About Dynamic Earth
Dynamic Earth is an Educational Charitable Trust (Dynamic Earth Charitable Trust – DECT). Dynamic Earth Enterprises Ltd. (DEEL) operates our science and cultural learning centre on behalf of the Charitable Trust.
The centre, which opened in 1999, is located in the heart of Edinburgh at the foot of the Royal Mile, adjacent to the Scottish Parliament and the Palace of Holyrood House. We engage people of all ages and backgrounds with the story of the Earth, its place in the Universe, and the evolution and diversity of life found within its different environments. If the threats facing our planet are to be mitigated, there is a need for better and wider understanding of the Earth and environmental science so that citizens are equipped to grasp and support plausible solutions.
Understanding contemporary science transforms lives by providing choices and new pathways, particularly for young people. By making science learning more accessible, we inspire young people to become the problem solvers of the future. This is ever more relevant as the global skills shortage for workers qualified in science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) fields becomes apparent and more urgent.
Our approach is to distil complex scientific principles and research findings in a way that is fun, intriguing and arouses curiosity. We work hard to ensure that our audiences include a broad cross section of society, including from disenfranchised communities, regions of economic disadvantage, and those not already predisposed to science engagement.
We achieve this through:
- Our 5-star Science Centre that tells the story of the Earth in 14 immersive galleries featuring interactive exhibits such as a real iceberg, 4D cinema, digital planetarium and earthquake floor. We consistently attract 240,000 visits per year.
- An active Science Learning Service providing subsidised workshops for school pupils across a wide range of STEM topics linked to the Curriculum for Excellence. Delivering over 100,000 school engagements in a typical year and providing transport subsidies to schools from deprived and remote areas.
- A Community Learning Programme providing free bespoke sessions to underprivileged groups, building long-lasting relationships for depth of engagement. These include charities and community groups providing services to socio-economically disadvantaged young people and adults. In 2019 we reached over 45 community organisations and more than 2,000 individuals.
- An Outreach Programme travelling to remote communities in Scotland to provide high quality science learning opportunities.
- Career-Long Professional Learning for Teachers; STEM careers events; free children’s science club; a varied annual public programme including talks, workshops and meet-the-scientist events.
To ensure financial sustainability, Dynamic Earth has a commercial focus and, coupled with government funding, endeavours to generate a small surplus each year. As a charitable entity, all surpluses generated are reinvested into the Centre and its educational activities. We have a varied set of funding streams, so that we are not reliant on any one source, coming from a combination of:
- Admission ticket sales
- Secondary visitor spends (Retail, Catering, car parking)
- School group bookings and other Learning Service activities
- Conference and Events business
Fundraising – Our income streams aim to cover the running costs of our core activities. Our fundraising team seeks further sums to support investment projects which allow the Centre and education and learning activities to develop. Our Fundraising Strategy focuses on raising sums for development projects, such as gallery upgrades, and relies on philanthropic support from trusts and foundations, individual donors, Patrons and sponsors.