printer, you can type your answers into an email or write your answers on a plain piece of paper and send us a photograph of it.

2.   Ask your parent or guardian to pay the £1-per-badge postage and packing fee, which can be done online at whizzpopbang.com/shop/719619/badge-postage-and-packing/. Add the order confirmation number to the second page of the application form.

3.  Ask your parent or guardian to fill in the second page of the form.

4.  Photograph or scan your completed form and any other documents and email them to Y@whizzpopbang.com with the subject line as ‘Eco Hero Badge’. Alternatively, post your completed application to Eco Hero Badge, Whizz Pop Bang, Unit 7, Global Business Park, 14 Wilkinson Road, Cirencester, GL7 1YZ. Please note that it can take up to 12 weeks for delivery of the badges.


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Join the Whizz Pop Bang Summer Science Challenge!

It’s that time of year again! School’s out for summer and you may be scratching your head for things to do over the summer holidays. We could have just the solution you’re looking for – a chance to earn collectible enamel science badges throughout the holidays!


Did you know that when you subscribe to Whizz Pop Bang magazine, you automatically become a member of Y’s Wonder Club? Find out all about it here! Your mini-scientist will love being put to the test with a science challenge!


GREAT NEWS! Y’s Wonder Club is being opened up to EVERYONE for a limited time over the summer holidays!
Each week, we’ll post some ideas for how your Whizz Pop Bang fan can earn each badge in the collection and enjoy these summer holiday activities. First up is the Wildlife Watcher badge. Mini scientists will love following along learning about their local wildlife and at the end of the challenge, they can send their application in to get their badge!

Do you know a scientist-in-training who might like to become an official Whizz Pop Bang Wildlife Watcher? To earn a badge, they need to…

  1. Make something to help wildlife close to home
  2. Spot some wildlife and record it
  3. Do something to help wildlife

All of these activities can be done from home – what a great way to keep busy and help nature!

Challenge 1: Make something to help wildlife in your area (e.g. make a mini-pond, bug hotel, butterfly feeder or hedgehog house, etc.).


Here’s your first challenge to earn the Wildlife Watcher badge! Wildlife is a vital part of life here on Earth, but many areas of natural habitat are in decline, threatening the existence of many creatures. If we all did our part to help the wildlife living in our gardens, it would have a huge positive impact. This challenge is all about getting crafty and creating something that will help the creatures living all around you. It’s a great way to encourage kids to help wildlife.

Challenge 2: Spot some wildlife and record it (e.g. describe, draw, count or photograph it).


As a scientist, watching and recording is a huge part of the job! Monitoring species and their habitats is how scientists learn all about our world and behaviour. This challenge will get your scientist-in-training learning to think about how animals look and behave. They will be sure to learn a thing or two about the creatures living in their backyards – and you might too!


Monitoring and recording the world around us is a great way for inquisitive minds to get used to asking questions. So why not record all of your findings in our scrapbook? Find out more here.

Challenge 3: Do something to help wildlife (e.g. create a wildflower area in a garden or window box, clear litter from a park or beach, take part in a citizen science project that helps wildlife, etc.). These are great hands on science activities that also benefit the planet.


The final challenge before your mini scientists can send away their application to get that hard-earned badge. Getting involved and helping wildlife makes a huge impact on our planet. So your scientist-in-training will have to think of a way to positively impact the wildlife around them.


Find loads of science projects to get involved with on National Geographic’s website here.

Send your application to us to receive your badge just like these wildlife watchers!

  1. Download the Wildlife Watcher application form. Print it out and complete the first page of the application form to tell us about how you’ve helped wildlife in your area. Attach any photos or drawings that you’d like to send to us. If you don’t have a printer, you can type your answers into an email or write your answers on a plain piece of paper and send us a photograph of it.
  2. Ask your parent or guardian to pay the £1-per-badge postage and packing fee, which can be done online at whizzpopbang.com/shop/719619/badge-postage-and-packing/. Add the order confirmation number to the second page of the application form.
  3. Ask your parent or guardian to fill in the second page of the form.
  4. Photograph or scan your completed form and any other documents and email them to Y@whizzpopbang.com with the subject line as ‘Wildlife Watcher badge’. Alternatively, post your completed application to Wildlife Watcher Badge, Whizz Pop Bang, Unit 7, Global Business Park, 14 Wilkinson Road, Cirencester, GL7 1YZ. Please note that it can take up to 12 weeks for delivery of the badges.

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Mask mess

To help stop the spread of Covid-19, face coverings are now required in many countries. However, this is coming at a cost to the environment; a recent study estimated that the world is using a staggering 129 billion disposable masks each month during the pandemic.

