From spotting spider monkeys to celebrating Our diverse planet, the 2020 edition of British Science Week was an incredible experience for all. Amidst the backdrop of a developing COVID-19 pandemic, schools, community groups and other outreach centres held hundreds of events & activities as part of the ten-day celebration, while our Zooniverse citizen science project also saw more than 100,000 video tags, something that would have taken researchers valuable weeks to do! You engaged with our activity packs at incredible levels, and the poster competition entries are continuing to come in.

From all of us here at the British Science Association, we thoroughly and genuinely appreciate your efforts across British Science Week. The ten days were an amazing opportunity to showcase the diversity within the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sector and our planet, but it also illustrated the power of these industries to provide people with a distraction from the COVID-19 outbreak.

There are so many highlights, it’s hard to know where to begin! Scroll down to see a few memorable moments from throughout British Science Week.


Activity packs

Our free activity packs once again proved to be very popular. The early years, primary and secondary level packs were downloaded over 70,000 times!

The most popular pack was the primary-level pack, which has been downloaded an incredible 35,000 times!

The packs are a great source of last-minute activities and ideas that require very few teaching resources to run within a classroom. From figuring out super tasters to carbon dioxide filled balloons, the packs are filled with plenty of ideas. To get some inspiration for your classroom or community group, download a copy of our free activity packs here.

Social media

We were so overwhelmed with the response on our social media channels. It was a lot of fun watching assemblies, community group projects and fun demonstrations across the ten days, so thank you for using the #BSW20 hashtag so far and wide! It was also fantastic to see many people using our #EverydayScientist hashtag to highlight the diversity within STEM – it was a great way to help us towards our goal of Smashing Stereotypes around what a typical scientist looks like!

Citizen Science: Spotting Spider Monkeys

This year’s Zooniverse citizen science project was a resounding success. To, complement the theme of our activity packs, Our diverse planet, for 2020 we wanted to focus on biodiversity and sustainability for our annual mass participation project. We asked you to help us tag thermal videos that feature spider monkeys in them to help generate an AI algorithm that will aim to protect spider monkeys in future. There were more than 100,000 classifications from the videos, which have saved researchers countless hours, days and weeks to process. We are so excited to see what the data, which is being collected by Liverpool John Moores University with the support of Mexico-based Con Mono Maya and Universidad de Veracruzana, will create in the future!

Grant recipients

This year we awarded more than 150 Community grants to help local groups organise activities during British Science Week. Among the activities were a four-week food and gardening programme hosted by Royston Youth Action in Glasgow, and some amazing Marketplace science activities by Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association in Bradford North.

We also awarded more than 500 Kick Start grants to schools in challenging circumstances to allow them to organise their own British Science Week events. There were activities throughout the United Kingdom, including a community garden made by a secondary school in Northern Ireland, a senses-based event at an SEN school in Scotland, and solar powered ovens and wind turbines made by an East Midlands primary school.

We really love seeing how you used the grant, so please keep sharing your images with us on social media! 

In the press

We had more than 325 pieces of media coverage this year, which reached an estimated audience of 44.5 million people. Highlights included...

The Daily Mail ran a great story on our Spotting Spider Monkeys campaign, and with an estimated audience of 6.4 million it was a fantastic chance to help our Zooniverse Citizen Science campaign reach a large number of potential supporters.

Our very own Jane Dowden once again was in her element with a number of interviews and experiments that were broadcast across local BBC stations all around the country. 

The UK government also used the Week to make two significant announcements. The first was a funding support for 2200 students through Doctoral Training partnerships while helping younger people, and especially girls, study towards a STEM-related career. A second announcement was made the day prior to British Science Week, with a new £3 million fund unveiled for entrepreneurial female innovators.

A story highlighting the discovery of Britain’s oldest saints, St Eanswythe, who died around 1400 years ago. The announcement was made during the Week and was picked up nationwide.



Poster competition

Good news – our poster competition is still open! The theme for this year’s competition is ‘Our diverse planet’, and we have already had some fantastic entries from across the country. However, we’re still very keen to see your entries if they aren’t finished yet! You have until April 5th to send us your poster. You can find out more details on how to enter the competition on the British Science Week website. Best of luck!

Smashing Stereotypes

This year we partnered with 3M to create the Smashing Stereotypes campaign to highlight the incredible diversity within the STEM sector! The campaign profiled people from a variety of backgrounds who are each making a significant contribution in their chosen field.

The campaign also included a public engagement element. We asked you to use the #EverydayScientist hashtag and highlight the work you're doing within your field as an everyday scientist to highlight the diversity and importance of science within all areas of work. 

We had an incredible response to the campaign, and we are so grateful for your participation. To see all of the great publicly generated case studies, search the #EverydayScientist hashtag on Twitter.

Sport Relief

Another partnership we developed this year was with Sport Relief! This year, the two campaigns combined across the same week to illustrate the brilliance of both STEM and staying active.

We worked with the organisation as a partner on one of their activities focused on inclusion, which you can find in our activity pack section on the British Science Week website. 


We would also like to thank British Science Week Principal Partner, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and all our other partners for their support this year; without their ongoing support we would not be able to coordinate, support and create the incredible resources we do for the Week. You can see a full list of British Science Week 2020 supporters here.


If you organised an event or an activity for British Science Week this year, we’d love to hear your feedback! Please fill our organisers feedback form to help make next year’s British Science Week even bigger and better.