The Team

The UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres (ASDC) and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), are delighted to be working in Partnership again, bringing together the latest research into key environmental issues with the talents and infrastructure of the nation’s largest network of science engagement organisations.

Through this partnership, ASDC have created Operation Earth, a national programme that will engage, inspire and involve children and their families with the amazing stories and science of Environmental Science, investigating the latest innovations, dispelling myths and exploring our world-leading environmental research.

The activities will also give young people from a wide range of backgrounds the interest,  confidence and curiosity to explore and ask questions about the latest discoveries in environmental science and how climate change, plastics and other areas have relevance to their daily lives.

The first phase of Operation Earth ran in 11 UK Science and Discovery Centres in 2018 and engaged over 200,000 children and their families in person in hands on activities, meet the expert sessions and participating in the family show.

The second phase of Operation Earth is running across 2020 – 2021 with outreach programmes from 8 UK Science Centres, reaching families who may otherwise not get the opportunity to explore Environmental Science. For this phase, and due to Covid-19, we will be creating and giving resources to young carers and their families, sharing activities with families when they use food banks, working remotely with after school STEM clubs and engaging wider through youth groups, with community partners and on-line.


The Current Project Team

Shaaron Leverment – ASDC – Programme Director

Cait Campbell – ASDC – Project Manager

Project Team for Phase 1

Dr Penny Fidler – ASDC – Programme Director

Andy McLeod – ASDC – Project Manager

James Summers – ASDC – Project Manager (2017-2018)

Dr Hermione Cockburn – Dynamic Earth

Conor Ellis – Dynamic Earth

Gus Grand – Eden Project

Dr Robert Lowe – Eden Project

Chris Bisson – Eden Project

Kat Nilsson – Natural History Museum

David Urry – Natural History Museum


Science Centres involved in Operation Earth

Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh

Centre For Life, Newcastle

Eden Project, Cornwall

Exeter Science Centre, Exeter

Glasgow Science Centre, Glasgow

Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Manchester

National Space Centre, Leicester

Natural History Museum, London

Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Oxford

Science Oxford, Oxford

Techniquest, Cardiff

The Observatory Science Centre, Hailsham

Thinktank, Birmingham

Xplore! Science Discovery Centre, Wrexham North Wales

W5, Northern Ireland


Notes for Editors/Additional Information:

The UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres: (ASDC) brings together more than 60 of the UK’s major science engagement organisations including all the key science and discovery centres and science museums. The ASDC membership makes up the largest network of science engagement professionals in the UK who together engage over 20 million people each year with the wonders of science. Ten million of those we engage are school-age students and over ten million are girls and women. Between them, these centres work with 385,000 members of the public every week of the year, in all parts of the UK, helping people to explore and delve into science in a hands-on, involving and personal way.

ASDC is an educational charity based in Bristol. A map of all the UK centres can be found at  and we are on Twitter @sciencecentres.


NERC is the UK’s main agency for funding and managing research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. Our work covers the full range of atmospheric, Earth, biological, terrestrial and aquatic science, from the deep oceans to the upper atmosphere and from the poles to the equator. We coordinate some of the world’s most exciting research projects, tackling major issues such as climate change, environmental influences on human health, the genetic make-up of life on Earth, and much more. NERC is a non-departmental public body. We receive around £330 million of annual funding from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). @NERCscience