Environmental charity Greenpeace is urging people to instead choose reusable masks wherever possible. Throwaway masks contain plastics, which clog up habitats and pose a threat to animals and nature. The World Health Organisation recommends that the public should wear suitable cloth coverings that can be washed and re-worn.

Find out how to make reusable masks here

Read the latest science news in every issue of Whizz Pop Bang magazine!


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Dreaming of a green Christmas…

Are mountains of festive plastic tat making your Christmas feel a little less than magical? Being an eco-warrior, a super-parent AND Father Christmas can be exhausting stuff, so we’ve sought out some present ideas that bring more cheer and less guilt.

Looking for plastic-free gifts, ethical present ideas, green gifts and other ways to have a green Christmas and make a difference at his time of year? Keep scrolling…

JUNKO modelling kits

Junko junk modelling kits, from £9.99, www.planetjunko.com

Make junk into toys with this super-creative, eco-friendly toy! Each kit contains a variety of accessories (including wheels, paddle wheels, floats, rubber band drives and more) along with plenty of clip-on and magnetic fixings that can be combined to turn household junk into almost anything you can imagine.

Invented by a dad who wanted to avoid throwaway plastic toys, Junko is fully reusable and made from recycled plastic in England. Its system of clips, magnetic fixings and accessories take junk modelling up a notch, encouraging imaginative play, problem solving and serious FUN! 


Whizz Pop Bang subscription

Whizz Pop Bang subscription, from £20.99, www.whizzpopbang.com

Want to give the gift of science wonder every month of the year? A subscription to Whizz Pop Bang magazine sends science learning and fun rocketing through your letterbox, every single month, with no plastic tat in sight! ⠀

And as if that’s not enough…⠀
🌳 Printed with vegetable inks on paper from FSC/PEFC suppliers
🌳 Delivered in paper envelopes⠀
🌳 Advert-free⠀
🌳 Activities and experiments often reuse household items (like the content of your recycling box and shed!)⠀


Wyatt and Jack Junior

Parrot mini tote, £19, wyattandjackjunior.com

Wyatt and Jack create accessories from donated and abandoned inflatables on the Isle of Wight, and they’ve just launched a junior range!


Books!

They’re made of paper (find out more about FSC standards for paper production here) and they can inspire a love of learning, and sometimes some knowledge of the natural world, too. We’ve put together a list of our top science reads for kids here, if you fancy popping some science under the tree this year.


Origami animals kit

Origami animals kit, £6.99, ecovibe.co.uk

First up is an amazing shop dedicated to plastic-free gifts: EcoVibe. From craft kits to lunch bags, building blocks to origami kits, this website promises an easy conscience for all of Santa’s elves. It’s worth having a peek at their adult self-care range too – you might need some TLC after all that shopping!


Seedbom

Tiger Seedbom, £3.50, www.kidly.co.uk

Throw it and grow it with these easy-gardening seedboms (packed with native wildflower and herb seeds in peat-free compost). There’s even an accompanying books, There’s a Tiger in the Garden, if you’re buying for a younger child (age 4-7). We also love the Make a Pizza for the Birds kit – tasty treats for little tweeters!


Dino Snores sleepover

Dino Snores for Kids sleepover, £65 per person, www.nhm.ac.uk

Prefer dinosaurs to reindeer? If you’re looking for something that most definitely won’t get lost under the bed, the Natural History Museum’s dino-snores sleepovers offers a thrilling experience to wander the corridors of the pre-historic after dark. Explore a torch-lit trail, make a dinosaur t-shirt and watch a science show. That’s a present they certainly won’t forget!


Adopt an animal

Adopt a polar bear, from £3 per month, www.wwf.org.uk

Have your kids asked for a puppy for Christmas? How about a polar bear instead? The WWF offers a huge range of animals to ‘adopt’ for Christmas, without the extra hassle of walkies, litter trays and vet bills! From £3 a month, (or from a £36 one-off payment), your little animals will receive a fact pack and regular updates on how their animal is faring in the wild. Upgrade to £5 per month and they’ll get a soft toy of your chosen animal, too! Best of all, your well-earned money will be spent directly on helping the species.


Image: Shutterstock

Words: Nell O’Neill


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10 Awesomely Amazing recycling heroes!

Whizz Pop Bang magazine recycling heroes

Big shout out to our 10 Awesomely Amazing recycling heroes in our RUBBISH SCIENCE issue!

