Issuu on Google+

Diversity in Public Engagement

A compendium of case studies highlighting excellence in engaging diverse publics with the sciences

A product of the Science for All follow-up group

In partnership with:

1


Organisation

Project Name

Keyword(s)

Page

Beacon for Wales

Ruthin: Sustainable market town of the future

British Science Association

Chemistry in British Sign Language

Chemistry, deaf groups

4

British Science Association

Community xchange

BAME groups

21

Eden project

Great Day Out

Homeless groups, offenders, biology

43

Glasgow Science Festival

Govan Science Shuffle

Institute of Physics

Spooky Science

Physics, families

12

Manchester Beacon

Climate-Change Testimonies from Refugees

Environment, BAME groups

26

Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh

Healing in the Woods

Biology, BAME groups

59

Royal Observatory Edinburgh

Dark Sky Scotland

Community project, astronomy

65

Science Museum

Audience-led programme

BAME groups, cocuration

73

Science Museum

Science Museum Outreach: Prisons

Offenders, families

7

Techniquest

National DNA Database on Trial

Science policy, crime, young people

78

Thinktank

Apprenticeships

NEETs, young people

46

Thinktank

Open Weekends

UKRC

The S-Factor

Community, science and gender

16

Various

National BioBlitz

Nature, citizen science

93

W5

Science in hospital

Young people, disability groups

83

31

36

55

2


Wellcome Trust

Guerrilla Science

Adults, music festivals

50

Science Shop Wales

Community,

39

Climate Camps

Community, environment

88

3


Project Title

Chemistry Show in British Sign Language

Name

Pamela Buchan

Organisation

British Science Association

Email

pam.buchan@bri tishscienceassoci ation.org

Website

www.britishscienceassociation.org/northofen gland

The project When did the project run? We have run events at Manchester Science Festival in 2008 and 2010 and at Newcastle ScienceFest 2009. Who were the main participants? How many were involved? The Chemistry Shows in BSL are delivered by two deaf people who were involved in a project developing a science glossary in BSL coordinated by the Scottish Sensory Centre in Edinburgh. In 2008 we also delivered a talk about the development of the glossary and the project itself which was mostly delivered by a hearing person who is a researcher at the centre. The audience has been a mix of hearing and deaf members of the public. What did you do? 2008: We put on a Chemistry show delivered in BSL and translated into English orally and by an electronic note taker. It formed a part of the Manchester Science Festival and was aimed at improving accessibility to a hard to reach audience. The event was fairly successful with an audience of around 40 people which was enormously diverse not just in ability but also in age and ethic origin. I have never experienced such as diverse audience at a public science event. On the same day we held a second event which was a talk focused on the linguistics and challenges of developing a science glossary in BSL. 2009: The Chemistry Show was delivered again publicly at Newcastle University as part of the Newcastle ScienceFest. In addition to this event the team also went to a Newcastle deaf school and performed the show there also for the school audience. 2010: Once again we brought the same team back to Manchester Science Festival for the Chemistry Show. Since the first show in 2008 the presenters have been developing the show to be more of a performance with two characters and some new experiments. They have been taking this show out more as part of their regular activity. They performed the new show which was translated into English (a separate translator for each of the two characters). This time we got 80 people and again an even split of hearing and deaf people in the audience. The overall composition was a little less diverse than in 2008 in terms of ethnic origin but the age range was still very broad. Where did you do it? 2008: Performed in the lecture theatre at MOSI.

4


2009: Performed at Newcastle University and at a local deaf school. 2010: Performed at the Chemistry department of Manchester University. NB. The University locations reflect a partnership with the Chemistry department at that University who supplied reagents and equipment for free. The on site location was much easier logistically than transporting the equipment around the city. Why did you do it? What was your motivation for developing this project? The first event came about after a colleague of mine mentioned a newspaper article about the BSL science glossary project. As an organization one of our aims is to make science accessible to all and I was on the lookout for something to do at Manchester Science Festival so I tracked down the research team and got in touch. They were very keen to do something for us. They wanted to get the glossary out to local deaf people and also their funding was coming to an end so it was an opportunity to do more and promote the glossary. My main motivation was to make science more accessible to a hard to reach group. I have a personal interest in BSL as a language and feel that the format of many public science events is particularly inaccessible to completely deaf people. It felt that it should be relatively straight forward to translate an event for a deaf audience; or in this case deliver an event for a deaf audience but translate it for a hearing one.

Logistics How did you recruit your participants? How was it advertised? The events were promoted through the respective festival literature and websites and our own organization mailings and website. Our presenters also used their own networks for deaf people to support promotion. It’s a fairly well connected community once you can find your way in initially. What were the barriers to designing and/or running this activity? The biggest barrier is cost. Translators are expensive. Other barriers include identifying a venue suitable for a deaf audience (for example access for audience members to come to the front to ask questions); recruiting translators skilled enough to cope with the specialist language (oral and signed); identifying and gaining access, as a hearing person, to the main networks for promotion. Did you carry out any evaluation? If so, how and what were the results? At both MSF events we monitored audience composition. At the 2010 event we took informal feedback (write your comments on a post it!) which was overwhelmingly positive from deaf and hearing alike. The only negative comment was a request that we have a translator for each character, which we actually did! What resources were required for the project? Each MSF event cost in the region of £600. This covered expenses and accommodation for the presenters (coming from Scotland) and translators/note takers. We paid staff hire for the

5


venue in 2010. We would have needed more funding had we not received support in kind from the local University in provision of chemicals and equipment and time! The presenters had no payment for their work.

Outcomes What worked well? The diversity of the audience was the most striking outcome and everyone seems to enjoy the event. There is a lovely atmosphere at the events with everyone joining in to do the new signs. What did you learn from this project? What would you change if you did it again? I’d like it to be bigger and better! I’d like to expand the project by allowing more events at the festival to be translated rather than necessarily putting on more specially formulated events. Ideally such festivals should have a core programme of events translated for accessibility. I’d like to be better able to cope with promotion which has consistently been a bit of a struggle. It would be great to have some external funding for a programme of events though I don’t have time to research and apply for any. What are your top tips for anyone thinking about a similar activity? (As many as you can) It’s crucial to have deaf people involved in the event. Besides the event being delivered by deaf people I absolutely could not have learnt what we needed to do to make the event accessible nor have had access to contacts to help with recruitment of translators and to promote the event. There’s a lot to think about, especially for the first event when it’s all new, so make a good list of all the different people to hire and factors to consider when choosing venues etc. Budget well in advance to make sure you have sufficient funding. Hire enough translators – they can’t do it for longer than an hour without changing over – and consider their comfort by supplying chairs, water, audio equipment etc. Please attach any photos from the event or quotes from participants (if you are happy to share them)

6


Project Name

Science Museum outreach – Inmates of the Holloway and Pentonville Prisons

Name

Tracey Letts

Organisation

Science Museum Outreach Team

Email

tracey.letts@sciencemuseum.org.uk

Website

www.sciencemus eum.org.uk/outre ach

The project When did the project run? Started in May 2009 and is on-going. Who were the main participants? How many were involved? Inmates and their families of Holloway and Pentonville Prisons and London South bank University. Holloway Prison, we worked with inmates and their children. On average we work with 25 inmates and 60 children of a variety of ages, within each session. Pentonville Prison, we worked with inmates and their families. On average we work with 27 inmates, 27 adults and 55 children of a variety of ages, within each session. What did you do? Holloway Prison: The Program was a trial made up of a 3-tiered program. First, we hosted a day at the science museum for families with relatives serving a prison sentence at Holloway. After a meet and greet the families watched a science show. The group then had lunch and were taken on a tour of the temporary exhibition, Wallace and Gromit. The children were given goody bags and the rest of the day was free for them to explore the museum Secondly, we ran a Kitchen Science Workshop with the Mothers in Holloway prison. The workshop looks at simple experiments that can be done at home in a kitchen. The aim of this workshop was primarily to build the confidence of the mothers by teaching them new skills. It also taught them some basic scientific concepts and enabled them to do some experiments with their children on the next Family Day and when they get out. Finally, we ran an activity day in the prison on their Family Day with both Mothers and their children. The outreach team delivered two workshops. The first workshop was hot-air balloons. In this workshop the mothers and children make hot-air balloons and launch them. The second workshop was Slime Time. In this the mothers and children made their own slime. After the trial we decide to only run the 3rd part of the program, the family day. As giving an

7


afternoon of workshops to both the children and inmates seemed to promote family learning. The next prison we visited was Pentonville. Pentonville Prison: The family day session that was run had different workshops owing to different restrictions in the prison. The first workshop was Slime Time, here the fathers, mothers/cares and their children made their own slime. The second workshop was Mission to Mars, in this workshop we created our own rockets and launched them. Where did you do it? Except for the first part of the trial program, which took place in the Science Museum, all other sessions took place in the prisons. Why did you do it? What was your motivation for developing this project? Initially the Science Museum Outreach Team was approached by South Bank University to work in Holloway prison. The attraction of this was that this was an audience we had never worked with before and it seemed like a challenge. We had a few outcomes which led to more prison work being taken on: •

The team worked with a new and diverse audience

• The audience’s perception of a museum is that they are boring, dull and you have to be well educated to learn or appreciate anything in there. The team broke down these barriers and changed the perception of what a museum is. • The museum outreach staff had the opportunity to have a positive influence on people’s lives and had the opportunity to become role models. It was a rewarding experience for them. •

The team encouraged a desire to learn in an audience that find it difficult.

• The feedback was that we had inspired family learning in an interactive and fun way, allowing barriers to be broken down and bonds to be built between parent and child.

Logistics How did you recruit your participants? How was it advertised? The Family Learning Division of LLU+ at London South Bank University received a grant from the Big Lottery Fund to work with inmates and their families. LLU+ approached us to work with them and deliver science based sessions. What were the barriers to designing and/or running this activity?

8


All the workshops we took into the prisons are well established workshops that have been tried and tested for many years. However working in the different prisons, we have had to be both flexible with time and what props we could use. Going into a prison, you are confronted with a lot of regulation and restrictions. Some of these regulations and restrictions involve computers/memory sticks, no glass, no sharp/metal objects, nothing that would or could make a key impression, no scissors, to name a few. Due to the way are workshops of run, we had to rethink what props were taken and we had to think of alternatives to using laptops? Once all the regulations and restrictions were known and the prison was well informed on what we were bringing in, the days ran as smoothly as can be expected. Working with the inmates at the start of the program had its own set of barriers, At first, the inmates were a bit reluctant to get involved. They were sceptical about why we were there; they believed we were only there to tick boxes. However once they saw that we were there to help them learn new skills, to work together with their children and have fun at the same time, everyone got involved. Did you carry out any evaluation? If so, how and what were the results? LLU+ has been carrying out an on-going evaluation of the program and has provided us with some quotes. These are quotes from the inmates in Pentonville: • “These have been the two best days since I been in prison. It’s the only time I feel close to my son. It makes me cry but its brilliant.” •

“This was a very nice visit for adult and children to bond together.”

“A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. Actually forgot where I was. Thank you.”

• “Family day from you was fantastic. Coming to the prison is hard enough but you made it enjoyable.” •

“Thank you very much, we had a great afternoon and it is much appreciated.”

Quotes from officers • “Fathers may feel they have an excellent opportunity to bond with their children for a short time in a relaxed atmosphere. The overall impact may have a really positive result in the long term.” • “This was a very positive and enjoyable family day due to the programmes presented and the overall interaction.” •

“Very positive impact. Hopefully this impact will aid their re-offending behaviour.”

• “It helps the fathers bond with their families. Helps them build and maintain relationships." What resources were required for the project? Workshops that are adaptable to the regulations and restrictions of the prison. Having staff who are open minded, flexible and enthusiastic.

9


Outcomes What worked well? All the workshops were a great hit amongst the inmates, children and prison staff. The more fun and interactive the workshop the better the response from the inmates and their families. What did you learn from this project? What would you change if you did it again? We learnt that when working in prisons it helps to be very flexible and thick skinned. We changed from three sessions to one session to make it logistically easier for the team and for the prisons What are your top tips for anyone thinking about a similar activity? (As many as you can) ·

Allow a lot of time to sort out the regulation and restrictions that will be imposed upon you by the prison

·

Pre-visit the venue, as every prison will have different restrictions, e.g. the venue may have bolted down furniture, or the ceiling may be very low.

·

Do as the prison stuff instruct, they are the experts and will be of great help in making the day run smoothly

·

Ensure all staff visiting the prison have a valid passport

·

Always arrive at least 2 hours before you are due to start, this will ensure that you have plenty of time to get thought security

·

Know your contact person in the prison; ensure they know who is coming with you, what you will be bringing (everything even down to the pen) and what time you will be there.

·

On your visit leave behind your camera, ipod, USB sticks etc, it will make your life easier

·

Go in with an open mind.

Please attach any photos from the event or quotes from participants (if you are happy to share them) Unfortunately, no photos are allowed to be taken in prison, so we do not have any photographic evidence. Quotes from the inmates in Pentonville: Did you enjoy all the activities? Which ones did you enjoy the most and why? •

“All of them. They got everyone involved together”

• “Making rockets. Because I liked seeing my son smiling and having fun launching them.”

10


What did you learn about your children whilst taking part in the activities? •

“They love Science.”

“That my daughter can read and write.”

