STEM Community Engagement with AstraZeneca

The AstraZeneca Amenities Hub located on Francis Crick Avenue in Cambridge is currently under construction and was surrounded by blank hoardings. This provided a fantastic opportunity to engage the local community in a fun STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) activity.

AstraZeneca teamed up last year with our Long Road Nursery and Preschool, which is set on the grounds of Addenbrookes Hospital, and created a hands-on STEM activity using the scientific method of Chromatography. The pre-schoolers made beautiful butterflies using coffee filters, felt tip pens and water, exploring and talking about how the colours changed.

AstraZeneca STEM Ambassadors joined the creative session at the nursery and helped the pre-schoolers create their butterflies.

This activity tied into the Bright Beginnings Curriculum which was introduced to all Bright Horizons nursery settings in England in 2020. ‘Exploring and Learning about my World’ was the focus of this creative session as the children explored the Lifecycle of a Butterfly. In addition to creating the butterflies, the children enjoyed listening to stories, other creative activities, and learnt new vocabulary associated with aspects of STEM.

Lisa King – UK STEM & Community Engagement Director (AstraZeneca) said: “It was great to get creative with the pre-schoolers located near to our new Headquarters. Using chromatography provided a fun STEM activity and making the butterflies linked in well with the wider learning objectives too. Their artwork now takes pride of place in giant form on the hoardings for our Amenities Hub.”

Caroline Wright, Director of Early Childhood at Bright Horizons said: “This was a really lovely opportunity to work with colleagues in the local community, and to share a very creative activity with our preschool children at Long Road. The practical hands-on nature of the session promoted confidence and intrigue and I’m confident that each child took a genuine love for learning from the experience.”