♻️♻️♻️♻️♻️♻️♻️♻️♻️♻️

1. Melati and Isabel Wijsen who set up Bye Bye Plastic Bags
2. Sammie Vance with her recycled plastic buddy benches
3. Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu who set up soleRebels designing shoes from old tyres
4. Ryan Hickman, age 9 runs his own recycling company
5. Aaron Westbrook 3D prints prosthetic limbs from recycled plastic
6. Anna Bullus who set up Gumdrop ltd making shoes with pink soles from recycled gum
7. Esther Bird campaigned to stop single-use plastics being used at her school
8. Julia Bray, Ashton Cofer and Luke and Natalie Clay converted styrofoam cups into activated carbon
9. Zymal Umer set up Zee Bags to make gift bags from recycled newspaper
10. Amy and Ella Meek from Kids Against Plastic campaign to help families, cafes and councils to be ‘Plastic Clever’

So inspiring to see so many kids taking the initiative, the future’s looking greener everyone! 👍🏽


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Whizz Pop Bang eco policy

Whizz Pop Bang magazine Eco hero icon

As an educational magazine focusing on science, we take our environmental responsibility very seriously. We’re a small independent publisher, which means we have control at each stage of the process – from design to production, through to distribution. We don’t sell to newsstands, high street shops or supermarkets, so we never sell on a sale or return basis (where often, only the cover would be returned and the rest of the magazine is destroyed). Extra copies are held in stock here at WPB HQ, to be sold as back issues. We sometimes receive magazines from the printers which have been slightly damaged in transit, so we donate these to breakfast clubs in deprived areas and hospices for children who are too poorly to go to school.

Every month we report on environmental issues in the news, highlighting eco heroes and how children and their families can help reduce their environmental impact. We have a regular feature called Emmi’s Eco Club, exploring environmental issues in a fun and creative way, encouraging our young readers to be proactive in reducing, re-using and recycling. We are also very careful about the items required for our experiments, which will be inexpensive, household items. For example, we suggest using alternatives to plastic straws and encourage people to buy eco balloons.

Whizz Pop Bang magazines are printed in the UK, using only paper from FSC/PEFC certified suppliers. Our magazines are delivered in paper envelopes, which can be recycled.

Are you looking for ways to help your children learn more about how they can be more environmentally friendly? Read on!

We’re huge fans of Kids Against Plastic, a campaign set-up by sisters Amy and Ella Meek, aged 15 and 13. These two are amazing, their drive and determination to change people’s behaviour is so inspiring!

“Not long ago we came across the UN’s Global Goals and got inspired to do our bit for the planet, and after finding out about the negative effect single-use plastic is having on the environment, we launched the Kids Against Plastic campaign.”

They have three key aims to help people avoid single-use plastics through EDUCATION (learning) and ACTION (doing):

  • Raise awareness and understanding of the problems caused by plastic misuse
  • Encourage and support others to become ‘Plastic Clever’ and reduce single-use plastics
  • Empower children and young people to believe they can make a difference

Follow Amy and Ella and find out what they’re doing to help us reduce our reliance on single-use plastics.


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Whizz Pop Bang logo round

Whizz Pop Bang magazine competition to WIN a pack of eco straws!

Whizz Pop Bang Eco straw giveaway

Following on from our #LastStraw survey we’ve got some super cool eco straws to giveaway! Ditch the plastic – reusable and biodegradeable straws are the future!

The UK is easily the biggest user of plastic straws in Europe, with an estimated 8.5 billion thrown away each year, according to a study by Eunomia Research & Consulting. This compares with 4.8 billion in Germany, 3.2 billion in France, 2 billion in Italy and 1.1 billion in Denmark.

TO ENTER our giveaway, write the shocking number of plastic straws that are thrown away in the UK each year in the comment box below ??

Closing date is 10th March 2018. Thanks to Seraphina’s Kitchen, Little Cherry and Bambaw for supplying these awesome eco straws.

 

What are the alternatives to plastic straws?

We’ve rounded up some environmentally friendly choices of straw to have at home or to whip out of your bag next time you’re out and about!

Bamboo strawsBambaw_ecofriendly_alternatives_to_plastic_straws

These are reusable, biodegradable drinking straws, made from whole bamboo, which is an easy to grow, sustainable crop. These eco-friendly straws can be used in hot and cold drinks and they don’t taste of anything. Available from Bambaw in packs of 12, and every pack comes with a cleaning brush. Enter our giveaway to win a pack of Bambaw straws!

Metal strawsSenhai_metal_straws

Senhai sell a set of eight stainless steel metal straws (available with a bend for those who want an angle in their straws!). They come in different colours, with a two cleaning brushes in a cloth bag, and are dishwasher proof.

