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Summer Holiday Programme

Period: 29 June - 12 July 2020

Summer Holidays at last!

 We hope you have enjoyed all the topics we provided over the past 12+ weeks during your homeschooling time. Although they were not actual school work we hope there was something there for everyone to have some fun and learn a few new facts about the world around us.

Which week was your favourite? We loved Space Week and Weather Week!

We also had so many fantastic competition entries! Thank you to everyone for taking part. 

We are sure you are all happy that school lessons are done for the summer. We know that going away on holiday this year might not be possible so we thought we would try to find some nature-based activities for you all to do either in your gardens, at the beach or in the park. The weather is a bit wet this week, but we have a few things for you to do to get ready and to prepare for the next few weeks.

Please don’t forget to have a look back over the past weeks and see if there are any of the activities you may not have tried as you were too busy with school work. Did you make a nature showcase? Did you try identifying any of the birds in your garden? What about the pitfall trap - did you catch any bugs? Did you record the weather and work out what cloud formations were around at the time? If not you can still do that!

Important!: One very exciting thing happening this week is that Dundee Science Centre is 20 years old! How exciting is that! We were hoping to be having a wonderful celebration with you all, but as we are still closed, this can not happen, but we still would love you to be involved - so watch this space later this week!
Rock Pools
Children Playing
20th Birthday Party


Nature Notebook

To get the holiday activities started we would like you to make a nature notebook to use with some of the other activities we have planned for you all.

We are sure it will come in handy when you are out and about.

Once you have made your notebook have a read of How To Watch Wildlife (The Scottish Wildlife Trust) about how to be a nature detective and become really good at observing the plants and wildlife around you.

We would love you to bring your notebooks to the science centre once we are open again to show us what you found throughout the next few weeks.

Did you make a bug hotel last month? If so have you seen any little creepy crawlies heading in and out? if you did take some quiet time around the hotel and see what is living there. Record your findings and maybe draw the bugs or take a photograph.

Throughout the holiday weeks here are some of the other things we hope you will have fun doing.

  1. Go rock pooling and record your findings.
  2. Gather wildflowers and press them to make pictures.
  3. Make a hedgehog house for the autumn when the hedgehogs hibernate.
  4. Weave a garland with leaves and flowers - very handy if it is your Mum or your Granny's birthday soon.
  5. Collect flower seeds and give them as gifts.
  6. Use your nature notebook throughout the summer to record the bugs, flowers and leaves you find.

Here is a slightly different nature notebook to make with the Natural History Museum.

Hoverfly (Credits The Scottish Wildlife Trust)
How To Watch Wildlife (The Scottish Wildlife Trust)
Nature Notebook Activity Worksheet
Nature Notebook Activity Worksheet (PDF)

Dundee Science Centre 20 Years Anniversary

During July we are celebrating our 20th birthday having had over 1 million visitors to the centre!

We've hosted lots of travelling exhibitions from creepy crawlies to dinosaurs, celebrated YOUR birthday with our children's birthday parties and we've hosted lots of different events from Festival take over days to school events. There have been lots of great exhibits along the way from the gyroscope to the giant head which children still play in, to this day.

We've recently seen our upstairs exhibition transformed into Medical Marvels showcasing Dundee's medical history and we can't wait to see what the next few years bring with the redevelopment of our downstairs exhibition now! From being the only building in the Greenmarket to now one of many there has been a lot of positive change and although we can not have you in the centre to celebrate with us, we are looking forward to seeing you all soon.

20 Years Anniversary Competition

We are so excited to be celebrating our 20th Birthday today.

Sadly it is not possible to share this amazing day with you all in person at the centre, so we are instead asking you to design us a birthday card or birthday poster.

All the entries will be displayed at the centre but the winner is in for a fantastic treat!

First Prize for the best birthday design with be the chance to book a free birthday party for up to 10 people when we are open again!

How exciting is that!

Get your pencils and pens and paints out and come up with the best design you can. Think about everything you have done over the past 13 weeks or so - or perhaps a workshop you have attended on a school visit will inspire you.

Whatever it is get busy with your paper and pens and your creativity and send us a photograph of what you have made.

Please send your entry in before next Wednesday the 8 July 2020 for a chance to win this amazing prize!

Enter Birthday Competition

Note: The full set of rules are available (see Competition of the Week Rules for full details).

Birthday Fireworks

Who Shares Our Birthday?

Can you think of anyone who shares a birthday with us!

Do some research and see what you find out!

We discovered that there are actually quite a lot of famous astrophysicists and pharmacists and wonderful engineers who have discovered and invented all sorts of exciting things over the years that were born on the 1st July, so we are actually standing on the shoulders of giants!

During Flight Week we discovered how human flight began and just how much science was required to defy gravity. This was an exciting time and being the first person to do anything takes a great deal of courage and determination, and for this reason, our absolute favourite has to be Amy Johnson - a pilot and an engineer!

