Discovering and uncovering the new Isis Education Centre

16 September 2011


Our Discovery day started bright and early at 8.30am with the idea of giving visitors the opportunity to pop in and have a look around the Isis Education Centre on their way to work. We have only been in The LookOut building for a week and so it was a bit of a mad rush to get everything delivered and ready in time.

We have been wading around in the pond, planting water lilies and had been moving logs to start work on our stag beetle habitats. 

Our team were ready and waiting to point out the sustainable features to our visitors and to help them get to grips with some of the activities available in the Isis Education Centre. Our fantastic volunteers Dave and Michael manned the pond and were soon showing people newts and huge ramshorn snails.

Using our new two way viewers to look at the underside of insects meant that people were able to easily see the eggs carried in the pouch of a female woodlouse. Equipment like this really helps to bring people closer to nature. Being able to use a digital microscope to look closer and see the detail of an insect’s leg for instance, or a piece of honeycomb made the discovery rooms come alive for people wandering through.

Other people enjoyed playing with the interactive whiteboard, with lots of exclamations of “ back in my day” being heard as they wrote, moved and shrunk their text with the flick of a fingertip. Some also had a go at finger painting their own minibeasts to take home with them.

For the discovery day we had tried out an e-mailing system called paperless post for the first time as part of our commitment to sustainability. We used this to invite a variety of people who had made the Isis Education Centre possible through donating their time or money. Hannah appreciated the opportunity to put names to faces and finally meet so many of the donors who had bought an Isis plaque. We also invited people who were involved in the consultation process or had helped in other ways to achieve the project.

By the time we packed up at 3.30pm many people had had the chance to discover what the Isis Education Centre was all about and we had a nice long list of people eager to hear more about our education or volunteering programmes.

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