AN exciting project to inspire families to explore science has been launched in Widnes.

Catalyst Science Discovery Centre has been chosen as one of 10 science centres across the UK to deliver a project called Operation Earth.

Visitors will get the chance to watch a family show, be a scientist and have a go at interactive experiments.

Catalyst education manager Lucinda Lewis is dressing up in an earthy costume to encourage children to join in the fun during half term.

The project hopes more than 100,000 children and adults will engage in how environmental science affects our daily lives.

Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Sam Gyimah said:“The UK is a world leader in tackling climate change and through our Industrial and Clean Growth strategies we are committed to the development of low carbon technologies, like electric vehicles and smart energy systems, to improve our quality of life and help protect our planet.

“Operation Earth is a great opportunity for families to see the fantastic impact environmental science has on our lives and to inspire our next generation of world-leading scientists and researchers. I urge families from across the UK to visit their nearest participating science centre, get involved in some of the great activities and see for themselves this vitally important campaign in action.”

Chief executive and executive chair designate of the National Environment Research Council (NERC), Professor Duncan Wingham, said: “NERC science and researchers have been integral to developing Operation Earth and scientists local to each centre are involved.

"Visitors will be able to speak to people working on environmental science in their local area and understand the positive impact this research has on all of us”

The family show tells the tale of ‘Earthy’, our planet Earth costume character with its very own ice cap.

During the show visitors will be able to try their hand at a selection of hands-on activities specially designed for six to 11 year olds.

Children can investigate air quality and think about what they can do to improve it.

In another experiment they will have to try to spot as many different plants and animals as possible in our indoor meadow, before becoming a citizen scientist back home.

NERC in partnership with the Association for Science and Discovery Centres developed Operation Earth in collaboration with NERC researchers and three expert partners, the Natural History Museum, Dynamic Earth and the Eden Project.