What do you feel your children learnt from taking part in the activities with you? • “We’re close. Giving opportunity to be normal like at home. You can’t do that on a normal visit.” Are there any other comments you would like to make? • “These have been the two best days since I been in prison. It’s the only time I feel close to my son. It makes me cry but its brilliant.” •

“A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. Actually forgot where I was. Thank you.”

• “Family day from you was fantastic. Coming to the prison is hard enough but you made it enjoyable.” Quotes from officers • “Fathers may feel they have an excellent opportunity to bond with their children for a short time in a relaxed atmosphere. The overall impact may have a really positive result in the long term.” • “This was a very positive and enjoyable family day due to the programmes presented and the overall interaction.” •

“Very positive impact. Hopefully this impact will aid their re-offending behaviour.”

• “It helps the fathers bond with their families. Helps them build and maintain relationships."

Comments Please share any further comments If you have an opportunity to work with inmates and their families, take it. It may be challenging but ultimately it is a very rewarding experience.

11


Project Name

Spooky Science

Name

Caitlin Watson

Organisation

Institute of Physics

Email

caitlin.watson@iop.org

Website

www.physics.org www.iop.org

The project When did the project run? Spooky Science was first developed for October 2008 and, after minor amendments, ran throughout 2009. An updated version with new experiments ran during 2010. Who were the main participants? How many were involved? Spooky Science is a partnership between the Institute of Physics and Butlins Holiday Resorts. The audience are holiday makers at all three of the Butlins resorts in the UK. Over the course of the project, around 50,000 people will have seen the show. What did you do? Spooky Science is a science show that combines physics and entertainment to produce a science show that appeals to a family audience on holiday. The show was developed by members of the Physics in Society team at the Institute of Physics and entertainment staff at Butlins. The show is performed by Redcoats (Butlins staff) after training by the IOP. The show is backed up by content on our website (www.physics.org/spooky-science). All attendees were given a sticker with the web address on and prompted by the Redcoats to visit the site to find out more about what they’d seen. Where did you do it? The show has been performed at the three Butlins resorts in Bognor Regis, Minehead and Skegness. Why did you do it? What was your motivation for developing this project? We (the Institute of Physics) wanted to reach people in the socio-economic groups C2DE who wouldn’t normally seek out physics or science activities, i.e. they wouldn’t go to science centres or similar. We also wanted to work in partnership so as to create a sustainable activity that wasn’t reliant on IOP staff for continued delivery. Working with Butlins allowed us access to the audience we wanted to reach and also a delivery mechanism that is sustainable and works well for both partners.

Logistics

12


How did you recruit your participants? How was it advertised? The show was an advertised part of Butlins’ ‘school’s out’ entertainment programme and as such holidaymakers were made aware of the show through Butlins’ marketing materials. There were also on site posters and the Redcoats talked to holidaymakers about it. We had an agreement with Butlins about the level of marketing that they would undertake. What were the barriers to designing and/or running this activity? Working in partnership with a commercial organisation was a steep learning curve. Butlins’ agenda was often not the same as ours and compromises had to be made. We also had to build Butlins’ confidence in the IOP. Before they would commit resources, they needed to clear that we were serious and that we were able to produce something that fitted in with their priority for entertainment. In addition, Butlins had a tendency to change their minds and move the goal posts at very short notice. The venues the show has been performed in are surprisingly low tech and we had to work hard to show that science demos could be done safely in them. Butlins staff also had slightly unrealistic ideas about what was feasible given the available resources. Did you carry out any evaluation? If so, how and what were the results? During the first run in October 2008, an independent evaluation was carried out to see what worked, what could be improved and what messages the audience were taking away with them. The following is an extract from the evaluation report’s executive summary (full evaluation report available on request): “People who attended the Spooky Science activities were unanimously positive and made comments such as: • ‘Fantastic.’ • ‘Excellent – superb.’ • ‘Loved it.’ • ‘Really good for the kids.’ • ‘Kids loved it.’ • ‘Fabulous. Very educational. Lovely to see something educational for a change.’ It encouraged families to talk about the activities immediately after the events. 68% of people responding to an online survey a few weeks later said they had continued to discuss Spooky Science. People talked about very specific science (cognitive or content and knowledge) aspects of the show, ‘My kids enjoyed watching the man’s head getting bigger after focusing on the spinning wheal [sic] they talked about it on the journey home’ as well as the more general (affective or attitudinal) aspects of the experience, ‘We loved all of the experiments’. The Spooky Science activities motivated people to follow up their interest both within families, ‘We have looked at a diagram of a Van de Graaff generator in one of my Physics books’ and in the wider context of their children’s education, ‘She told her teacher about it at school’.” The evaluation made a series of recommendations which were implemented before the second run in 2009. Informal evaluation over the course of the project has shown that both Butlins and the

13


Institute of Physics have gained from the project as well as audience members. IOP has been able to reach large numbers of a specific audience in a sustainable way that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to and Butlins are keen to be associated with a learned society and have something in their entertainment programme that can be seen as being ‘educational’. The continuing feedback from the audience is that they enjoy the show and appreciate having an activity that is not just about singing or dancing. What resources were required for the project? Staff time and patience were the resources that were most in demand. The budget (excluding staff time) was set at £200 per venue per year. IOP paid for Institute staff time and Butlins paid for props and sets for the venues and Butlins staff time (including the performers’ time). This represents a significant investment by Butlins and reflects their confidence in the project.

Outcomes What worked well? Sharing the development of the show and each partner playing to their strengths. IOP know about physics and how to explain things clearly. Butlins know what their audience likes and how to make things entertaining for them. The show itself is a success and works well in the context of Butlins. The show played to full houses showing there is a demand for this sort of activity. What did you learn from this project? What would you change if you did it again? Working in partnership, especially with a commercial organisation can be time consuming and needs compromise and flexibility. We are continuing to work with Butlins and are developing a new show for the 2011 holiday season. We have learnt to be very clear about deadlines and who is doing what. We are also clear in our own minds where we are willing to compromise and what is non-negotiable (in the case of Spooky Science we refused to have the Redcoats dress up in lab coats and glasses like mad scientists). What are your top tips for anyone thinking about a similar activity? (As many as you can) Don’t be afraid to approach an organisation you’d like to work with. The press office is often a good place to start if you don’t know who to talk to. Have a clear idea of what you can offer and what you want to achieve, but be prepared to be flexible to accommodate the other partner’s agenda. Take advice from people who know your target audience well. Spend time at the venue, watching what the audience react well to and finding out what they expect. Commercial organisations can be very last minute and expect things to be done NOW. If you don’t/can’t work like that, be clear about your deadlines and what you need when. Chase for information/replies to emails etc and don’t be afraid to say no. Be patient.

14


Know where you are happy to compromise and what is sacrosanct. Please attach any photos from the event or quotes from participants (if you are happy to share them)

‘Really good – funny but really educational.’ ‘Good – quite informative as well as fun.’ ‘It learned me a lot because I didn’t know any of that stuff. I don’t really like science.’ [sic] ‘I had no idea that something so seemingly daunting as physics (I have bad memories from my school days) could be approached in such a fun way’. ‘It was different, unusual, enjoyable, we loved it.’ One attendee asked if they were interested in science said ‘No, not really – there is nothing worse than boring science but this makes it exciting’. Another said ‘not really – but that made it better’.

Comments Please share any further comments We view our relationship with Butlins as an investment and a long term partnership. We have had to build up trust (on both sides) slowly and get to know each other, but the time spent has been well worth it. We have developed an on-going and sustainable project that both partners are proud of and which has a real impact on the target audience. None of this would have come about if we hadn’t taken a chance on phoning Butlins and asking for a meeting to discuss opportunities.

15


Project Name

The S-Factor

Name

Ruth Wilson

Organisation

The UKRC

Email

r.wilson@theukrc.org

Website

www.theukrc.org

The project When did the project run? October 2008 – March 2009 Who were the main participants? How many were involved? The S Factor was a partnership run by the UKRC with the Museum of Science and Industry (Manchester); the Thackray Museum (Leeds); Otley Science Festival; South Leeds Community Radio and Vera Media (Leeds). The participants were adults of all ages, with a focus on people who had had little or no science education or experience. They often brought children with them. More than a thousand people took part. What did you do? The project ran a variety of lively and enjoyable science events for the public: radio phoneins, public debates with high-profile figures, interactive science workshops on topical issues, a comedy show and science Q and A sessions in café settings.

At the same time, the project was a chance for the organisations involved to learn, through sharing new ideas on ways to get adults interested in science and –through gender equality training run by the UKRC, gaining a better understanding of why women are still underrepresented within science and how they can make a difference through the work they do.

In addition, 20 women scientist were trained in media and public speaking skills, and were invited to take part in the S Factor events, often their first experience behind the microphone. We finished with a seminar for all the partners and other interested organisations where we shared our experience and achievements. Where did you do it? The S Factor events took place in community centres, science museums and science festivals. Some of the locations, such as Wythenshaw and Beeston, were in areas of multiple deprivation. Why did you do it? What was your motivation for developing this project? Our aim was to engage adults with science, and give them opportunities to be inspired – in

16


particular, people who had had limited exposure to science education. We also wanted to forge a new partnership of organisations, one that would stimulate new ideas and lead to useful sharing of experience. And we wanted to make sure that gender equality was on the agenda, through training and profiling women scientists, and through sharing expertise across the partnership.

Logistics How did you recruit your participants? How was it advertised? Each event was marketed by the lead organisation and others as appropriate. Word of mouth and locality-based marketing was important (leaflets, radio, posters) but we also used new media, a project blog/website and other channels. We ran some events hand in hand with other local activities already in place, and this also helped us build audience. What were the barriers to designing and/or running this activity? The partners were spread out – in Manchester and West Yorkshire – and we could not meet as often as we might. The funding allocation came in late, and this delayed our start date. In areas of high deprivation it was additionally important to work closely with local community organisations to reach and build audience, and deliver events that people enjoyed and wanted to repeat. Did you carry out any evaluation? If so, how and what were the results? We asked participants to feedback on individual sessions, and conducted an evaluation among the partners at the end. We found that there was a high level of satisfaction with the events, with many people (particularly in the areas of multiple deprivation) saying they had not been to such events before and would like to have more. We found that timing events in afternoons and early evenings is great for family audiences, and questionnaires are a hit, especially if incentivised with a raffle – so is interactive hand held voting to engage the audience in debates. What resources were required for the project? In addition to the grant from the Learning Revolution Transformation Fund (Department of Business, Innovation and Skills) we required a range of resources from partner organisations, such as networks, marketing channels and material, venues, shows and expertise.

Outcomes

17


What worked well? The overall partnership approach was a success, strengthening the project throughout its duration, and ensuring lessons learned were carried forward in the individual organisations. The focus on gender equality was managed extremely well, embedded into the delivery of the project rather than overtly showcased throughout. The emphasis was on popular science, but behind this we were able to promote equality and diversity and train women scientists in communication skills so they could continue to act as role models. The variety of events was a success. We were able to reach differing audiences with different kinds of content, and this meant some participants came to more than one event. Our communications with external audiences were very strong, including a survey, new media and radio profile. What did you learn from this project? What would you change if you did it again? We learnt that: Science is engaging Community groups appreciate talking about something new, not commonplace topics such as crime or litter. People are inspired by interesting science events and want more. Tweeting, blogging and on-line surveys help spread the word. Partnership brings extra benefits A sparky and focused partnership can achieve a lot in a short time. Big museums and small community organisations both face the same issue: getting more and different people through the door. Bringing big names into local communities is great for community esteem. Partners provide new audiences, new contacts, including for speakers. Provide as many chances to share knowledge as possible. Timing is key If the grant award is made late, shortened timescales have lots of knock-on effects. Running a shorter project means it builds momentum just when it is coming to an end. If we did the project again: We would hope for earlier funding, and the possibility to apply for follow-on funding at the end, to continue to develop a successful model.

18


There is little otherwise that we would change. It was a great success. What are your top tips for anyone thinking about a similar activity? (As many as you can) Form relationships with local community organisations that work long-term with the audiences you want to reach. Work hard to get media interest in events like these as it’s not an easy nut to crack. Get marketing out early – if timescale is shortened this can be problematic. Use lots of ways to advertise – ‘pupil post’ to primary schools, door-to-door leafleting, event literature. Free tickets can be counterproductive – some people won’t turn up! Make as much as possible of online marketing – blog, twitter, vodcast and podcast. Think about the equality and diversity agenda, in particular ensuring that women are spokespeople for science as well as men. Build this in to your programme from the outset. Enjoy what partnership can bring, including the surprises! Please attach any photos from the event or quotes from participants (if you are happy to share them) Photos under separate cover. Quotes from participants at S Factor events: ‘Fun but serious.’ ‘Down to earth, interesting and fun.’ ‘Easy to understand, clear explanations.’ ‘Taking part and watching people be happy.’ ‘Good food, good venue and interesting speakers –w what more could we want?’ ‘Excellent event, sound reasoning.’ ‘Helps people from different cultural backgrounds living in a community come together.’ ‘The presentation was first class.’ ‘Spoken in language we could understand.’ Comments from the partners on the gender equality training: ‘Very useful to review the current situation regarding women in SET and I welcome the idea of community based science events.’ ‘One of the best training sessions I’ve attended, good mix of practical activities.’

