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Celebrating international science centre day at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre

11 Nov 2016

Sir Isaac Newton was famously sitting under an apple tree, when a falling apple inspired his revolutionary theories about gravity

Gardens at Jodrell Bank

Today, seeds from that very same apple tree have been collected and are being sent to specially selected Science Centres and Science Museums all across the UK including Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre in Cheshire, the home of the world-famous, Grade 1 listed Lovell Telescope.

Science centres and museums like Jodrell Bank's Discovery Centre will now be able to grow their very own Newton's Apple Tree, sharing the science and stories with school children and the public. This unique and rare event is in celebration of the World's first UNESCO-backed International Science Centre and Science Museum Day on Thursday, 10 November.

Julia Riley, Head of Education at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, has said: “This is a simply wonderful project and we’re delighted to be part of it. It connects perfectly with our mission to inspire the scientists of the future and it builds on our work here in the Centre’s gardens and community orchards, as well as on our major Heritage Lottery funded project First Light at Jodrell Bank. Planting seeds from Newton’s apple tree is especially significant for us as apples are another thread in the unique heritage of the Jodrell Bank site, now connecting Sir Isaac Newton to Sir Bernard Lovell, the founder of Jodrell Bank Observatory who first initiated the planting of the site’s extensive arboretum.”

The project has been made possible through a partnership with The UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres (ASDC), the national charity that brings together the UK’s major science engagement organisations and The National Trust’s Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire, the birthplace and family home of Sir Isaac Newton.

Julia, who is leading the activity plan for Jodrell Bank’s Heritage Lottery Funded project First Light at Jodrell Bank, continues: “Being a part of this initiative is also a great way for us to build on our links with the National Trust and our unique partnerships with ASDC and other Science Centres and Museums. We are taking great care of the seeds and are looking forward to planting them out in our arboretum where they will engage even more young people with our fascinating story.”

Together UK Science centres and museums involve 20 million children and adults every year with science through their hands-on science programmes, schools science programmes and community activities. The International Science Centres and Science Museum Day, backed by UNESCO, recognises at the highest levels the huge contribution that science centres and museums make every day, on every continent, in inspiring young people and families with science.