The Great Science Share for Schools granted patronage of the United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO in 2024: A Milestone in Science Education

The Great Science Share for Schools (GSSfS), a pioneering campaign dedicated to fostering scientific curiosity and education among young learners, has been granted the prestigious patronage of the United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO (UKNC) in 2024.

This recognition underscores the event’s profound alignment with UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) values, solidifying its status as a beacon of excellence in science education.

Patronage granted by the UK National Commission for UNESCO serves as a hallmark of quality, signifying an event’s contribution in advancing UNESCO’s mission in promoting education, scientific research, and cultural understanding. The GSSfS has been acknowledged by the UKNC for its exceptional contributions to these crucial areas, affirming its pivotal role in shaping the next generation of scientists, innovators, and global citizens.

The GSSfS is a campaign for everyone to involve young people from 5-14 years in asking, investigating and sharing a scientific question they care about. First launched as part of the European City of Science in 2016, the campaign is centred around an annual programme of activity culminating in a large scale sharing event on the second week of June each year.

Since its inception, GSSfS has been dedicated to empowering young people to ask-investigate and share a scientific question with new audiences. The event has reached over 500,000 young people across 33 countries to spark curiosity about the world around us. Through teacher professional development, tailored resources aligned to global issues and engaging events, the campaign has, nurtured creativity, and inspired a lifelong passion for discovery in young people across the globe.

“We are deeply honoured this year to receive the esteemed patronage from the UK National Commission for UNESCO,” said Professor Lynne Bianchi, The University of Manchester.

“This endorsement is a testament to the dedication and hard work of everyone involved in making this initiative a resounding success. I hope that every supporter and participant will acknowledge that this has only been achieved through authentic collaboration across the sector. With UNESCO’s support, we are poised to expand our reach, amplify our impact, and inspire even more young learners to embrace the transformative power of asking scientific questions.”

As a UKNC-patronised event, GSSfS will continue to uphold the highest standards of excellence, innovation, and inclusivity in science education. By leveraging this prestigious endorsement, the initiative aims to forge new partnerships, enhance its offerings, and empower teachers, educators, pupils and whole school communities worldwide to engage meaningfully with science enquiry and its applications.

Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility, said “The University of Manchester is already a world-leader in social responsibility and sustainable development. This prestigious partnership with UNESCO will help even more young people around the world see science as a force for good in the world.”

James Bridge, Chief Executive and Secretary General, United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO (UKNC), said: “We are delighted to grant the UK National Commission for UNESCO Patronage to the Great Science Share for Schools campaign in 2024. Education, Science, and Communication and Information are three fundamental pillars of UNESCO’s global work, so it is great that the UK National Commission can support an initiative here in the UK that brings these together in such an imaginative and collaborative way.

“By engaging and encouraging children to choose a scientific question that they personally care about, and then gather and share their evidence to ‘solve’ that question, is a wonderful mechanism to develop enquiring minds.”

The Great Science Share for Schools extends its heartfelt gratitude to the UK National Commission for UNESCO for bestowing this honour and looks forward to continuing its mission of igniting passion, unlocking potential, and transforming lives through the wonders of science.

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