19


Other comments from the partners: ‘I firmly believe that everybody is open to learning. It’s not so much about ‘talent’ than about encouraging someone to find their own way of learning – which is what the S Factor was all about. I think it is important that more girls are encouraged to take up science in school and beyond – and if my museum can help make it happen, that’ll make me proud.’ Almut Gruner, Chief Executive, Thackray Museum, Leeds ‘The S Factor has been good news for us. We have found new audiences and new ways of engaging with the community. Furthermore, we have found new partners in science and the local region that will allow us to grow as a popular science festival.’ Marty Jopson, Otley Science Festival Organiser ‘Most people here have had nothing to do with science since they were at school, and many had little or no science education even then. Yet the S factor events have been met with enormous enthusiasm. Profiling women in science has been particularly rewarding.’ Al Garthwaite, Director, South Leeds Community Radio and Vera Media

Comments Please share any further comments To find out more, view a video, link to the partner organisations and download the S Factor booklet, visit: http://www.theukrc.org/about-us/our-projects/the-s-factor For gender equality training and support, contact the UKRC: info@theukrc.org

20


Project Name

Community x-change

Name

Alice Taylor-Gee

Email

Alice.taylorgee@britishscien ceassociation.or g

Organisation

British Science Association

Website

http://www.britis hscienceassocia tion.org/web/Sci enceinSociety/P ast_projects/co mmunity_xchange/_comm unity_xchange.htm

The project When did the project run? July 2005 – July 2008 Who were the main participants? How many were involved? The project was a partnership between the British Science Association (known as the BA at the time) and PEALS (the Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Centre) in Newcastle. The participants consisted mainly of adults who do not normally take part in science events, as well as a few scientists local to the area, and community leaders. This included those who are from black and ethnic minorities, those who had recently left prison, those who do not speak English and those that had a disability. It reached 105 people directly through the events plus approx. 1100 through other linked events such as the roll out events. What did you do? We ran a series of deliberative workshops in East Anglia and Liverpool. In each region, the citizens met for four full days spread over 3 weekends within a period of around 6 weeks. The workshops were all held in community venues. The workshops were facilitated by members of the project team with other invited contributors. The first series of community x-changes took place in East Anglia and focused on the topic of environmental change, as well as other issues of local concern. The 2nd series of community x-changes tool place in Liverpool and focused on health and related science issues. Project staff guided participants through a structured deliberation process that allowed them to discuss each other’s perspectives and evidence from a range of information providers.

21


Scientists and non-scientists took part on an equal footing. Each brought different experiences and knowledge to the process. Workshops gave the opportunity for reflection with friends and colleagues by all participants between sessions. This also gave time for the project team to reflect on the process. A video report was produced by the participants at the workshops. Where did you do it? The project took place in 2 locations – East Anglia in 2006 and Liverpool in 2008. A range of other public events, linked to this project took place across the UK, including in Edinburgh, Cardiff and the East Midlands. Why did you do it? What was your motivation for developing this project? The community x-change was originally conceived in 2004, partly as a response to the government’s 10-year Science and Innovation Investment Framework and the formation of Sciencewise, a government programme to bring scientists, government and the public together to explore the impact of science and technology on our lives. The project also emerged from a desire within the British Science Association to further explore the concept of public dialogue. The Association’s Delivering Inclusion in Science Communication (DISC) project in 2004/5 looked at the barriers between black and minority ethnic communities and science communicators. Some work had resulted from collaborations as part of this project and the community x-change offered the chance to build on this learning.

Logistics How did you recruit your participants? How was it advertised? Participants in the East Anglia workshops came through two approaches. Some were invited through contacts with local community groups developed by snowball recruitment techniques. Others responded to a mail out using the electoral role. Evaluation showed that the workshops were greatly enjoyed by all however it was clear that more investment needed to be made in the local community approach to give the process legitimacy. Therefore, when the next set of workshops was run in Liverpool, a local community engagement worker was employed. Links were established with three groups - the Pakistan Association Liverpool, the Al-Ghazali Multi-cultural Centre and the Somali Women’s Group. All workshop attendees came through personal invitations to these community groups. In both locations, a small group of scientists, about ten in each case, volunteered from local research institutions. To recruit the scientists, a flyer was made that was emailed to the local universities and given out during an ‘open session’. The idea of this session was for scientists interested in taking part in the dialogue to come and meet the organisers, find out more about the project and ask any questions they had about it. What were the barriers to designing and/or running this activity?

22


We found it challenging working with marginalised groups as it was very time consuming and resource heavy. Finding the right contact to reach participants was a challenge so when we ran the 2nd series of workshops we employed an outreach worker to help recruit participants. The project found that engaging with policymakers in a meaningful way was a hard task. Whilst some links were made with individuals, it quickly became clear that with no policy champion in the national arena, the project would struggle to make an impact. Did you carry out any evaluation? If so, how and what were the results? Following the first phase of the project in East Anglia we decided to have an externallymediated review process. It became apparent towards the end of the East Anglia phase that for subsequent phases of the project to build effectively on learning from the first phase, a review would be extremely valuable. The reviewers read all the reports and diaries, viewed the video and raw footage, interviewed 21 members of the project team and the participants, and held a focus group discussion in Norwich with five participants. Although the sample was small and unrepresentative, it was clear that the workshops were enjoyed by most participants and that most had found the experience interesting and engaging and commented favourably about the wide range of people who came from very different backgrounds. Some participants, however, would have liked more clarity about the purpose behind the workshops. The organisers also learnt about themselves and working with project partners; that working with others requires sensitivity and openness to the views, perspectives and attitudes expressed. What resources were required for the project? A grant was awarded by Sciencewise which was bolstered by a People Award from the Wellcome Trust and an award from the Defra Climate Challenge fund. The Wellcome Trust was interested in what the participants felt about animals in research and GM food, and Defra was interested in finding out about what the public thought about climate change. All participants were paid 拢35 for each day they attended, as a thank you for giving up their time during a weekend.

Outcomes What worked well? The project had some notable successes: 路

Diverse communities met together and talked about their hopes and fears, finding that they share many common concerns

Groups who assumed that their lack of scientific knowledge would preclude them from debates about science, discovered they could have a say and that their

23


experiential knowledge was valuable ·

Through the process of talking about their work, a number of scientists have changed their working practices

·

Perhaps most importantly the project impacted on the project partners. It has resulted in a review of assumptions and approaches relating to working practices around diversity issues at the British Science Association

What did you learn from this project? What would you change if you did it again? The community x-change has enabled the Association to recognise that public engagement can be successful if diverse publics are allowed to contribute the expertise they have gained through their life experiences on an equal footing with “experts”. The key finding of the project was that the scientific community needs to invest much more resource in, and prioritise listening to the views of the general public. What are your top tips for anyone thinking about a similar activity? (As many as you can) ·

Make links with community groups that are local to your event location

·

Make contact early as community groups need time to build trust with your organisation

·

Use any existing contacts you may have – have other organisations got any named contacts they can recommend?

·

If budget allows, employ an outreach worker to help with recruitment, especially if your project takes place in a different location from where the organisers are based (we work in London so it was good having an outreach worker based in Liverpool, especially as he was a Scouser!)

·

Pre-visit the community centre or whatever the venue is to check it is flexible enough for your event

·

If you are encouraging people to attend who may not normally, try and remove any barriers that may prevent people from attending – we had a crèche at one workshop and paid for child-minding at another workshop. We also booked and paid for a taxi for one participant who was on crutches and paid for an interpreter who could translate everything into Portuguese for those who didn’t speak English. We also made a contribution towards loss of earnings.

Please attach any photos from the event or quotes from participants (if you are happy to share them)

Comments

24


Please share any further comments Although it is challenging working with hard to reach groups, it is very rewarding and enlightening experience so is worth all the effort.

25


“Climate change testimonies from refugees: connecting scientific and social debates” Name of the person submitting the case study:

Antonio Benitez Beacon Development Officer (MOSI)

Organisations involved in the project:

Manchester Refugee Support Network Virtual Migrants The University of Manchester Manchester Beacon for Public Engagement Manchester Science Festival Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester (MOSI)

Email

a.benitez@mosi.org.uk

Websites

www.mrsn.org.uk www.virtualmigrants.com www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/riccc www.manchesterbeacon.org www.manchestersciencefestival.com www.mosi.org.uk

The project When did the project run? May 2010- November 2010 Who were the main participants? How many were involved? The “Climate Change: testimonies from refugees” was one of four projects awarded funding by the Manchester Beacon Science Festival Community Awards 2010. These awards aimed to develop new collaborative partnerships between interdisciplinary research networks and local community networks to make science relevant and accessible to local communities and to inspire public engagement activities for Manchester Science Festival 2010. ‘Climate Change: testimonies’ Project partners: The project was a collaborative partnership between the Research Institute for Cosmopolitan Cultures, the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Sciences, the School of Environment and Development from The University of Manchester, along with the Manchester Refugee Support Network and Virtual Migrants. ·

Max Edwards, Manchester Refugee Support Network (MRSN). Manchester Refugee Support Network (MRSN) is a grass-roots organisation directly managed by refugee communities, based in Ancoats, Manchester. Recruitment of participants.

·

Kooj Chuhan, Tracey Zenzegi and Aidan Jolly, Virtual Migrants. Virtual migrants

26


connects and engages artists with digital media, and organises projects that add new aesthetics and perspectives to themes of race, migration and globalisation. Project management, recruitment, training and delivery of final public event. ·

Dr Ernesto Hernandez, School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Sciences, University of Manchester. Member of the Interdisciplinary Forum.

·

Dr Nina Glick Schiller, Research Institute for Cosmopolitan Cultures, University of Manchester. Member of the Interdisciplinary Forum.

·

Prof. Simon Guy, School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester. Member of the Interdisciplinary Forum.

Project participants: A core group of 15 refugee and asylum seekers living in Greater Manchester were involved in the project alongside 9 members of staff and academics from the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Sciences, Research Institute for Cosmopolitan Cultures and the School of Environment and Development at the University of Manchester. The public debate/event hosted as part of the Manchester Science Festival was attended by 185 people. This audience were predominantly members of community groups working with refugee and asylum seekers. There were also people interested in climate change issues. What did you do? Virtual Migrants and Manchester Refugee Support Network trained 15 members from different refugee communities in video camera interviewing and documenting techniques, including uses and methods of editing, internet uploading and blogging. These sessions were popular and discussions about climate change and refugees were integrated within the sessions. An interdisciplinary forum of scientists, staff from cultural organisations and community members was established to promote discussion about current effects of climate change, including migration, refugee and asylum. The refugee members, in collaboration with Virtual Migrants, used interviews as the basis to gather testimonial data from themselves and from migrants and local people interested in being interviewed. The data was edited into key video clip components to form an archive, and also edited into a single presentation for discussion purposes. As part of the Manchester Science Festival 2010 programme there was a mixed media event called “Climate Justice, Science and Refugees” where this project was presented to the public. Showing films and incorporating multimedia and performance was an essential part of the central discussions which took place. Attendance was excellent, the event selling out three weeks in advance, and feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The Manchester Beacon supported the partners through three networking meetings, help with evaluating the project and dissemination of learning from the project at an annual University-Community Summit. Where did you do it?

27


Manchester city centre, Greater Manchester Why did you do it? What was your motivation for developing this project? The project aims were as follows: ·

To enable refugee communities, scientists and social media scientists to collaborate on climate issues using creative media and facilitation.

·

To bring academic knowledge and understanding into the experiences and observations of refugee communities.

·

To stimulate greater appreciation and enjoyment of science, especially among refugee communities.

·

To incorporate refugee observations and questions in academic research.

·

To stimulate an increased appreciation amongst scientists and social scientists of directions and lines of enquiry that refugee communities would like to develop.

·

To engage a wider public in debate about climate change issues.

Logistics How did you recruit your participants? How was it advertised? The community contacts from the Manchester Refugee Support Network and Virtual Migrants were crucial for the success of the project recruiting community participants and attendees for the event. The project was advertised through the Virtual Migrants and Manchester Refugee Network website. Word of mouth within the refugee communities worked well recruiting participants. The final event was advertised on the Manchester Science Festival, Virtual Migrants and Manchester Beacon websites. Flyers were produced and distributed around Manchester and social networking sites were used to promote the event. What were the barriers to designing and/or running this activity?

The project partners involved in the project found the short time scale a challenge. Limited resources - £1500 Did you carry out any evaluation? If so, how and what were the results? The project was evaluated following guidelines from the evaluation pack resources produced by the Manchester Beacon. Responses to the feedback sheets for the training course section expressed a consistent score of “excellent” for the training and very good for

28


how well the project was run, coordination, marketing and bookings. Audiences’ responses to the final forum event suggested a very high level (“excellent”) of interest and relevance of the event. The scores for the overall quality and for the enjoyment of the event were ranged between “excellent” and “good”. The format of the event was widely applauded and the majority of respondents expressed an interest to support or contribute to further activities. The difficulty for discussion due to a possibly over rich variety of content. This event was also evaluated as part of the Manchester Science Festival 2010 evaluation (which was focused on community engagement). What resources were required for the project? Financial support of from Manchester Beacon, Research Institute for Cosmopolitan Cultures and Manchester Refugee Support Network In- kind contributions from: The University of Manchester, Manchester Refugee Support Network and Virtual Migrants. Technical equipment: access to computers, video cameras, internet Venues: planning meetings and final event PR and Marketing Resources Project team

Outcomes What worked well? The project has introduced approaches, ways of working and thematic connections, which are fairly new in each of the respective fields and communities of interest involved. Developing connections, interest and enthusiasm of a range of partners to undertake a further project. This project was a good way to engage new audiences in science and to engage academics in public engagement actively shaped by community concerns and societal issues of often marginalised groups. The audience felt the content of the project was relevant to them. What did you learn from this project? What would you change if you did it again? Better resourcing and more practice sessions would be good for future work. What are your top tips for anyone thinking about a similar activity? (As many as you can) ·

Set clear aims and objectives for the project. This must be agreed by all the partners

29


involved in the project. ·

The project must bring mutual benefits for all the partners involved in the project.

