Celebrating 20 Years at the Newton Partner Summit in Glasgow

06 Dec 2023

This year’s Newton Partner Summit took place at the Glasgow Science Centre, one of Scotland’s top visitor attractions. The event gathered our partners from 10 different countries, many of them leaders within the field of STEM education in their respective communities. This year’s summit was special as it marked the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Newton Concept, focusing on both our organisation’s past successes and our future impact.



To kick off this year’s Summit, partners were challenged with creating a historical timeline of the Newton Concept from Day 1. 

On the first day attendees were warmly greeted with a welcome address by Alysia Tofflemire, the Executive Director of newtonroom gGmbH, which set the tone for a day filled with insightful sessions and engaging activities. Everyone was then invited to immerse themselves in the 20-year journey of the Newton Concept by creating a human timeline highlighting key milestones between 1999 and the present day. As a wrap-up to the activity, the participants heard from Per-Arild Konradsen, Founder and CEO of FIRST Scandinavia, who reflected on the challenges and successes of his work over the last 20 years in building out the Newton Concept. “It was an honour for me to have the opportunity to speak in front of the Newton network, which is the mainstay of the Newton Concept internationally,” shares Per-Arild. “Reflecting on the past 20 years, I spoke about the most important success factors for the Newton Concept in any community — solid local ownership and local operational funding. These were two very inspiring days for me, and hopefully for our partners as well.”

The Newton Team provided an overview of the new openings and successful Mobile and Pop-Up Newton Room projects from the past year, including opening new classrooms in Azerbaijan, China, and Norway. Other significant milestones from the past year were also celebrated, including Newton International becoming the official education partner of CSR Europe and the unveiling of the updated brand identity.


Emma Plato, the STEM Engagement Manager at the Science Skills Academy, starts her engaging Pecha Kucha presentation in the Newton Room.

A particular highlight of this year’s summit was having partners share their experiences working with the Newton Concept. In celebration of the 20th anniversary, this year’s partner presentations were delivered in a new and engaging format with several of our partners invited to present in the format of a Pecha Kucha – 20 slides with 20 seconds each. According to Selvi Eren, the Newton Project Coordinator at the Science Heroes Association based in Istanbul, the knowledge exchange between partners during the Pecha Kucha was an important aspect of this year’s event. “I think the Pecha Kucha format allowed us to reflect the dynamic nature of the Newton Concept. With two Newton Rooms in Türkiye, we always have a lot going on,” she explains. “Sharing our challenges and successes with the network was important for us because it gave us a chance to share our part of the Newton story with others, and learn from their experiences too.” Jennifer Banks, the Science Learning Coordinator for the Newton Flight Academy at the Glasgow Science Centre, also delivered a Pecha Kucha at this year’s summit. "I really enjoyed the challenge of doing my first ever Pecha Kucha at this year’s summit. I have even offered to repeat it at an all-staff meeting to give the rest of my organisation greater insight into my role,” she says. “In my presentation, I was able to tell some of our success stories which highlight the importance of what we do, why we do it, and the positive impact we are making on our visitors’ lives."

During the first day, the partners also got to learn more about the Glasgow Science Centre and their operations. Specifically, they got to experience the GSC’s Newton Flight Academy firsthand by embarking on their own flight experience on the three full-motion flight simulators with the centre’s experienced Newton Flight Simulator Instructors. Attendees also got a comprehensive tour of the GSC, which offered insight into the centre’s impressive exhibition space and programming efforts. Stephen Breslin, CEO of Glasgow Science Centre, met with the group to share valuable insights into the centre’s partnership with the Newton team, highlighting the collaborative efforts in advancing STEM education. The day concluded with a visit to the Glasgow Science Centre’s Planetarium, where the local team provided the attendees with a unique celestial experience.  

The second day of the summit focused on shaping the future of STEM education and kicked off with discussions focused on key questions envisioning the next 20 years of STEM education, STEM careers, and the Newton Concept.


On Day 2, partners were invited to envision the next 20 years through an interactive hexagonal thinking workshop.

As part of this focus, a module demonstration was held by the Newton Education team, giving partners an interactive sneak peek at the content in the renewed Sustainable Aviation Fuels module. Covering topics of sustainability and energy consumption in the aviation industry, this module includes subject-matter expertise from key stakeholders from the Boeing Company, providing an excellent example of how education and industry can work together to maximise impact in the field of STEM. 

Partners participated in module activities from the newly updated Sustainable Aviation Fuels module, working together to bond glucose molecules.

Diving deeper into the challenges and opportunities of bringing together education and industry, this year’s summit also featured an engaging panel discussion on engaging industry partners for impact in STEM education, moderated by David Lakin from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and featuring Irene Paoletti from CSR Europe, Stuart Meiklejohn from the STEM Futures program at the Glasgow Science Centre, and Alysia Tofflemire, our Executive Director at newtonroom gGmbH. “As we mark two decades of the Newton Concept, our Partner Summit's panel discussion underscored the critical impact of industry collaboration in our field," says Alysia. “The session exemplified the pivotal role that our partners play in addressing real community challenges in skills and career preparation, enriching the Newton network, and enhancing STEM education. In the next 20 years, our continued collaboration with industry will be the driving force propelling the Newton Concept to greater heights around the world.”

The summit closed with an excellent workshop on fundraising and resource mobilization, led by Rosanna Moore, Senior Vice President of CCS Fundraising, a strategic fundraising consulting firm that partners with nonprofits for transformational change. Rosanna’s workshop offered partners valuable insights about the core fundamentals of fundraising, offering strategies to help support the Newton Concept's growth in communities of all sizes. “The workshop was perfectly timed for our organisation as we look to develop a sustainable funding model for our operations by securing funding from the private sector,” shares Emma Plato, the STEM Engagement Manager at the Science Skills Academy in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. “I am already using the processes and templates we covered as I approach and manage potential funders. Given her extensive experience, Rosanna was able to offer helpful insights, tips, and tricks for the challenges we are experiencing.”

The 2023 summit concluded with celebratory cupcakes, leaving everyone with a renewed sense of purpose and a shared vision for the future of the Newton Concept. Not only did this year’s event successfully celebrate the achievements of the past two decades, but it also set the stage for continued collaboration and innovation within the ever-evolving landscape of STEM education for the next 20 years – and beyond.


Partners from 10 countries gathered at the 2023 Newton Partner Summit to celebrate the Newton Concept’s 20th anniversary.