Business Charity Awards 2015: Charity Partnership (Short-term) - EDF Energy with the British Science Association

For an outstanding partnership between a company and a charity that has lasted up to a year and a half

TV presenter and BSA ambassador Dallas Campbell (centre) leads the hunt for bumblebees
TV presenter and BSA ambassador Dallas Campbell (centre) leads the hunt for bumblebees

What was the partnership?

EDF Energy joined forces with the charity the British Science Association last summer to run a nationwide science experiment called the Big Bumblebee Discovery. Children were asked to count and classify bees in different environments across the country. The campaign was part of EDF Energy's citizen science initiative to inspire more than 100,000 children through experiments that addressed real scientific questions.

What did it do?

EDF generated media coverage, including a segment on CBBC's Newsround, and the BSA organised Bumblebee Discovery Days at venues such as the Oxford Natural History Museum. Children across the country signed up to observe lavender plants for a minimum of 10 minutes, and to record online the type and number of bumblebees that visited.

Why did it win?

The scheme engaged more than 30,000 children from more than 400 schools and provided an insight into the work of environmental scientists, particularly breaking down the view that science is only for men in white coats. The research achieved some unexpected results – more bumblebees were observed in urban than in suburban and rural locations. The results are considered of scientific importance and will be published in a scientific, peer-reviewed journal later this year.

What did the judges say?

Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, said: "The initiative helped to inspire the next generation of budding scientists, engaging a truly impressive number of schoolchildren."


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