·

Clarify the requirements expected from each of the partners from the outset.

·

Good communication channels between the partners.

·

Being realistic about what can be achieved with the time/resources available.

·

Promote the use of creative methods to work with disengaged audiences.

·

Incorporate training opportunities within the project to maximise the impact and sustain the benefits of the project.

·

Sharing the learning from these projects widely.

·

Consider the sustainability of this kind of initiative.

Please attach any photos from the event or quotes from participants (if you are happy to share them) You can find some pictures for the project at: http://bit.ly/hIVrea Note: If you use any of these pictures please credit the photographer, Jan Chlebik.

Comments Please share any further comments

30


Ruthin: Market Town of the Future Name

Wayne Forster

Organisation

Design Research Unit Wales, Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University

Website

www.dru-w.co.uk

Matthew Jones

Email

forsterw@cardiff.ac.uk jonesmr2@cardiff.ac.uk

The project When did the project run? Spring 2010 - on-going Who were the main participants? How many were involved? Ruthin Town Council Community organisations including Chamber of Trade and Civic Society. The inhabitants of Ruthin Denbighshire County Council CADW Design Research Unit Wales Welsh School of Architecture- 9 students What did you do? This proposal involves the inhabitants of a typical market town in evaluation and then proposal for future scenarios for the town through the use of design workshops, design charettes, exhibition and public consultation. In this study different methods of engagement that attempt to remedy are being employed and evaluated to provide data that will be used in a series of inclusive design workshops to envision the Market Town of the Future. Predicting the future accurately is a difficult proposition. We can only imagine it intelligently based on the data available, and then take steps to achieve the most desirable and avoid the undesirable options. These methods are often promoted as good practice but not often used effectively. The challenge has been to fully involve inhabitants at all levels in a process which is often exclusive. Young designers rarely get experience of how to listen and effectively

31


communicate with the public and the inhabitants of rural towns feel that they are disenfranchised from designing their future This visually rich project is designed to stimulate all those with an interest in the market towns of Wales to act to develop, using design as a mechanism, sustainable futures for them. The project was launched in April 2010 with an event at Ruthin Craft Centre. DRU-w presented initial town studies to a community group drawn from the Town Council, Chamber of Commerce and Civic Society and outlined background to the project. At the end of April, a group of nine first and second year architecture students from the Welsh School of Architecture visited the town for three days as part of a three week project. Starting with a three day visit to the town accompanied by the Mayor, Gavin Harris, and Denbighshire CC conservation architect Phil Ebrell, students analysed the town from firsthand experience. With the Town Council, students identified sites around the town that needed improvement. Returning to Cardiff, a large scale model of the town was prepared and students began urban design projects for the identified sites. The projects were reviewed in Ruthin with a panel of residents and subsequently exhibited in the Craft Centre as part of the ‘Ruthin: Market Town of the Future’ exhibition, displayed for three weeks at the end of May 2010. This allowed residents to see the students’ work and to encourage them to think about Ruthin, perhaps in a new light, and to consider what was important to them about the town. Feedback from the exhibition was largely positive; visitors were encouraged to fill out feedback sheets and a visitors’ book collected comments from the public and visitors to the town. Work in the town is continuing. While the student projects raised awareness of the project in the town and identified key sites for improvement, a phase of mapping the public realm and character of the town will commence in February 2011. This aims to accurately record the town as it is now and identify simple measures that could be taken on a small scale to improve the townscape. Results of this exercise will be presented to the townspeople and exhibited in the Spring. Where did you do it? The project focuses on Ruthin, an attractive historic market town situated in Denbighshire. It is typical of market towns in Wales in that it is prone to the opportunities and threats facing market towns as a result of worldwide, national and regional challenges over the next 25 years.

32


Why did you do it? What was your motivation for developing this project? Market towns such as Ruthin have special significance in Wales. While a fifth of Europe’s population lives in towns of under 10,000, in rural Wales this figure is 44% (2001 Census). The concentration of cities to the coast has left an area of over 1.5 million hectares in central Wales with no towns larger than 20,000 people. Despite the importance of these towns, there has been limited work investigating their current state or future development. Wales’ market towns may be considered as rural capitals and are likely to be affected by many factors are coming to the fore, including climate change and changes in the agricultural industry. This project comes about at a critical time both environmentally and economically and aims to offer new and original ideas – it aims to inform and inspire. The orthodox top-down approach to strategic planning excludes many stakeholders as conventional consultation practices are often perfunctory. Elements of the project are provocative in that they propose change, but this is encouraging debate and encouraging the community to challenge policy-makers to be aware of and find means of dealing with the possible futures that they face.

Logistics How did you recruit your participants? How was it advertised? Through local networks – Town Council and local institutions. These local bodies advertise to their networks of contacts within the town and produced flyers for events that are distributed around the town. The project has been brought to wider public attention through media coverage of the student visit and exhibition, and this will be reviewed in ‘Ruthin: Town and Around,’ the magazine of Ruthin Civic Society. What were the barriers to designing and/or running this activity? The main barrier is the geographical distance between the research team based in Cardiff and the Market Town. We have been able to overcome some of these difficulties through our Beacon funding and through forging personal relationships within the Town Council. Did you carry out any evaluation? If so, how and what were the results? To be undertaken on the completion of the project later this year. What resources were required for the project? To date resources have included staff from Design Research Unit Wales, students from the Welsh School of Architecture, transport and accommodation in the town, exhibition space at Ruthin Craft Centre and presentation materials. These have included A1 display boards, a

33


large scale model of the town, slideshows and presentation booklets.

Outcomes What worked well? While the project is on-going, it has been successful in generating ideas for the town and engaging the public in discussion about its future. A high profile student visit from the Welsh School of Architecture and an exhibition of the ideas produced early in the project has raised the its profile and brought it to public attention beyond the town council. The project will aim to develop this further through the next stages of work. What did you learn from this project? What would you change if you did it again? Working in a historic context that is widely loved by the community has offered challenges to the project, especially as the team is based in south Wales. Overcoming the challenge of proposals being seen as the outsider’s view of the town has been difficult. This has been overcome by frequent visits, forging personal relationships with townspeople, seeking the public’s views on the town through the ‘loved and loathed’ section of the Market Town of the Future website, and seeking feedback on ideas produced. Although the majority of feedback has been positive, it is clear that there will always be some resistance to a project like Market Town of the Future and it is important to engage with as wider section of the community as possible to ensure all views are heard. This is an area we will be exploring further in the next stage of the project. What are your top tips for anyone thinking about a similar activity? (As many as you can) Ensure that community groups are involved from the outset; for residents to ‘buy in’ to the project it is important to get different groups involved at early stages of the project. Advertising the project in as wide and as varied a manner as possible has encouraged responses from all parts of the community. Using websites, an exhibition with several methods of feedback, public meetings and small group consultations has encouraged feedback from a cross section of the residents of the town. Support from BBC Wales, BBC Radio Wales and Radio Cymru has given the project a high profile and perhaps encouraged the community to become involved in the process. This is something we will continue to explore as the project progresses. Please attach any photos from the event or quotes from participants (if you are happy to share them)

34


Please see attached zip file

Comments Please share any further comments Links to further information on the project are available at: Ruthin: Market Town of the Future website: http://ruthinfuture.moonfruit.com/ Design Research Unit Wales: http://www.dru-w.co.uk/ Design Research Unit Wales: Ruthin project page: http://www.dru-w.co.uk/ruthin.html BBC Wales: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_east/8649707.stm (including audio from Radio Wales) http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/northeastwales/hi/people_and_places/newsid_8710000/871047 1.stm The project was featured on Radio Wales and Radio Cymru

35


Govan Science Shuffle Name

Govan Science Shuffle

Organisation

University of Glasgow Science Festival

Email

rebecca.crawford@glasgow .ac.uk

Website

http://www.glasgowscience festival.org.uk/

The project When did the project run? 28 Jan 2008, 29 May 2009 and future dates Who were the main participants? How many were involved? A wide range of people from the community in Govan, Glasgow. Govan is a former shipbuilding community which now ranks fairly highly on some indices of deprivation (see http://www.sns.gov.uk). Unemployment stands at around 20% in some parts of the area, and low incomes and health inequalities affect a large proportion of the population. Several hundred attended each event. What did you do? Worked with a community activist project called the Common Good Awareness project, www.inthecommongood.org to take part in an annual gathering, the Govan Reshuffle at the Pearce Institute, and added a second annual event, the Govan Science Shuffle in 2009. The events involve masses of hands on science and art activities. The role of the Science Festival is to provide and nurture the science content at these events. The organisation of the actual event is shared by community members. Example activities include: teaching young people to solder electrical circuits, building robots and building things out of cardboard. The Reshuffle covers subjects from science to bread making, running a café, video and filmmaking, photography, wildlife protection, gardening and healthy eating. The Reshuffle participants prepare food from the local community garden and there is bread made on site that the kids have made themselves. The event in January 2011 covers Climate Change and Food Security, Health and Green Spaces (wildlife science, plant science, healthy eating, gardening, green space and mental health). There will be informal chats and some more structured 'Meet the Scientist’ sessions and table top activities. The community activist groups have a very strong interest in these issues, for example they campaign to protect some local community gardens from development, they also campaign to stop commercial projects infringing into Glasgow parks. A concurrent series of ‘campaigning’ workshops is run by the community organisers. The outcomes of these events are of enormous benefit in strengthening the local community. One of the major problems in our communities is isolation. Lots of community events also

36


work in isolation and The Reshuffle links us all together. Where did you do it? Pearce Institute, Govan Why did you do it? What was your motivation for developing this project? Life is tough and challenging for many people in the Govan area, with high levels of unemployment and deprivation. People need to work towards trying to resolve the sometimes compounding problems that affect them – rather than become cynical. A strong social base which involves various community groups, and scientists from the University providing input, helps to support people in dealing with bigger problems and help to avoid cynicism.

Logistics How did you recruit your participants? How was it advertised? The event is well advertised through word of mouth and networks such as the Common Good Awareness Project What were the barriers to designing and/or running this activity?

Same as barriers to all our events, resourcing the core team. Did you carry out any evaluation? If so, how and what were the results? The main evaluation comes from the general buzz of the day and loads and loads of great comments from our comments board. What resources were required for the project?

Budget for consumables. Pay for our student helpers. Staff time for Science Festival Team In kind time from all the University researchers. Our community partners contribute considerable in kind in organising their event.

Outcomes What worked well? These events reach the 'hard to reach' demographics that Government projects say they want to reach - areas that are high on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. However,

37


some of the players are highly vocal in their criticisms of Government and these events have plenty of opportunities for lively ‘political’ debate. These communities are at the sharp end of social and economic problems - it’s not ‘party politics’, and it is easy to focus on the constructive things that can be done. The Common Good community workshops explore how people’s interests connect up and have much in common. How do we work together as a team? The event incorporates as much cultural integration as possible and we aim to highlight the wealth of culture that asylum and emigration brings to our localities. While most of this project is based on enjoyment and fun it also has to be emphasised a main theme of what the Govan Reshuffle and the Common Good are trying to do is help to strengthen the social base of our Govan communities. What did you learn from this project? What would you change if you did it again? This year due to the interest at our last two events in Jan 2010 and May 2010, we have decided to extend the activities over two days to allow more activity. We wish to create a community 'Product' from the activities on the second day and with the introduction of music and performance. The Science Festival will work with the community groups, through the Common Good Awareness Project, to link STEM researchers and community across the whole programme. What are your top tips for anyone thinking about a similar activity? (As many as you can) It’s important to identify an appropriate role. It’s too easy to reinvent wheels and to tread on toes, rather than finding community partners and building on their work in a manner in which they welcome. In public health communication, it’s important to be as ‘non-preachy’ as possible Please attach any photos from the activities or quotes from participants (if you are happy to share them) Slideshows are here and photos can be used if credit is given to Common Good Awareness Feb event advert http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6m-wpwEbEX0&feature=related May event advert http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNSxVMrHMTY&NR=1 Activities in May http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNssLakXWxs The wildlife garden groups we would link to:..... http://www.youtube.com/user/snappergumbo#p/a/u/1/hfvsilO5KNQ

38


Science Shop Wales Name

Steven Harris

Organisation

Science Shop Wales

Email

steve@coedglas.or g.uk

Website

http://www.scienceshopswales.org.uk/

The project When did the project run? August 2001 to October 2010 Who were the main participants? How many were involved? Over the four years of the project Science Shops Wales employed: a full-time manager, four full-time research & development officers, a part time (0.6) communications officer, and a full-time administrator. During the second phase of the project (2008-10) we also employed a full-time strategic development officer. During the project we also employed 9 researchers on short-term contracts to carry out specific pieces of research. A total of 17 paid staff. During the first phase of the project (2006-8) SSW had an unpaid Director, a Professor of Science Communication at the University of Glamorgan. The project was additionally supported by 24 student volunteers who undertook research with civil society organisations. During the four years of the project a total of 4988 members of the public participated in SSW science communication activities. What did you do? Science Shops Wales carried out demand-driven research with and on behalf of Welsh civil society organisations, using staff, contract and student researchers. The research projects were predominantly inter- and multi-disciplinary and covered a wide variety of scientific (natural and life sciences), social-scientific and technical topics. Many were concerned with local responses to climate change and most were framed within the Welsh Assembly Government's commitment to sustainable development. These research activities were supplemented with a range of other science communication activities: workshops, lectures, training events, exhibitions and conventional and new media publications. A particular focus was on science communication to low-literacy and numeracy audiences, a response to the demographic in the Valleys region. Where did you do it? In phase 1 (2006-8) mainly in the Valleys region of south-east Wales, with some work in Cardiff and Swansea. In the second phase work was carried out all across Wales. Why did you do it? What was your motivation for developing this project?

