The Josh Award is the UK's national award in STEM communication.
It was established to recognise and encourage talented practitioners who are in the early stages of their professional career, to pursue innovation and creativity in science communication and engagement.
The award has been run in conjunction with Manchester Science Festival since 2007. Submissions for 2020 will open in March. Check back soon for more information.
The 2019 Josh Award was won by Frederike Gerstner and Ben Nicholson, who brought their show The Juggling of Science to the museum for our October half-term holiday programme.
The show combines Fred's experience of performing and choreographing juggling shows with Ben's background of engineering, using the technical juggling training of both performers. It contains topics studied as part of the secondary school syllabus, using juggling and a voiceover soundtrack to visually illustrate scientific ideas. Ben and Fred juggle balls and rings to show atoms and molecules. There’s even a section on the upcoming and eco-friendly technology of the hydrogen fuel cell.
Read Ben and Fred's post on the museum blog to find out more.
Mat started communicating science during his PhD at Cardiff University, developing various VR and AR platforms to do so. His Josh Award project used tactile and interactive activities, designed to be suitable for use by people with visual impairments, to describe astrophysics.
"[Manchester Science Festival] was an amazing experience for me and one that I'm very proud to have been a part of... I'm even more passionate about developing resources and activities for visually impaired people than I was before, if that's possible!
"I've always wanted to work on organising a science festival. I can now say that I'm leading a team of volunteers who are restarting Cardiff Science Festival! I learnt a huge amount [at Manchester Science Festival], which I'm hoping will help us shape the festival and make it a success. This is something that I'm really passionate about, so I'm very excited to see where it leads to."
In 2017, science rapper Jon Chase won the Josh Award. Jon is a BBC Bitesize science presenter and has produced science raps for the BBC, Channel 4 Learning and NASA, amongst others. He is also an author, having recently co-written a book about the science of Star Wars, as well as a soon-to-be-released book on the science of Harry Potter.
His event, Hip Hop Science Stop Weekender, brought street and urban science to life with visitors getting hands-on with graffiti walls and turntables. He put on special performances for families, featuring a selection of his own raps and showcased science raps from around the globe. Visitors also learned how they could use everyday objects and waste materials such as straws, paper and string to do simple science experiments at home.
Local mathematician Dr Katie Steckles won the 2016 Josh Award.
She turned the museum into a giant hand-made, crowd-sourced image during the festival. Her winning application had visitors helping to colour thousands of individual 'pixels' that would make up a picture in one of the museum's windows, representing how digital devices such as computers, tablets and phones display images.
The project also looked at the mathematics behind how devices store images as a series of numbers that create the different colours on screen. There was also a close-up look at the pixels in phone screens, and a photo booth that transformed visitors into an Excel spreadsheet of colour values.
In 2015, Andy Miah brought a drone expo to the museum. The Revolution Manchester gallery was taken over as a fly zone for drones. People had a go at flying a drone to see how they actually fly and found out more about what drones can be used for.
Andy Miah is the chair of science communication at the University of Salford.
2014: Sarah Bearchell
2013: Aravind Vijayaraghavan
2011: Matt Parker
2010: Steve Cross
2009: David Price
2008: Karen Bultitude
2007: Chris Smith