Illuminating science

635. Frances Ling (Manchester)

Frances Ling is the founder of the innovative ‘Lightyear Foundation’ dedicated to giving children in the UK and Ghana the opportunity to explore the world around them through science.

As a volunteer in Ghana, science graduate Frances noticed that many children did not have access to quality science education.

She set up Lightyear Foundation, enabling the high school science curriculum to come to life through hands-on activities. Working with ‘Ignite!’, the Foundation’s ‘Lab_13’ project has established low cost science labs for children, run by children, with a ‘scientist in residence’ in two Ghanaian junior schools with links to 50 more.

Working in Manchester, in May Frances launched the ‘Sensory Science’ project in the UK, pairing scientists and artists to work in schools, engaging young people with learning disabilities with entertaining and creative science experiments.

In a personal letter to Frances, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“By creating the ‘Lightyear Foundation’ you have given children the opportunity to explore the world around them through science. The hands on approach you take brings science to life, supporting young people in Ghana and the UK to learn important new skills.”

Frances said:

“I am hugely honoured to receive the Prime Minister’s Point of Light award and share it with all of the incredible people – in the UK, Ghana and around the world – who have given their support to Lightyear over the last six years. Together, we have demonstrated that hands-on, creative science is accessible to all, unlocking young people’s innate scientific curiosity so they can explore, discover and find answer to the problems they see around them. I am excited to come together with other Point of Light recipients to share ideas, passions and energy for how collectively we can have an even greater impact.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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