39


The principal motivation for developing this project was to test the effectiveness of the longestablished science shops model of science communication and community-based knowledge co-creation in the context of post-devolution Wales, particularly with regard to the Welsh agendas on climate change and sustainable development. An additional motivation was to contribute toward the development of civil society and participatory democracy in Wales. A third, if lesser motivation was to contribute to the development of the international science shops and community-based research movement.

Logistics How did you recruit your participants? How was it advertised? Science Shop Wales publicised the opportunity for civil society organisations to come up with scientific, technological and other research questions which University researchers could carry out. Initially this was done through direct contacts, networking (especially through civil society umbrella organisations), attendance at events, and the media. Once the project was established, satisfactory levels of participation were maintained through word-of-mouth and repeat business. What were the barriers to designing and/or running this activity? ·

Lack of experience on behalf of project team – this was the first ever science shops in Wales. We relied heavily on colleagues in the international network of science shops for advice, particularly in the initial set-up phase.

·

Lack of support from the host University. As an externally funded activity (albeit funded by the Welsh Higher Education Funding Council) the project was seen as highly peripheral to the hosting Faculty's core concerns. This was exacerbated by (1) the community-based, 'open source' and demand-driven nature of the research meant it was not seen as useful contribution toward the Faculty's mainstream research or (for-profit) knowledge transfer effort (2) the lack of a champion for the project at Directorate level within the University. These factors meant that the project was essentially an 'orphan', making it totally unsustainable without sufficient external funding.

·

Lack of knowledge and understanding of the science shops model and movement among Welsh civil society organisations – this was slowly but steadily overcome as the project built a reputation and a record of successful delivery on research projects

Did you carry out any evaluation? If so, how and what were the results? Yes. The project was internally evaluated for the purposes of reporting to the funders (HEFCW) at the end of phase 1 (September 2008) and phase 2 (September 2010). In both cases the project was found to have met, and in most cases exceeded targets set out in the funding agreements (type and location of activities, number of beneficiaries, etc.). Informal internal evaluation of various aspects of the project (e.g. student involvement) was carried out by SSW on an on-going basis. During 2008-9 one development officer was charged with creating a quality framework for the project. This was trialled during 2010, and

40


was due to be formally adopted in 2011 should the project have continued. In July 2008 an external evaluation of the project was carried out by science shops staff at Queen's University, Belfast. This concluded that the project had “contributed to all three core missions of the University of Glamorgan – teaching and learning, research and the third mission, and has made a significant contribution to the delivery of University of Glamorgan’s aim to contribute to local communities.” What resources were required for the project? The project expenditure was £375,000 per annum for 4 years. This paid for staff, equipment, transport and consumables costs. The university provided a suite of three offices, network and telecommunications services and some limited administration support through its finance and procurement offices.

Outcomes What worked well? The science shops model of community-based, demand-driven research worked very well, and was highly rewarding for all involved. Within the Welsh context, the specific emphasis on climate change and sustainability was appropriate and effective in winning the project many clients and allies in Government and civil society. What did you learn from this project? What would you change if you did it again? ·

I learned that there is a high and continuous demand from Welsh civil society organisations for research support and expertise. The sector is large in Wales and has very little research capacity.

·

I learned that participatory research and knowledge co-creation with civil society groups such as NGOs and community organisations is an extremely effective method of communicating about the principles and practices of science. However, we found this to be less true with regard to the social sciences, partly because of the difficulties of ensuring sufficient reflexivity among inexperienced participant researchers. In future work I would largely avoid using participatory methods for data-gathering in purely social-scientific projects and instead concentrate on working with community members on the interpretation and application of results produced by professional researchers.

·

I learned that it is challenging to ensure appropriate quality of contributions from student researchers; in future I would focus only on Master's level projects and would not work with undergraduates or their supervisors again.

·

I learned that despite a number of published statements and strategies, in practice the hosting University had very little real commitment to societal service and civic participation, preferring to adopt an approach to knowledge creation and transfer in which knowledge is mainly seen as a commodity to be exploited. Hopefully in conducting any future project I would be less naïve in my perception of the

41


academy and thus better able to negotiate the intensely competitive and pseudocorporate internal politics encountered in the University environment. More effectively arguing the case for Universities to engage with local communities on research. What are your top tips for anyone thinking about a similar activity? (As many as you can) ·

In order for a University-based science shop to become sustainable it is absolutely essentially to have support and commitment at Directorate level, and this should ideally also be formalised through the University's official community engagement strategy.

·

An effective quality framework is essential to ensure excellence of delivery to civil society participants

·

This kind of project requires staff who are familiar and comfortable with interdisciplinary academic practice and who are fully committed to a 'service learning' model of academic endeavour. They are hard to find and need to paid as well as possible – this kind of work is extremely complex and demand exceptional personal as well as research skills.

·

Be as open as possible to constructive criticism from external participants while being as immune as possible to internal criticism from internal colleagues uncomfortable with activities that do not fit easily into traditional teaching and research practices!

Please attach any photos from the activities or quotes from participants (if you are happy to share them) Please see resources available at http://www.scienceshopswales.org.uk

Comments Please share any further comments The science shops model has a long track-record and immense potential. Its use should be explored by any academic organisation seriously committed to public outreach and engagement.

42


Great Day Out Name

Jodie Giles

Organisation

Eden Project

Email

jgiles@edenproject.com

Website

www.edenproject.com/greatdayout

The project When did the project run? From 2007 - on-going Who were the main participants? How many were involved? So far we have worked with over 1500 homeless people, offenders and excluded young people, many of whom suffer from drug and alcohol addictions and mental health issues. What did you do? Great Day Out provides facilitated visits to Eden for socially excluded people. Great Days Out start with a journey – a personalised tour that encourages groups to tell their own stories and share thoughts and ideas, as well as look behind the scenes, meet the people who make Eden tick, and learn more about each other, our interdependence and sustaining the world around us. Eden itself is an extraordinary creative structure, bringing architecture, engineering and technology together in one place as a learning statement; anyone who comes here absorbs at least some of the wonder of that. There is a lot of learning by osmosis, each Great Day Out includes a workshop enabling participants to get hands-on and immersed in creative, scientific and therapeutic activities. We do photography, flag making, cooking, felting, learning about plants, the rainforest, horticulture and lots more. In addition, interaction with and input from Eden’s diverse teams and the agency staff who accompany Great Day Out participants provides the opportunity for sharing expertise and can be the stimulus required to help agency staff recognise the value of inspirational experiences in the well-being of people in their care. Because each day is bespoke to the group who come, the outcomes are varied and we offer follow on support to develop ideas and projects that evolve from the Great Day Out experience. So far we have helped people do accredited courses in photography and hold exhibitions, supported garden and allotment projects, facilitated art projects and enabled people to volunteer. Where did you do it? At the Eden Project and outreach across the southwest. Why did you do it? What was your motivation for developing this project? To involve the people who we most want to visit but are least likely to come to Eden.

Logistics

43


How did you recruit your participants? How was it advertised? Initially we made contact with agencies through Homeless Link and existing Eden contacts. There has been some local and regional press coverage of the Great Day Out programme. There is a Great Day Out page on the Eden website and we produce quarterly newsletters. A lot of national awareness was raised about the programme through Eden’s Key and Places Of Change Gardens at the Chelsea Flower show in 2009 and 2010. What were the barriers to designing and/or running this activity? Capacity of partner agencies to dedicate staff time to getting groups of people with chaotic lives to Eden. We have to be very flexible as groups rarely arrive on time or with the planned number of people. Did you carry out any evaluation? If so, how and what were the results? Yes, we have done extensive evaluation and get each participant and the staff who attend a Great Day Out to fill in an evaluation form, or with groups where literacy is an issue we conduct verbal video evaluations on the day. We have also used video diary rooms, postcards and photography, as well as in depth semi structured interviews and case studies with participants and staff after the days. Partner agency staff report that participants have increased self-esteem, confidence and health, are more willing to engage, have more positive outlook, actions and are more motivated to take part in volunteering or education and even gain employment. 100% of participants enjoy their Great Day Out. What resources were required for the project? An inspiring venue such as Eden, funding for a programme manager and a support facilitator, funding for workshop materials, travel, food and refreshments.

Outcomes What worked well? Great Day Out inspires and motivates some of the hardest to reach people in our society and works best when the partner agencies’ that bring the participants are proactive and integrate the visit into their programmes and activities so that there is coherence and continuity. It’s enormously rewarding work to see the change in people in such a short space of time and the wider Eden team have been hugely supportive, it would not have been possible for us to make people feel so welcome and normal without them. What did you learn from this project? What would you change if you did it again? You can’t win them all. You need tremendous patience to work with some of the agencies supporting disengaged people, most are under resourced. We are always developing the programme, improving it, trying new workshops and trying to find new ways of evaluating the longer term impact of the programme to prove its worth.

44


What are your top tips for anyone thinking about a similar activity? (As many as you can) Be flexible. Respect everyone and judge no one. Develop strong and honest relationships with partners, these are crucial to success. Keep it fun and informal, people who generally have not responded well to formal education usually like doing practical things and will learn in an informal way especially if the learning is not overt. Keep your colleagues in the loop, let them know what you are doing and why and you will be amazed by the support they will give. Please attach any photos from the event or quotes from participants (if you are happy to share them) “Thank you for treating me like a human being” “I didn’t know I could have so much fun without drink or drugs” “It was one of the best days I’ve ever had” “I felt like it was the first time I’d seen things properly for many years” “My visit to Eden got me out for the day, so I didn’t have my mind on doing anything negative. It helped with my confidence because I get nervous in groups, but I’ve really enjoyed it.” “It opened my mind”

45


Apprenticeships at Thinktank Name

Catherine Price

Organisation

Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum

Website

www.thinktank.ac

Apprenticeships Email

catherine.price@thinktank.ac

The project When did the project run? We started the recruitment for our first apprentice in July 2009 and they came on board in Sep 2009. We are currently in our second year, with a further apprentice who started in Sep 2010 and will finish in the Autumn 2011. Who were the main participants? How many were involved? A range of internal staff at Thinktank were involved in the design of the apprenticeship; recruitment; induction; training and day-to-day line management of the apprentices. We have recruited 2 young people through the programme so far, who are able to ‘earn while they learn’. What did you do? First we created a job role that would fit the needs of the business and also fit within the apprenticeship framework. We decided to offer a dual role which was spread between 2 different teams – the first one more concerned with science communication and engaging visitors with the exhibits; the second more commercial focussed with an emphasis on good customer care. We worked closely with Creative Alliance, a local training provider and also secured grant funding from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA). We then went through a recruitment process which involved group and individual interviews to give candidates a flavour of the role here at Thinktank. Members from the relevant teams were involved in the process and had input on the final decision. Once the apprentices were in place, the teams were tasked with their internal training and development. Working closely with the external training provider meant that the necessary units were completed for their Level 2 & 3 certificates. Where did you do it? The ‘work’ side of the apprenticeship takes place at Thinktank and the training side at Creative Alliance’s headquarters in Birmingham City Centre. They also have the chance to visit other organisations across the country which host apprenticeships. Why did you do it? What was your motivation for developing this project? We were keen to create entry-level jobs in a sector that has traditionally been more geared up for highly-educated graduates. We wanted to start growing a workforce that was reflective of the local community in Birmingham and the West Midlands, as well as

46


encouraging non-academic young people into a career in science communication. Logistics How did you recruit your participants? How was it advertised? We used a range of methods for recruitment, including speaking with careers advisors and science teachers at our neighbouring schools and sixth form colleges and encouraging them to pass on details of the apprenticeship to their students. We also used our own website to advertise the roles; the sector skills council were really helpful and suggested we register with NAVMS – the National Apprenticeship Vacancy Matching Service which Creative Alliance administered for us. Having run a summer traineeship aimed at students continuing in full time education, we also tasked our young team members to spread the word amongst their friends and families. The interviews involved a group session where we wanted to see how the candidates interacted with each other, followed by a brief face-to-face interview. The final 2 were then invited back for a half day to shadow the teams. What were the barriers to designing and/or running this activity? As Creative Apprenticeships were new and only just being developed nationally, it did feel like we were pioneers slightly and therefore didn’t have a model to follow. By setting up an internal project team, we were able to work through the planning stages and hopefully ensure we’d prepared for every eventuality. As none of the training providers in the West Midlands had taught the course before, we also had to work with them to cater for our needs, so once we had a found a suitable provider the execution was straightforward. Did you carry out any evaluation? If so, how and what were the results? Regular meetings and appraisals are held with the apprentices to check they’re on track with their studies and happy in their roles. The marking of their portfolios is carried out by an external verifier, and so far our first apprentice has achieved her Level 2 Apprenticeship and hopes to soon get confirmation of her Advanced Apprenticeship. What resources were required for the project? The internal resources of staff time and knowledge, as well as a generous grant from the MLA. Using local contacts meant we could create the best apprenticeship possible as well as developing a strong relationship with CCSkills who are the sector skills council for creative apprenticeships nationally. We used internally devised recruitment, induction and training programmes and team members became informal mentors for the young apprentices.