Glass strawsStrawGrace_ecofriendly_alternatives_to_plastic_straws

 

 

 

 

 

StrawGrace sell handmade, incredibly hardy glass straws that come in packs of five. These cool straws are BPA free, eco-friendly, dishwasher safe and shatterproof. Each packet comes with a year’s guarantee – this is the same glass that’s used in labs all over the world and in Pyrex dishes so it’s safe and strong.

Silicon straws

Seraphinas kitchen_ecofriendly_alternatives_to_plastic_straws

Seraphina’s Kitchen make reusable coloured straws from silicone in two different sizes; one for juices and a larger one for smoothies. They’re all BPA free, lead and phthalates free and you can clean them with the brush that comes with each pack, or put them in the dishwasher. Enter our giveaway to win a pack of Seraphina’s silicone straws!

Paper straws

little cherry paper straws

If you’re after colourful fun paper straws for your child’s party check out Little Cherry Eco Party Supplies, so many styles, designs and colours to choose from! This is most definitely your one-stop shop for all things party ware, get your party rocking eco style with all their environmentally-friendly tableware. Enter our giveaway to win a pack of Little Cherry paper straws!

 

Vegware PLA Straws

vegware-straws

How about a bioplastic alternative?  Vegware PLA Straws are made from corn that would otherwise go to waste. Its proper name is polylactic acid (PLA) and it’s used by Vegware to manufacture drinking straws, as well as other utensils and coffee cups. While plastic straws take between 100 and 1,000 years to break down in landfill, conventional enzyme action is enough to decompose PLA straws in under 12 weeks, so they can go in your bin with the rest of your food waste.

TO ENTER our giveaway, write the shocking number of plastic straws that are thrown away in the UK each year in the comment box below ??


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Seraphinas kitchen_ecofriendly_alternatives_to_plastic_straws

#LastStraw What do Whizz Pop Bang readers think?

Evening Standard Last Straw campaign

After reading about the London Evening Standard’s excellent #LastStraw campaign to encourage cafés and restaurants to stop giving out plastic straws, we thought it would be interesting to find out what children thought about receiving their drinks with straws.

Whizz Pop Bang is an awesome science magazine for inquisitive six to twelve-year-olds, so our readers and the children of our online fans were perfectly placed to answer a few questions about how they like to drink their drinks. This was obviously a subject that kids felt strongly about as we received over 1,600 responses. Here’s what we discovered…

Q1. Would you rather have a paper straw or no straw?

Would you rather have a paper straw or no straw?

The results are close with just over half (54%) of the children who answered our survey saying, yes, they would rather have a paper straw than no straw at all, showing that there’s still a fair amount of desire for paper straws over no straws.

Q2. If you like having a straw in your drink, please tell us why…

If you like having a straw in your drink please tell us why

What are the reasons people like having straws? There are many. Kids like to schlurp their drinks with a straw, blow bubbles and even make things with a straw (future engineers!). They’re certainly useful when you’re very young and the glass is too tall, or the ice is making the glass too cold to hold. Some just like sipping and stirring, and making their drink last longer. Any dentist will tell us it’s better for your teeth if you drink through a straw, and there are people who need to use a straw for medical or behavioural conditions such as autism. The overriding result however, with just over 30%, is that people like a straw because it’s a treat when they go out.

Q3. If you were given a drink without a straw, would you ask for one?

If you were given a drink without a straw would you ask for one

The results here are interesting, with only 27% of respondents saying that they would proactively ask for a straw if their drink didn’t come with one. This means that the majority of children wouldn’t mind if establishments simply changed their policies to stop routinely providing straws in drinks. This could cut down straw use by a whopping 73%. And the cost savings from that could be put towards purchasing more environmentally friendly straws for the children who would like them.

Straws: the statistics

The UK is easily the biggest user of plastic straws in Europe, with an estimated 8.5 billion thrown away each year, according to a study by Eunomia Research & Consulting. This compares with 4.8 billion in Germany, 3.2 billion in France, 2 billion in Italy and 1.1 billion in Denmark.

Several small towns and villages around Britain have declared themselves plastic straw-free, but an initiative in the capital could act as a catalyst for the whole nation.

Evening Standard, Monday 15th January

Time to act everyone! As parents, grandparents and carers who take children out for drinks, we are the ones who need to be making the decisions and paving the way. Together we need to educate our children and teach them to understand why we need to find alternatives to many types of plastic, not just straws. We also need to use our buying power and our voices to tell cafés and restaurants what we think – simply make a point of requesting no plastic straws when you place your drinks order and explain why.

What are the alternatives to plastic straws?

We’ve rounded up some environmentally friendly choices of straw to have at home or to whip out of your bag next time you’re out and about!