Amy Johnson was a pioneering British female aviator who first achieved fame as a result of her attempt (1930) to set a record for a solo flight from London to Darwin, Australia, although she missed that record by three days. She took up flying in 1928, and also showed talent for mechanics. By 1930 she had qualified as both a pilot and a ground engineer. Flying a De Havilland Moth, Johnson set out to beat Bert Hinkler's record for flying to Australia. Though she did not beat the record, she made it to Australia, and was given a hero's welcome. She was the first woman to make the trip. The Daily Mail gave her a £10,000 prize.

Johnson made other long-distance flights. While on a flying mission for the Air Ministry, on the 5 January 1941, she disappeared over the Thames estuary.

Amy Johnson
Amy Johnson British Aviator

Beach Fun!

Welcome to a week of beach fun!

Everyone loves a visit to the beach - but rather than just going for a walk we would like you to have a good look around and perhaps find out about what is happening when the tide goes out!

Looking in the rock pools is both interesting and exciting!

The Wildlife Trusts provided help on Where To See Rockpool Wildlife.

Now learn more by watching this video.

We would like you to use your nature journal that you made last week and draw or photograph what you see.

You may be lucky enough to spot a sea anemone - they are the most amazing sea creatures and can often be seen in rock pools due to their bright colours.

Or maybe a star fish - they are exciting to find. What do you know about star fish?

At Dundee Science Centre we really love sea weed - do you know how many different kinds of sea weed there are?

When you are at the beach and the tide is out we would like you to see how many different ones you can spot!

Fun Activity: Look at the photos on the Rock Pooling Activity Worksheet - we found them all. Please take photos or draw what you have found and add it to your nature notebook. Remember we want to see them all at the end of the summer.

We will also have a prize for the best sea weed photo or drawing.

Enter Your Photographs

You can learn more about marine habitats on the Scottish Natural Heritage web site,

Teachers Survey Time!

Win a fun and exciting class trip to Dundee Science Centre once we reopen!

We want to invite you to participate in our 2 minute Teachers' Home Learning Programme Online Survey to provide us with feedback about our programmes and how we can help in the future.

Terms and Conditions:

  • Travel to the centre not included, however do get in touch as there may be funding available if your school is eligible.
  • All admission costs covered for your class pupils and teachers, parent helpers.
  • Goody bags for each child.
  • This prize can only be used once and will be valid for 12 months from the date Dundee Science Centre reopens (due to COVID-19, this date is yet to be determined and will be continuously monitored).
  • Information about School Visits can be found on our Primary School Visits page.

Thank you for your help and good luck!

Start Teachers' Survey
Just 2 Minutes To Complete

Celebrating Our Home Learning Programme

Enjoy a compilation of our Home Learning Programme at the Dundee Science Centre - you may be able to spot yourself if you took part!


Shells and Seaweed

We hope you are all set to go rock pooling or maybe you have already been?

We found lots of different shells and have provided you with an identification sheet to get you started.

Fun Activity: Take photos of the shells you spot and let us know if you find any different ones. If you are lucky, you might find a sea potato or a common limpet. Collect as many different ones as you can and make a picture or add them to your nature display.

Send Your Photographs

There are lots and lots of different kinds of seaweed on the beach - it can also be found in sea lochs around Scotland.

What is Kelp?

Kelp is a large brown seaweed that you will often see washed up on the beach. This seaweed lives in what is known as Kelp beds and they provide food and shelter for many marine animals. When there is a thick kelp bed underwater there will usually be a rock formation under and around the bed and in there will live sea anemones and little fish and sponges. It is thought that they can provide a home for as many as 70 different species!

Kelp is so important that it is protected in 17 locations around Scotland. So although it seems like slippy sludge on the beach it has actually been doing an amazing job in the sea.

Learn more by watching this video.

Virtual Dives - Kelp Forests and Harbour Seals in the Sound of Barra

There are some edible seaweeds that apparently taste like cabbage - if a little salty. We do not plan to find out!

Don't forget to let us know if you spot any different seaweeds.

When you lift up the seaweed you will perhaps see little jumping creatures - these are sand hoppers. They will jump fast and high to get away from you.

Keep an eye out to sea when you are at the beach as there have been swordfish spotted off the coast at Portobello (Edinburgh) and there is a pod of whales swimming off Shetland at the moment.

We know there are dolphins in the Tay Estuary but keep a lookout for anything else there is plenty going on in our seas at the moment!

Lastly don't forget to watch this video about this unusual Scottish sheep!

Why These Scottish Sheep Eat Seaweed?

We hope you have a great weekend and see you back here on Tuesday!

Reminder - We Will Be Back on Tuesday

Remember now that it is the summer holidays we will be publishing new content on Tuesday and Thursday each week.

If you would like to keep up-to-date, please Subscribe To Our Newsletter.

If it is wet outside remember there are lots of indoor activities in our previous weeks' topics that you can try.

We hope you have an exciting weekend and see you back here on Tuesday!

Photograph of Space Week Competition Entry
Space Week Competition Entry

Also see our other Home Learning Portal information and don't forget to enter our Competition of the Week.

If you have enjoyed these activities please share them with your friends and family.