Outcomes What worked well? Giving the apprentices a dual role. Not only does it give the young people chance to learn a wider range of skills, but also gives them exposure to a larger number of existing staff in a variety of roles. Thinktank benefited, since the 2 teams we chose had traditionally been

47


quite separate, yet sharing team members brought them closer together. Involving team members. With lots of staff keen to see the apprentices develop, learn and gain their qualification, there was a lot of positive support from all team members. Creating entry level jobs. With the science centre world often attractive to science graduates, it was great to be able to train up local young people to be the public faces of Thinktank, and for them to help engage the teenage audience that is often so hard to do in museums. What did you learn from this project? What would you change if you did it again? We learnt that there are a lot of motivated young people out there looking for an interesting opportunity and the chance to earn money! We had over 100 applicants in the second year, which was phenomenal. We hope to continue supporting our current and ex-apprentices, but with a new qualification it is hard to know where to sign-post them next. It would be great to be able to work towards putting together a Level 4 qualification, so there is a clear progression route. However, the range of skills the young people learn in Level 2 & 3 alone can help to springboard them onto the next challenge, so it’s working closely with them to assist in opening up other opportunities. What are your top tips for anyone thinking about a similar activity? (As many as you can) Create a meaningful job description. You have to consider the needs of the business as well as creating an interesting job role. Buy-in of staff. Don’t let one person create the scheme and then tell others how it will hopefully work. Better to set up a small project team so as to understand the potential impact from all perspectives from the outset. Use local experts and research thoroughly. Spend time speaking with different colleges and employers who are doing something similar already. All apprenticeships vary slightly, as to colleges and training providers. The trick is to find one that will work best for you and your apprentice. Innovative selection methods. By holding a combination of group exercises, face-to-face interviews and on-the-job trials, it hopefully gave the prospective candidates a real feel for the role and the organisation, and for us to see them thrown in to the working environment. Meet an apprentice. Teenagers are often negatively portrayed in the media, so it is a good idea to meet some apprentices in other organisations first. Realise that managing them will be a bit different to managing a more skilled and experienced member of staff, so ensure there’s support for the line-managers too. Please attach any photos from the event or quotes from participants (if you are happy to share them) My time at Thinktank My time at Thinktank has been amazing. I couldn't have asked for a better opportunity to come along. I feel I have grown in confidence, matured, gained life skills and generally

48


gained experience in a working environment which I can take with me further in my future career, whatever that may be. I have a role which I wouldn't want to change. One day I can be interacting with the school children on the galleries and the next, serving people on the ticket desk. I feel my role is quite diverse and that's why I enjoy it so much. While I have been at Thinktank I feel I have grown in myself because some of the roles I have encourage me to do things I wouldn't have ever done before; such as talking to a theatre of 180 people for a minute or so before a show, which I wouldn't have done in a million years before I started working here.

How it has benefited me It’s benefited me because I get work experience whilst still learning and getting paid. It’s a perfect combination for someone my age because I feel it’s important to have work experience from a younger age, but still gain a good education. I feel the life skills I have gained are transferable skills. They can be relevant in many other roles or jobs I may take in the future. From this apprenticeship I have also benefited from the team of people I work with as I feel we learn a lot from each other. From the 'college'/training side of things I have gained a great knowledge of the creative industry, general information and techniques I can take with me throughout any career. Over all the benefits of a creative apprenticeship are huge and I couldn't physically list them all.

Comments Please share any further comments The Apprenticeships have so far proved really popular and worthwhile. The staff have benefited by being able to mentor and train a young person; the visitors have benefited by seeing motivated young people working hard and experiencing great customer service; the organisation has benefited by being able to ‘grow our own’ staff from real entry-level jobs and the apprentices have benefited by being able to earn while they learn. We hope to continue the scheme annually.

49


Guerrilla Science 2010 Name

Jen

Organisation

Guerrilla Science

Email

jen@guerillascience.co.uk

Website

http://guerillascience.co.uk

When did the project run? Throughout 2010, April-September. Who were the main participants? How many were involved? The core project team consisted of a team of six people with a variety of science and communication backgrounds: Jen, Zoe, Louis, Steve, Richard and Mia. In total for the Wellcome-funded portion of our programme we worked with 31 biomedical scientists/clinicians and six performers/artists. Our audience numbered 3122 people attending biomedically-themed activities April to September 2010. Our total audience during this period across all our activities - including those based on the physical sciences - was 4443. What did you do? We created a programme of events inspired by science along three festival oriented themes: music, the mind, and escape. These were integrated into a wider festival or arts and cultural context. Most of our activities involved fitting into a pre-existing theme set by the festival organisers. We used a variety of formats to engage a target audience aged 18-60 with elements of science. Our highlights video here will give you an idea of the range of the activities we delivered. Where did you do it? Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, London Fishtank festival, Queen of Hoxton, London Secret Cinema’s homage to Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner, Canary Wharf, London Lovebox festival, Victoria Park, London Secret Garden Party, Huntingdon Green Man festival, Wales. Why did you do it? What was your motivation for developing this project? Our motivation was to push the boundaries of public engagement with science – too often ‘public engagement with science’ activities adopt the same format and attract the same audiences. We wanted to engage people outside the ‘traditional’ audience in order to develop more multidisciplinary methods of engagement to push ourselves and the scientists

50


we collaborated with to work in new ways. The festival and arts environments we worked within this year facilitated this greatly. Our overarching motivation behind this project was to embed science into culture.

Logistics How did you recruit your participants? How was it advertised? Scientists were mainly recruited via existing personal contacts. Others had approached us via our website expressing an interest in participating in our activities and inquiring if there were any opportunities coming up. We chose to work with those whose research matched areas relevant to our program themes. Audience members were recruited via direct (face to face) marketing, the use of paper programmes advertising further Guerrilla Science activities, inclusion in the festival programmes at Secret Garden Party and Green Man that festival-goers purchased, as well as word-of-mouth as people came across our activities. What were the barriers to designing and/or running this activity? ·

Complications of running our activities at festivals this year included extremely late opening times – beyond our control - at Lovebox and Secret Garden Party (due to security issues) and either delayed or reduced programming slots as a result. This made delivery more difficult than anticipated and led to reduced audience numbers, and in some cases impaired experiences for participating scientists. In most instances we were able to shift the program to a later time or day to overcome this. · We found that roaming events needed larger signage and scientists needed to be visually distinct and as flamboyant as possible in order to attract an audience. To make them stand out from the crowd we used costumes and a megaphone. · People were sometimes unsure what they had stumbled across, e.g. what kind of event it was and who was ‘performing’. We needed to flag scientists as such in our introductions or make them introduce themselves as such to overcome this. · Whilst a lovely festival in many ways, Einstein’s Garden at Green Man was already densely populated with science communicators. In order to attract our primary target audience we would in future focus our efforts on other festivals where science communication is not already a feature of the festival program. Did you carry out any evaluation? If so, how and what were the results? Yes. In addition to self-assessment of event development, audience experience and event delivery, we worked with an independent evaluator to discover how successful certain elements of the project were and what we could do better. Key findings as follows in terms of: 1) Development – Our program raised the awareness of science and provided engaging activities for the audience. The informality of the sessions worked well, as did the choice of topics and activities. This is due to the fact that we developed the topics and formats to suit our target audience and built on our previous experience of programming science events at festivals to really match the environment that surrounded us. By doing this we added value to the festivals and larger events we were a part of.

51


2) Delivery – The number of people attending our activities was high, with the majority of audiences being between the age of 16-35 and of White British origin. The overwhelming majority were not scientists and had little knowledge of science. They did not expect to encounter science at a festival, and had come across our activities by chance. Many revisited us, indicating a high level of interest. The delivery of our program was hampered slightly by the late opening of the entire venue at the Lovebox and Secret Garden Party festivals. The presence and location of some of our activities also sometimes made it difficult for the events to gain larger audiences. Finally, there was often confusion for audience members wandering across our events as to what exactly they had come across, namely whether it was science or art. Nonetheless, we succeeded in providing learning opportunities for scientist participants and audience members. 3) Dissemination – We have circulated the findings from this year in an evaluation report amongst the team, our advisory group, funders and participants who requested it. We will make it available to other science communication organisations etc. who are interested in the report.

What resources were required for the project? Wellcome Trust People Award grant funding, in-kind time from team members and scientists, materials, specific expertise e.g. website development, design, event production, and science communication.

Outcomes What worked well? Our choice of program themes and activities helped link science to audiences’ festival experiences and their everyday life. This helped us to deliver engaging activities. Undoubtedly, the audiences enjoyed them: they were described as being ‘surprising’ and ‘provocative,’ and the diverse range of formats on offer was appreciated. This allowed them to experience science in a variety of ways which helped dispel preconceptions of science being ‘dry,’ ‘dull’ or ‘boring’. We provided learning opportunities for both audience members and scientist participants, with lively discussions being a feature of many events and audience members spontaneously noting they had learnt something new, were inspired to think, and would like to learn more. This also helped us to broaden peoples’ perceptions of science. As a result of the opportunities for involvement we offered to participating scientists, their perceptions of science were also expanded. Our activities enriched the cultural offer of the festival and events we were part of, which implied that we placed science within a cultural framework that enabled people to change their perspective on science. What did you learn from this project? What would you change if you did it again?

52


Clear definitions of what we expect of everyone were essential for the development and delivery of our program. This applied to festivals, team members, scientists etc. In future we would seek to outline roles and responsibilities more clearly in order to maintain a high standard of delivery as well as accountability. We would probably draw up informal contracts more often to achieve this. A lot of planning, time, and effort is needed to ensure smooth execution and delivery. In future we would seek to collaborate with individuals of a theatrical or production background, to free up energy for programming and research. Expectations of scientists involved need to be carefully managed as our activities place them in situations or contexts that are new and unfamiliar. A clear system of feedback and evaluation of their experience helped both us and them to learn from the collaboration. We would seek to work more closely with scientists as our events and activities become more complex and narrative based. In future we would seek to meet with any participating scientists in person rather just speaking to them over the phone to assess / brief/ prepare them for the festival environment during the planning stages. What are your top tips for anyone thinking about a similar activity? (As many as you can) Be prepared to be flexible, and ensure all participants / scientists appreciate the need for flexibility in the circumstances and environment of your activities. Be prepared to put a lot of work into logistics and managing expectations of participants (both scientists and audiences). Clear communication between team members and between the delivery team and scientists is essential. Work with scientists who are willing to be flexible. Pick your festivals carefully: every festival has a different way of working – some are more organised than others. Be aware of your own capacity, it is better to do less at a higher standard than spread yourself too thin. You will have more impact this way. Be aware of what you want out of doing particular events or collaborating with particular partners. This will help assess the value of whether something is worth doing in terms of time / money. Please attach any photos from the event or quotes from participants (if you are happy to share them) Our Flickr site provides a complete record of photos taken at all our events since 2008 here. QUOTES

53


Audience feedback indicated that our events were indeed lively - comments from participating scientists and audience members show that learning was achieved and in some cases peoples’ perceptions of science changed. We collected comments on postcards with statements (in bold) below. These included: I have been guerrilla scienced and now I… “know more than I could have ever imagined about science things” Science + festival = Really did learn a lot. Especially the time the vibrator was invented. Smashing stuff. The guerrilla science table has made me think: “Very imaginative and creative, thank you for the effort. Much appreciated!” “That I wish I knew more about the brain! It is so fascinating seeing how the brain controls behaviour etc! “that my brain and senses are fascinating and amazing” Feedback from scientist participants was collected via an anonymous survey. Responses to the question ‘What was your favourite aspect of being involved’ included: “The questions people asked. They forced me to think on my feet and put across a view of my research which challenged some of my assumptions as well.” “The interest from the audience, because I’m very passionate about my research, I found that this gave me a real buzz when others got excited as well.’