Bamboo strawsBambaw_ecofriendly_alternatives_to_plastic_straws

These are reusable, biodegradable drinking straws, made from whole bamboo, which is an easy to grow, sustainable crop. These eco-friendly straws can be used in hot and cold drinks and they don’t taste of anything. Available from Bambaw in packs of 12, and every pack comes with a cleaning brush.

Metal strawsSenhai_metal_straws

Senhai sell a set of eight stainless steel metal straws (available with a bend for those who want an angle in their straws!). They come in different colours, with a two cleaning brushes in a cloth bag, and are dishwasher proof.

Glass strawsStrawGrace_ecofriendly_alternatives_to_plastic_straws

 

 

 

 

 

StrawGrace sell handmade, incredibly hardy glass straws that come in packs of five. These cool straws are BPA free, eco-friendly, dishwasher safe and shatterproof. Each packet comes with a year’s guarantee – this is the same glass that’s used in labs all over the world and in Pyrex dishes so it’s safe and strong.

Silicon straws

Seraphinas kitchen_ecofriendly_alternatives_to_plastic_straws

Seraphina’s Kitchen make reusable coloured straws from silicone in two different sizes; one for juices and a larger one for smoothies. They’re all BPA free, lead and phthalates free and you can clean them with the brush that comes with each pack, or put them in the dishwasher. A pack of 6 silicone straws is £12.47 from Buy Me Once

Paper straws

Kikkerland_ecofriendly_alternatives_to_plastic_straws

Kikkerland make loads of fun coloured and patterned paper straws, which makes a cheap and planet-friendly alternative to plastic straws at a party. The inks are soy based and food safe, the paper is biodegradable and coated with beeswax.

Vegware PLA Straws

vegware-straws

How about a bioplastic alternative?  Vegware PLA Straws are made from corn that would otherwise go to waste. Its proper name is polylactic acid (PLA) and it’s used by Vegware to manufacture drinking straws, as well as other utensils and coffee cups. While plastic straws take between 100 and 1,000 years to break down in landfill, conventional enzyme action is enough to decompose PLA straws in under 12 weeks, so they can go in your bin with the rest of your food waste.

 

In summary

The results of our survey show that whilst the majority of children feel okay about not using straws at all, there’s still a desire for straws, and hence a need for alternatives to plastic straws. Whether it’s as a treat in a special drink or because of less frivolous reasons such as age or health, there is a demand for a way to drink a drink without having to lift or touch the cup or glass.

The good news is that far fewer straws are needed in the first place, because the vast majority of children wouldn’t request a straw if their drink didn’t have one. That means savings for cafés and restaurants and more importantly, savings for the environment.

Paper straws might make the most sense in cafés because they’re cheap and hygienic. Restaurants and bars might go for more durable straws such as glass or metal, depending on their budgets and style preference. Silicone, bamboo, metal and paper straws are ideal for home use, birthday parties and people who want to take them out and about as an alternative to plastic straws.

Thank you to everyone who answered the questions in our survey. We’re off to add some eco-friendly straws to our shopping list – slurp!


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Whizz Pop Bang logo round

Reviews for Whizz Pop Bang

We love hearing from our readers who always leave such honest reviews and comments, thanks to clare_isabel for this one on Instagram 🙂

Do your kids love asking WHY? Do your kids love a challenge? Are you looking for a family activity to try together? Subscribe to Whizz Pop Bang science magazine! Subscriptions from £2.92 per month and FREE UK delivery.

Whizz Pop Bang science magazine cracking review

#familygoodtimes #makingsciencerelevantforkids #kidsmakethebestscientists #STEM #kidsmagazines


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Kids Against Plastic Activity Pack

We’re supporting this awesome campaign called Kids Against Plastic to help tackle the huge problem of plastic waste. Download this FREE activity pack and learn how to be kids against plastic!

As part of the Great Science Share, we put together this interactive activity pack for teachers to use in class to show kids what we can all do to reduce the amount of plastic we use. Whether you’re a teacher, a Brownie or Scout leader, grandparent or parent, the Kids Against Plastic campaign is for everyone to learn how to help in the fight against our reliance on plastic.

Click on the image below, download the pack and watch Ella and Amy tell you more… and don’t forget to join in with their mission to collect 100,000 pieces of plastic!

Whizz Pop Bang Great Science Share for schools activites

The Great Science Share is a national campaign to engage young people in sharing science with new audiences.

PIONEERED IN MANCHESTER – MAKING A DIFFERENCE UK-WIDE

You can get involved as a School, STEM Educator, STEM Organisation and Business.

Features include:

The Great Science Teachmeet

The Business of Science Conference

The Great Science Share for Schools Campaign


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