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Met4Tech Launch Museum Exhibit at Xplore! Wrexham

by | Apr 17, 2024 | News | 0 comments


Brand new Interactive exhibition installation at Xplore! encourages visitors to learn more about critical minerals.

The public and local school children were given a fascinating new insight into how metals crucial for everyday technologies can be extracted, used and refurbished and recycled, through an innovative day of activities at Xplore! Science Discovery Centre.

A team of experts, featuring researchers from the University of Exeter, have created ‘The New Precious Metals’, Unearthing the Treasures in Our Everyday Tech’ exhibit, which has been installed at Xplore! Science Discovery Centre in Wrexham. The exhibit which opened on the 15th of April 2024 stands at around 3.5m in height allows visitors to try and solve the increasing demand for metal resources by either building more mines – or by repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing extracted precious metals. Participants will find out the scale of the demand for metals such as lithium, tin, and cobalt, as well as learn more about how technology metals make a big difference to everyday items such as phones and computers, as well as large-scale industry.

Frances Wall, Professor of Applied Mineralogy at the Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter said;

“The concepts of a circular economy supply chain stretch much further than just recycling at the end of life.

“A circular economy starts right from the beginning of a supply chain, from responsible extraction of resources, through thoughtful product design, operating through different business models and at the very end of the life of any product – be it a phone or a wind turbine – how to efficiently and effectively recycle the constituent parts with minimal environmental impact. 

“The team on Met4Tech have worked hard to make the new exhibit interactive and informative so visitors can be confident in what a circular economy for technology metals is and how they can play their part as we transition to net zero.” 

To launch the brand-new exhibit Plas Coch school were invited to Xplore! to experience the exhibit as well as take part in Xplore!’s new school workshop, Mine and Magnets. Originally funded by Less Common Metals, the interactive workshop is being rolled out to schools across the regional counties thanks to funding from Innovate UK.  This hands-on activities are designed to help primary school learners understand the importance of magnets in everyday items such as laptops, mobile phones, headphones, and speakers.

Katie Williams, Business Development Officer at Xplore! Science Discovery Centre said;

“ Xplore! is delighted to play host to a wonderful day of science engagement. The day which introduces a brand-new exhibit, one that perfectly fits in with Xplore!’s previous work with Less Common Metals, is a fantastic opportunity to engage the public and leaners from Ysgol Plas Coch in the importance of critical minerals and the wide range of ways that they are used.

We hope that in the coming weeks the brand new exhibit, in the walkway at Xplore!, will allow even more visitors to understand the importance of rare earth elements and the things they can do reduce, reuse and recycle.”

Elen Mostyn, Year 5/6 Teacher from Plas Coch school said;

“Our pupils have really enjoyed their day at Xplore! They thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of their visit including the new exhibit and the Mine to Magnets workshop.”

“Our pupils have certainly left with a greater understanding of how magnets are made as well as well as the importance of the circular economy and recycling. The day has really connected to what we are doing in lessons with school and has been an excellent opportunity for some learning outside of the classroom”

To further celebrate the day Xplore! also played host to Repair Cafe Wrecsam. Repair Cafes are free events where volunteers give their time and skills to try and fix broken items, often in return for a donation. Items can include electricals, laptops, bicycles, clothes, bags, household textiles, jewellery, toys, small furniture and more.

Their mission, born out of increasing public concern over the Climate Emergency and a wish to take practical local steps to reduce carbon emissions, is to stop items going to landfill, to share skills and to create a sense of community, and so far, there are over 100 locations across Wales.

Find out more about Met4Tech’s Outreach Programme.



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