Comments Please share any further comments Our full evaluation report is available on request. You can sign up for the Guerrilla science monthly mailout to find out what we’re up to on our website here: http://guerillascience.co.uk

54


Community Open Weekends, Thinktank Name

Kenny Webster

Organisation

Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum

Website

www.thinktank.ac

Community Open Weekends Email

kenny.webster@thinktank.ac

The project When did the project run? The Community Open Weekends take place twice a year in January/ February and September/ October. They have been running since 2005. Who were the main participants? How many were involved? The target audience for community Open Weekends are residents of socio-economically disadvantaged wards within Birmingham. Typically, between 2K and 3K people will visit us over the course of an Open Weekend. What did you do? Building on the community engagement strategy, we work with schools, community groups and community leaders within targeted wards to raise awareness of the Open Weekends. Approx. 30K vouchers (valid for the Open Weekend only) are distributed via these networks to ensure that local residents receive them and free access to the museum is only granted to people presenting a voucher. Visitors entering the museum on these days get the full experience of Thinktank exhibitions and programming as well as the opportunity to purchase reduced rate Season Tickets thereby encouraging repeat visits. The Community Outreach Team also performs extensive visitor research to help Thinktank better understand the needs and expectations of local residents. Where did you do it? Vouchers are distributed within local Birmingham wards and constituencies in a rotating manner prior to the Open Weekends. The Open Weekend itself takes place within Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum. Why did you do it? What was your motivation for developing this project? The Open Weekends arose from consultations with local community residents. Two major and related barriers to visits were identified at that time: cost of entry and perception of value (not just financial value). The Open Weekends that developed from this consultation give free entry (thereby removing financial barriers) and also an opportunity for local residents to experience Thinktank and challenge their own perceptions of the museum. Our consultation told us that to many of our local community residents, Thinktank was an unknown entity. They did now know what we were, what we did, what we stood for or even where we were and it is was easy to realise that these residents were unlikely to visit us in a traditional manner. The Open Weekends give us an opportunity to share our collections, exhibitions, programming and spirit with our local residents in the hope that they will learn for themselves what Thinktank represents and discover some relevance to their lives which they

55


will then share with others – word of mouth is still our most powerful marketing tool. By working towards reducing these two barriers, we are also increasing representation within our visitor demographic by this audience and developing a closer relationship with local communities based on trust and understanding.

Logistics How did you recruit your participants? How was it advertised? Our Community Outreach team work constantly with local community groups and leaders and our Education team works almost exclusively with schools. We also know that schools are the heart of the community so by using these existing networks as well as forming partnerships with other key stakeholders (e.g. local PCTs) we can target specific wards and constituencies within Birmingham with a very high impact. Indeed, as we have become better at this, we produce and distribute fewer and fewer vouchers for each event whilst still maintaining the same yields in visitor numbers. As part of engaging with our local communities to distribute the vouchers, we also use local communication channels such as local radio to advertise the weekends and locations where the vouchers can be obtained. No budget goes towards direct marketing costs at all; it is all done through local community networks. What were the barriers to designing and/or running this activity? The major barrier was organisational support. In essence, the Open Weekend is a free weekend, which is naturally counter intuitive for an entry-charging museum. However with a careful strategy in place to put the Open Weekends within the context of wider community engagement and developing traditionally underrepresented audiences, it was clear that this was a viable step forwards for Thinktank. The Joint Executive Team and Board of Trustees fully support the Open Weekends, what they represent and are trying to achieve and commit the budget that allows them to happen. We have discovered however that the Community Engagement that Open Weekends represent, are in fact very attractive to external funding and in recent years we have received external support to help us engage with our local communities in this way. Did you carry out any evaluation? If so, how and what were the results? We carry out extensive visitor research during Open Weekends through data collection (geographical) on the vouchers and also interviews with participants across the weekend to develop our understanding of the needs and expectations of this audience. This data collection and evaluation takes place over every Open Weekend in an on-going manner. The results clearly show that our community distribution works to attract visitors from the wards and constituencies that we have targeted. The Open Weekends target communities with a Government rated reduced socio-economic demographic. Within Birmingham at least, these same wards and constituencies also tend to have the highest proportions of BAME residents and our evaluation tells us that approx. 75% of Open Weekend visitors are from a non-white background. Thinktank already has a significantly higher representation of BAME visitors (approx. 13%) compared to other museums but they are still underrepresented when

56


compared to the overall Birmingham demographic. Approx. two thirds of Open Weekend visitors are also first time visitors and we are starting to collect evidence that perceptions of Thinktank, value for money and Thinktank’s role within Birmingham and its communities is changing in a positive direction as a result of the Open Weekends. What resources were required for the project? In the absence of external funding, a budget is required to cover the cost of printing and potentially distribution of the vouchers. Due to the popularity of the Open Weekends (approx. 3000 visitors), extra staff are required to deliver the Thinktank experience (e.g. Front of House and retail, Gallery Enablers, cleaning and security). As a sustainable project, the preparation and development of each Open Weekend falls within the roles of the Access and Inclusion team.

Outcomes What worked well? The operational processes behind Open Weekends are not dissimilar to busy periods such as half terms and are dealt with in a similar way. The greatest contribution to the success of the Open Weekends is the use of community networks (including schools) to assist with the distribution of the vouchers. Without the support of the local communities in this process, there would be no Open Weekends. By targeting specific wards and constituencies, we are also able to distribute with a much higher impact (and therefore reduced resources) in a way that supports our wider community engagement strategy. What did you learn from this project? What would you change if you did it again? Open Weekends have been running for approximately 5 years at Thinktank and they have changed considerably in that time. Many of these changes have been to increase efficiency and impact and thereby reduce costs and there are constant adjustments to operational processes for each subsequent Open Weekend. The most important learning however comes from the evaluation that we carry out with visitors over the Open Weekends; for every person or family that we interview, the greater our understanding of the needs and expectations of our local communities. What are your top tips for anyone thinking about a similar activity? (As many as you can) Develop clear aims, objectives and outputs for an Open Weekend. Be absolutely clear in your own mind why you want or need to run them and what the benefits, costs, and risks are. Then you will be in a position to gain support for them. Consider how they fit into your wider audience development strategy. Will they build on any previous projects? Are they the start of something new or a stand-alone initiative? What will you do afterwards? For the visitors that you attract on the day, what is the next step for them in your new relationship? If you are not used to large numbers of visitors on certain days, think about your operations.

57


Do you need to consider different facilities (e.g. Halal food, prayer rooms)? Consult with your audience first and get their support. What do they want and need and how are you going to give it to them? Always evaluate the events and use the opportunity to learn more about your new audience.

Comments Please share any further comments Community Open Weekends have become part of the standard year at Thinktank and as such are embedded within our operations and programming. This represents the support that all levels of staff feel towards Open Weekends and the value that they place on them. The Open Weekends themselves have come from Community Engagement and consultation and are a reaction to the needs of our local community audiences. By taking a strategic approach to developing these audiences, we have managed to reduce barriers to entry to this typically under-represented audience whilst at the same time building our relationship with local community groups, schools and networks. Each time we develop an Open Weekend, we refine our processes and become more efficient, achieving a higher impact and developing a greater understanding of our local audiences.

58


Healing in the Fields and Forests Name

Dr Mark Watson

Organisation

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Website

to follow & see below

NB this was a joint collaboration co-managed by Creative Artworks and Napiers. See below for full partner information Email

m.watson@rbge.org.uk

The project When did the project run? Throughout 2010 - four 2-day workshops, one in each season Who were the main participants? How many were involved? Primarily members of the Nepalese community in Edinburgh, but also interested British people (e.g. medical students). About 30 people attended each day of each workshop. Usually participants came on just one day, but some came on both. All ages and genders participated, and most came to all four seasons. The enthusiasm and interest from the Nepalese community was so great that the first workshop was over-subscribed (55 people came on the first day), and so numbers had to be more carefully managed in later workshops. What did you do? Workshops were held in Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn, and focussed on the major medicinal and cosmetic plants used at these times. Each day started with an orientation session followed by a guided walk in nearby woodlands highlighting British native plants of medicinal or other use or importance. Participants also worked in groups collecting material for the practical session. RBGE participants gave information on botanical names and relationships, and provided the Nepalese local names of these plants, or related species. This greatly aided understanding and frequently prompting lively discussions. The practical session was run by Napiers, the Herbalists, and included an introduction with demonstration on the cosmetic, therapeutic and medicinal use of plants of that season. This was followed by participants making their own cosmetic or medicinal products which they could take away with them. The scientific reasons behind the medicinal and other properties were woven into the discussions, as were the classification relationships of plants in Nepal and the UK. Other scientific issues such as biodiversity conservation and sustainable use were also discussed when appropriate. The workshops were Winter: Bark and Sap - making soaps and ointments Spring: Leaves and Greens -juicing for tonics, making scrubs and oils Summer: Flowers - making creams and perfumes Autumn: Roots and Berries -making syrups and tinctures.

59


Nature-inspired creative art and exploration activities were run for the under 5's. A wrap-up discussion and feedback session was held at the end of each day. Participants were also asked to complete written feedback forms. Each workshop comprised of two days of similar format, although on some days other experts were involved bringing in additional activities of storytelling, photography and art. Seasonal outdoor creative arts activities were delivered to children under 12 yrs. during the indoor workshop activities with the adults and older children. Information sheets were distributed during the workshops and colour leaflets with further information are being produced covering all four workshops. Where did you do it? Rural areas in the Edinburgh area including: a community-run walled garden with surrounding woodland; a council-run country park with visitor centre facilities; and the fields and hedgerows near a community-run village hall. Why did you do it? What was your motivation for developing this project? Ethnic communities in cities have a tendency to be inward looking and not to venture out much into surrounding areas. It is human nature to stay within our 'comfort zone', but much can be gained from stepping outside this, travelling to new areas, learning new things and interacting with new people. This project was run to do just this for the Nepalese community in Edinburgh, using nature and plants as a common theme. We did this to promote intercultural and intergenerational knowledge exchange and understanding on the medicinal and cosmetic uses of plants both in the UK and in Nepal, and also to encourage the use of woodlands and green space by the Nepalese community. Napiers/Monica Wilde's primary motivation for running this project was to help preserve and pass on our indigenous knowledge of British herbal medicine and practical applications of it that are easily accessible to everyone. Many modern drugs are still 'discovered' from plant and fungi sources that have been known in the indigenous rural pharmacopeia for centuries. As E.U. regulation formalises herbal medicine, making access more difficult, it is important to make our collective knowledge widely available. The exchange of knowledge between the cultures of the participants has also helped to broaden our knowledge of the use of some common species. Other motivations also included a genuine pleasure in seeing people discover or rediscover the open spaces and forests around our cities, knowing that they will pass on this pleasure to their families and communities. Scientific outreach is an important aspect of the work of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and we have an active programme of educational events and exhibitions. We are keen to improve our engagement with local communities, especially groups that are traditionally hard to reach out to, and this project was a wonderful opportunity to do this. Nepal is one of our strategic research areas and RBGE has a long-term commitment to working with Nepalese counterparts to document their plant biodiversity. Engagement with the UK Nepalese community is part of this work and we were very pleased to use our expertise on British and Nepalese plants to help people learn more about the nature around them and make links back to familiar plants in Nepal. Plant biodiversity is a vital resource for

60


our continued existence on Earth and so it is also critical that people understand the importance of sustainable use and conservation in ensuring that this is still available for future generations.

Logistics How did you recruit your participants? How was it advertised? Leaders of both the Nepal Scotland Association (Kishor Dangol) and the Gurkha Association Scotland (Tika Limbu) were key members of the organising committee and handled recruitment, communication and logistical organisation of all the Nepalese participants. No special advertising was necessary as communication links were already in place to reach out to those interested. There was also opportunity to involve the Bangladeshi community through the inclusion of a Bangladeshi Link worker on the project organising team. However, the strong response from the Nepalese community meant that the workshops were already over-subscribed, and we are looking to run additional projects to include the Bangladeshis and other ethnic minority groups in the future. What were the barriers to designing and/or running this activity? We found that there were no specific barriers to running this activity beyond financial constraints. Funding was tight and so finding suitable venues that were accessible to participants and within our budget sometimes caused difficulties. As we aimed to take participants out into country areas we could not use our home institutes and so needed to find venues with facilities to hold workshops and have access nearby forested areas. We encountered no cultural barriers, but actually found the project opened doors to making connections with other cultural minority groups in the Edinburgh area. Did you carry out any evaluation? If so, how and what were the results? Feedback forms were filled in after each workshop day, summarised and discussed by the project organising committee, which met regularly throughout the year. Feedback was almost entirely very positive, with criticisms mostly at logistical arrangements (catering, travel, time keeping, etc.). Suggestions were used to improve organisation in following workshops and by the end participants were very pleased with the events. What resources were required for the project? External funding from the Forestry Commission Scotland (ÂŁ12,000) and Scottish Natural Heritage (Ref 11649, ÂŁ7,500) was essential as this enabled us to engage self-employed professionals and cover cost of consumables, venue hire, travel and refreshments. Institute staff participated free of charge.

