Help, there's an alien in my Park!

13 July 2021

Update: Due to lots of interest from those who are keen to get hold of one for their families to enjoy these books are now available to buy for £10 each from the Bookhive in Norwich. This little independent book shop has agreed to stock them and let 100% of the proceeds go into the pot for funding next years books!

Using scientific themes from across the park, The SAW Trust has produced an inspiring new initiative; a summer adventure activity book, that will be given out to 5,000 students in years 4 and 5 across Norfolk and Suffolk.

The book, ‘Help, there’s an alien in my park!’ is divided into six sections, each based on a different area of scientific research carried out at the Norwich Research Park, and includes challenges for young readers to complete.

Children can work through the book and complete the challenges over the summer holidays, using materials commonly found in and around the home, with little to no parental support. Designed to be accessible, the challenges encourage investigation and creativity that will help the young readers develop as independent learners and nurture an interest in science topics.

With pictures by local illustrator Daryl Blyth (Atom Boy designs and Illustrations) and a storyline written by CBeebies screenwriter Emily Dodd, the book aims to engage with even the most reluctant of readers.

Readers will be encouraged to bring their book back to school in the Autumn term to share with their teachers and peers. In partnership with the Quadram Institute, those who complete the book can also enter a competition to be in with the chance of winning an all-expenses paid trip for them and their family, to the London Science Museum and the Natural History Museum, courtesy of the University of East Anglia.

This new initiative also hopes to lessen the negative impacts of the COVID-19 school closures on science education within the region, where disadvantaged households have been disproportionately affected, widening the attainment gap and leaving many students in need of extra support.

Alongside funding from partners from across the Norwich Research Park, the project has been kindly funded by Anguish’s Educational Foundation, John Innes Foundation and The Bedford Memorial Trust.

We hope this marks the start of an annual initiative that introduces children to research taking place on their doorstep and helps nurture a lifelong appetite for science exploration.