Sustainability summer school planned for Manchester Museum
In the ever-delightful surroundings of its Living Worlds gallery last night, Manchester Museum was officially awarded this year's Lever Prize for its Real Life Science project, which encourages secondary and post-16 students to develop practical investigative skills through an array of science workshops.
The prize is an initiative of the North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT), an independent group of influential business leaders, who work together to promote the sustainable economic development and long-term well-being of North West England.
Accepting the award was Manchester Museum’s Director Dr Nick Merriman and the trophy was given, along with a cheque for £10,000 by Juergen Maier, Chief Executive of Siemens Industry UK and Chairman of the NWBLT. The ceremony was attended by senior leaders from the arts and business sectors in the region, as well as from the University of Manchester.
The Real Life Science programme was the key to the Museum winning the award. It combines practical science with the Museum’s collection and displays, together with the chance to meet scientists from across the University of Manchester.
In addition to using the Museum’s collection, and current research from The University of Manchester, they plan to work with the NWBLT to include content surrounding current issues challenging industry, modern technological solutions and eco-design.
In its Lever Prize year the Museum is intending to introduce a summer school for A level students across the North West focused on sustainability. In addition to using the Museum’s collection, and current research from The University of Manchester, they plan to work with the NWBLT to include content surrounding current issues challenging industry, modern technological solutions and eco-design.
“We are delighted Manchester Museum has won the 2015 Lever Prize,” said Maier. "They have come up with some really creative ideas for working with the NWBLT membership throughout the year particularly through their Real Life Science project. NWBLT is proud to be supporting dynamic arts organisations in the North West since 2005 when the Lever Prize was launched”.
"This prize will enable the Museum to strengthen our existing secondary and post-16 science programme,” said Merriman. "The opportunity to benefit from the advice and support of the NWBLT will make a huge difference in the future development of this crucial aspect of our work, particularly in using industry expertise to develop a summer school focused on sustainability.”
The annual Lever Prize, now in its ninth year, is judged by the North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT) in partnership with Arts & Business, and aims to bring together the arts and business communities. The Prize is awarded to organisations which are judged to be regionally distinctive, with international or potentially international significance, who show high calibre existing work and can demonstrate exciting future developments.
In common with a number of Greater Manchester cultural institutions Manchester Museum has seen its audiences increasing and its reputation going from strength to strength on the back of a string of successful redevelopments, renovations and pioneering exhibitions.
In common with a number of Greater Manchester cultural institutions Manchester Museum has seen its audiences increasing and its reputation going from strength to strength on the back of a string of successful redevelopments, renovations and pioneering exhibitions. Since 2011 the Museum has redeveloped its Ancient Worlds and Living Worlds galleries, as well as opening Natures Library and breathing new life into its Vivarium (the frogs!) in autumn 2013. A thread through all its work is helping people to engage with some of the major issues of our time, including developing a sustainable world.
Life Lab images courtesy of Manchester Museum. Image of Nick Merriman and Juergen Maier (inset) by Sara Porter Photography.
Steve is co-founder and CEO of Creative Concern. He specialises in ethical and sustainability issues, integrated campaigns, city strategies, brand development and creating strange installations out of trees, lights and beautiful type. Particular areas of expertise include climate change, place making, transport, food issues and the natural environment.