Happy New Year to all of you! We hope you had a fantastic break over the holidays and are ready and raring to go for another braintastic year. But before we dive head first into 2023, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at the last 12 months and celebrate some of our achievements and successes, as well as your first sneak peek into what we have in store for 2023.
Let’s talk the facts!
2022 marked the return of in-person STEM events, which was exciting news as we are happiest on the stage and being able to see all of your faces as we do our thing. Our shows last year reached over 75,000 young people! Hopefully in 2023 we will reach even more corners of the UK, sharing our love of the amazing brain - please do recommend us to your friends and colleagues, particularly up north!
We visited schools across the country, but we also love taking our science shows to festivals up and down the UK, where in 2022 we met many of you at 14 different STEM events. We even appeared on TV as part of Science Week Ireland where Braintastic's presenter Susie did a fantastic job (you can watch it back here if you missed it).
Your favourites of 2022
We thought it would be fun to take a look at what you enjoyed the most from us over the past 12 months, so here is your favourite show, your favourite workshop, your top 5 blogs and top video of 2022.
You loved all of our spectacular science shows and workshops in 2022, but the show you booked the most was ‘That’s Non-sense’, packed with fun optical illusions and mind-bending multi-sensory tricks for KS2 and KS3. When it came to science workshops, there was a three-way tie between ‘Sensational Science’, ‘Creativity and Science’ and ‘Building a Resilient Brain’. You can find out more here about all our science shows and workshops for schools and festivals.
We published 22 new blogs in 2022 (no, we didn’t do that on purpose!) covering a range of topics from hands on illusions and discussions about neurodiversity, to Q&As with our presenters and fun science week activities. But your favourites were:
But taking the number 1 spot is: 5 Exciting Activities for Science Week That You Can Plan in Just 15 minutes!
Browse these and all our other blog posts on learning and memory, mental wellbeing and women in STEM on our website. If there is something that you would like to see us cover this year, then please let us know!
Finally, what about our videos? Our Curiosity Corner is packed full of videos tackling all your tricky questions on the brain and nervous system. We cover topics like ‘how much sleep does a Year 6 pupil need’, ‘can your brain grow new neurons’ and ‘does brain training really work’? But the one you watched the most in 2022 was….. *drum roll please* … ‘What happens when I feel scared?’
Watch that video and more at Curiosity Corner - and don’t forget to send in your brilliant brainy questions too and get them answered by our brain experts!
What did you think of our shows in 2022?
Our shows would not be the same without our fantastic audiences, and in 2022 you had some fantastic things to say about our shows. We are really proud of all the feedback you share with us, but here is just a selection of what our audiences had to say.
“I’ve learnt how to take care of my mental health even more” and “I learnt how you can cope even when you’re feeling down” - students at our ‘Building a Resilient Brain’ workshop
“What a great way to start conversations about connectivity and brain function” - James Romero, Imperial College London about our ‘Science and Creativity’ workshop
“Wonderful interactive show that truly engaged the young people. I also learnt something new too!” - STEAM Day 2022 attendee
“The show was highly popular and got people really excited about the brain and the human body” - STEM event organiser
“Fantastic event. Superbly well thought out ways of integrating the audience. Lovely and knowledgeable presenter” - visitor to a Braintastic! show
What have we learnt in 2022?
It’s been wonderful to get back to in-person shows after a difficult couple of years, and for me, it has reinforced the value of real-life interactions. Online can be great, and it has been a game changer for accessibility, but nothing beats that face-to-face connection.
It’s also been a year for focusing on what makes Braintastic! Science special - our expert presenters, and our focus on highlighting diversity and smashing stereotypes. It’s been wonderful to hear from schools and event organisers that they value these things as much as we do.
What can you look forward to in 2023?
We have done our look back, but now it is time to look forward to 2023 and make this year even better than the last! We want to know more of your questions on the brain, the women in STEM you want to celebrate and the lessons that we can support you on. Together, we can celebrate science, make revision easier, and ensure students have the tools to manage their mental wellbeing.
This year, we are keen to expand our range even further, and reach more schools in the north of England, and in Scotland. We already have a few gigs lined up, but we’d love to reach more! We are also aiming to increase the percentage of our bookings which come from state schools (which currently stands around 50%), and are looking to develop partnerships that would allow us to subsidise shows for schools that don’t have the budget to pay our usual fees.
As well as this, we want to develop and grow our mentoring scheme to support up-and-coming science presenters from under-represented backgrounds. The programme provides a year of mentoring and advice as well as opportunities to work with us (paid, of course). And we hope that some of the people who pass through the scheme might go on to become full fledged presenters for Braintastic! Science after their year in the programme is up.
Join in the fun
You can book us now to come to your school or STEM event to share one (or more!) of our spectacular science shows and workshops. This could be as part of your British Science Week activities (which will be here before you know it!), or at any other time of the year.
As well as delivering our science shows in schools, we’ll be heading to a range of festivals this year too. You can see us at Norwich Science Festival in February, Southampton Science and Engineering Day in March, Edinburgh Science Festival in April, the SomerScience Festival in May or Cheltenham Science Festival in June. And don’t worry if you can’t make those, we will be revealing even more throughout the year, so make sure to follow us on social media (Twitter, Instagram or Facebook) to keep up to date with where you can catch a Braintastic! science show for free. If there is anywhere you would like to see us, then get in touch and let us know.
All that’s left to say is thank you for all your support throughout 2022 and being here with us in 2023 as we continue to share more about our amazing brains with you.