Outcomes What worked well? The format of the day worked well. Firstly the group went for a walk (usually around 2 hours)

61


where we identified, collected and talked about the plants we saw. After a short lunch, we ran a workshop making a simple medicinal or cosmetic item using the material gathered or pre-prepared extracts (where appropriate). This helped the participants to relate the end product, often similar to those they see around them in the shops in the cities, to the living plant. They found this really interesting and we think it helped them to remember the plants better. Walks and practical sessions - breaking the day into diverse activities added structure and maintained interest Groups Tasks - gathering plants and creating products promoted interaction and friendships Personal involvement of experts and relaxed format promoted two-way open interactions. Including funds to engage professionals skilled in project management and workshop development was critical in delivering the project and was key to the success of the project. Nepalese local names for plants or related species is a great help, especially when written in Nepalese script What did you learn from this project? What would you change if you did it again? As we had four separate events spaced some months apart there was scope to build lessons learnt into later workshops. The final workshop went very smoothly and we would probably wish to just continue with this format. Particular lessons learned are included in the tips below. What are your top tips for anyone thinking about a similar activity? (As many as you can) Make use of local environment activity networking groups to source resources and contacts for your project. We are part of the Working With Difference Edinburgh group run by the Forum for Environmental Volunteering Activity (www.feva-scotland.org), who have been very helpful in finding funding sources, training and linking with organisations with facilities that we could use. It is essential that prior to any sessions taking place it’s important to compile a full risk assessment of the workshop site and activities resources in order to identify hazards and action needed to reduce risk to a safe level . This should be done though site visits and group discussion and completing Health and Safety Form taking into consideration : suitability and accessibility of site choice ; ground rules for the day; safety issues surrounding essential tools, resources and equipment; and delegation of individual and group responsibilities. The risk assessment should include location of the site, grid reference, phone number of the nearest hospital and all group leaders should have access to this information. Transport. It is really important to work out transport links for the places shown to visit. Special maps with information about buses, trains and other modes of public transport should be included. Transport cards to take away, with multilingual instructions on would greatly help to encourage future visits by the participants to the fields and forests. If a minibus has to be relied upon, it limits future access for the participating community. Be clear about timings and the importance of timekeeping - a lot of time can be wasted waiting for people to arrive/return, and this also causes frustration of those on time

62


(organisers and attendees!). Provide clear instructions on what to expect during activities - advise on what to bring and wear e.g. appropriate footwear, path qualities (buggies). Be adaptable - have alternative plans if weather or otherwise stops a particular activity. Be aware how many young children (under 5s) might turn up. They might need special activities/supervision. Young children might limit what practical activities can be run (use of hot equipment or liquids, chemicals, etc.), and may be disruptive during talk programmes. The Woodland Trust have good free downloadable resources for children at http://www.naturedetectives.org.uk Have a good plant names list with cross references to names in different languages and in local scripts. Do your homework on the areas that you will be visiting, make sure that any material you wish to use is available and in enough quantity. Make sure necessary access and collection permissions are obtained. Local Nature Reserve/Parks and community led facilities (e.g. village halls) are good venues for running such events as they often have room facilities at very reasonable rates (sometimes at no charge), and the staff are usually very helpful. Contact your local Countryside Ranger Service before your trip as they can provide valuable support and guidance – even staff support if contacted in advance ( we used countrysiderangers@edinburgh.gov.uk ) Strong involvement of community leaders is essential for delegation and smooth running of many logistical aspects.

Please attach any photos from the event or quotes from participants (if you are happy to share them) You Tube links http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQQkOyNgREQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYkWwvMTEqo (images sent separately) We can send some feedback quotes for each month if needed

Comments Please share any further comments

63


We are currently developing some material for the web and will have a web presence. Pages from the workshops are on Monica Wilde’s website including pages documenting how to make the medicinal and cosmetic products http://www.monicawilde.com/fields-forest-project

64


Dark Sky Scotland Name

Dan Hillier

Organisation

Royal Observatory Edinburgh Visitor Centre

Email

Dan.hillier@stfc.ac.uk

Website

www.darkskyscotland.org.uk

The project When did the project run? Dark Sky Scotland was launched in 2007. The partnership is on-going with the programme supported by project funding. Who were the main participants? How many were involved? Participants at the events and projects include families, community groups and schools - in both urban and rural communities throughout Scotland. We have run events at more than 50 different locations attended by more than 10,000 participants. Our training workshops have been attended by more than 800 teachers, other educators, community group leaders and tourism businesses. These have the capacity to have reached at least an additional 10,000 participants. What did you do? The programme has involved a vast array of events and activities in different types of venues, following different formats, tailored for different types of participants: ·

We have run weekend events in some of the most remote communities in Scotland including several island communities.

·

We have run projects with environmental youth groups in Glasgow and Edinburgh, including helping them to identify their local Dark Sky Discovery Sites.

·

Our activities, which run at night and during the day “whatever the weather”, are based around a suite of very popular and accessible time astronomy activities including stargazing, mobile planetarium shows, comet-making, rocket-making and short illustrated talks.

·

We have integrated training into all our events to build the capacity of organisations to run their own activities.

The most vibrant events and projects have often been led by grassroots community and environmental groups. Where did you do it? We have run activities throughout Scotland using formats designed to meet the different requirements of both rural and urban areas. The activities take place both indoors and outdoors. Venues have been very diverse including forest visitor centres, historic homes, rural museums, community halls, youth hostels,

65


arts centres and schools. Why did you do it? What was your motivation for developing this project? We knew from our well-established Visitor Centre that there would be huge interest in our activities if we could take them into new places and communities. We wanted to reach that wider audience to show them that, in the words of the International Year of Astronomy 2009, “the universe is yours to discover”. Our aims are to: · · · · ·

Inspire the public, pupils, teachers and parents through dark skies and astronomy; Encourage and sustain positive attitudes toward science & technology subjects & careers; Support the development of dark sky tourism, recreation and dark sky parks & sites. Develop the network of people able to run future astronomy outreach activities; Create long-lasting partnerships between organisations that will support future activities.

Logistics How did you recruit your participants? How was it advertised? Our launch by the Deputy First Minister for Scotland attracted excellent media coverage in Scotland including television news and features and page three coverage and positive editorial in Scotland’s leading daily papers. Participants in specific events and projects are recruited through the local host venues and community partners who have the knowledge of local networks and marketing. We recruited local venues through the networks of our national partners. What were the barriers to designing and/or running this activity? We needed to select and develop a set of popular activities that we could programme and run in a wide variety of venues and conditions, including cloudy weather! We needed to persuade national and local partners, from both within the science engagement community and, crucially, beyond it, that we had the capability to design and deliver a Scotland-wide programme of popular, high quality of activities. The national partnership enabled us to plan and fundraise for a programme on a national scale. Did you carry out any evaluation? If so, how and what were the results? We piloted events in a variety of locations to refine the format of successful events. This front end evaluation also clearly identified outdoor, environmental and community groups as excellent partners. The strength of the feedback from the pilots persuaded the Forestry Commission Scotland to

66


become a key national partner, providing a national network of contacts with local communities, particularly through the Community Woodland Association. We have evaluated each of the three main phases, using the evidence to plan and fundraise for subsequent programmes. We have written up a case study of the project which describes longer-term impact of the programme including the Forestry Commission Scotland creating of the UK’s first Dark Sky Park in Galloway Forest in 2009 and the potential economic of that development. What resources were required for the project? The national partners bring a unique and complementary set of resources to the table. Through their support we have been able to put in place: An enthusiastic, skilled and trained Dark Sky team, willing and able to travel long distances and work very unsocial hours! Specialist kit including, in particular, a mobile planetarium. A project officer able to coordinate the programme. Graphic design skills to create an attractive website and devise our unique pocket starcharts which have become one of the trademarks of the project. A project leader able to bring together all the above and to sustain the partnership through different phases of funding.

Outcomes What worked well? We inspired people to do their own things. We inspired organisations to do their own things - and to collaborate with others. The events are accessible and in depth at the same time. Community groups hosted the most vibrant events. Outdoor learning organisations are excellent partners. We developed a model that is taken up by partners in other parts of the UK. Media interest in Dark Sky tourism is especially strong. What did you learn from this project? What would you change if you did it again?

67


We learned that just about everyone will engage with astronomy if it’s done in the right place and the right way. We learned the value of casting the net wide to find the right partners, in our case especially outdoor, environmental and community organisations. We learned new ways of packaging our activities for different types of participants, enabling us to tap into different funding sources. We learned the motivating power of astronomy for many individuals from our partner organisations. They revelled in doing astronomy as part of their job! What are your top tips for anyone thinking about a similar activity? (As many as you can) Have an enthusiastic and trained team that can run a mix of proven, accessible activities, whatever the weather. Have a focus on naked eye observing – a skill that participants can pick up very quickly and so take away and use themselves and share with others. When choosing venues, logistics are more important than the darkness of the sky. There are many factors that need to come together when fitting a programme into a venue for local participants. We would be very happy to discuss all these tips in more detail. Please attach any photos from the event or quotes from participants (if you are happy to share them)

Images of a UK light pollution map and young stargazers are here: http://www.darkskyscotland.org.uk/press-media/20070116/index.html These quotes from our training events illustrate the impact on individuals and partner organisations: “Lively & not too technical – Just right!” “Fantastic! Distilled, very clear and inspiring.” “Now absolutely enthused – will discuss sessions with my manager – really informative.” “The knowledge and enthusiasm from all staff was exceptional.” Comments Please share any further comments

Dark skies are found in rural areas that are free of urban light pollution, making them ideal places to view our night sky with the naked eye. From a city centre location we might see fewer than 100 stars with our naked eyes. Under a dark sky we can see more than 1,000 stars

68


and even the Milky Way, stretching across the sky. Scotland has some of the largest areas of dark sky in western Europe. Even in our towns and cities there are many places where we can see planets and other wonders of the night sky. Dark Sky Scotland has turned dark skies into an environmental asset for tourism, education and communities. The partners are: · · · · · ·

Royal Observatory Edinburgh Visitor Centre Glasgow Science Centre Institute of Physics Scotland Forestry Commission Scotland Skills Development Scotland Amateur and research astronomy communities

The programme is based on project funding. The main funders have been the Scottish Government and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (which runs the Royal Observatory Edinburgh Visitor Centre). We are building a UK network of partners interested in these approaches to Dark Sky activities. We hope to set up a UK programme in 2011.

69


Science Museum – but no science? Name

Anthony Richards

Organisation

Science Museum

Email

anthony.richards@sceincemuseum.org.uk

Website

www.sciencemuseum.ork.uk

The project When did the project run? From September 2010 to April 2011 Who were the main participants? How many were involved? 20 children from 5-15 from schools across the country (part one) Disadvantaged and excluded youth from London, (part two) What did you do? Through a series of 5 day session with skilled facilitators the participants have been encouraged to do their own science – i.e. design their own experiments, conduct the research and find out new things. This is all done in a bone fida science lab built by Beau Lotto in the Science Museum. Where did you do it? In a purpose built space, and working lab within the museum. Why did you do it? What was your motivation for developing this project? To change people’s perception of science and a museum To engage the public, including young children in actually doing REAL science, not just watching it or being confused by it To enhance the lives of the participants To represent science as something that is a logical continuation of our natural curiosity and wonder about the world around us.

Logistics How did you recruit your participants? How was it advertised? Through schools we knew in Devon and London, and working with the MET police and through Lotto Lab’s existing work with schoolchildren. What were the barriers to designing and/or running this activity?

70


Securing time from schools for sessions Negativity from more academic viewpoint that these audiences cannot do ‘real science’ Did you carry out any evaluation? If so, how and what were the results? There will be, it’s on going, there will be a film and dissemination through our Lates programme and conferences etc What resources were required for the project? Grant from Wellcome for Lotto Lab Staff commitment from Science Museum to coordinate project Designers and builders in construction School and parental permission and commitments

Outcomes What worked well? Sessions were inspirational and participants have reported life changing effects Communicating project to adults at Lates evenings Children showing and communicating the project to adults What did you learn from this project? What would you change if you did it again? Skilled and inspirational programmes are rare and can usually target only small groups but the long term effects can be dramatic People can gain so much from confidence building and one to one attention What are your top tips for anyone thinking about a similar activity? (As many as you can) Plan, rehearse and used extremely skilled facilitators Do not underestimate children and their ability to ask genuine and searching questions Please attach any photos from the event or quotes from participants (if you are happy to share them)

71


72


Dana Centre: Audience-led programme Name

Katrina Nilsson

Organisation

Email

Kat.nilsson@sciencemuseum.org.uk

Website

Science Museum’s Dana Centre http://www.danacentre.org.uk/

The project When did the project run? The project started in 2007 and has run ever since. Who were the main participants? How many were involved? · · · ·

A focus group consisting of approximately 12 members of London’s African-Caribbean community. A focus group facilitator, Elizabeth Anionwu. Elizabeth is a Dana Centre Trustee, Professor Emeritus of Thames Valley University and Head of the Mary Seacole Centre for Nursing Practice. Science Museum’s Dana Centre Events team (x1) Science Museum’s Audience Research and Advocacy Team (x1)

What did you do? The Science Museum’s Dana Centre set up a focus group of members from London’s AfricanCaribbean community. Initially the focus group was consulted to inform two events at the Dana Centre. The group were involved in selecting the specific topic-area, the angle the issues are approached from and influencing the format of the event both before and during the event development. The project was evaluated and was hugely successful. As a result the Museum decided to continue with it. In total thirteen public events have been developed and delivered in conjunction with the focus group, on topics ranging from scientific racism and moving genes to ethnicity and intelligence. Where did you do it? The Science Museum’s Dana Centre, an innovative events venue for adults to discuss the latest developments and controversies in science, technology and medicine. Why did you do it? What was your motivation for developing this project?

73


The Science Museum is committed to appeal to the widest possible audience. The AfricanCaribbean community in London was under-represented in the Science Museum’s Dana Centre visitor profile. This project explored the needs, wants, expectations of this community to ensure public events at the Dana Centre were relevant, appealing and accessible to them. The Dana Centre had never worked with the African-Caribbean community in an audienceled approach before. More specifically we wanted: · To discuss with the community how to sensitively explore controversial and emotive subjects. · To explore potential formats for the events: What kind of format makes an event interesting and engaging to this community? How should it be delivered? How can we remove any barriers specific to this community? · To find out how to target and encourage people from this community to attend the events. How and where should the Museum advertise and market these events? What form should advertising take? · To discover a range science/technology/medicine related topics areas that would be interesting and relevant to the African-Caribbean community in London. · To inform the audience-led process and how future focus groups will be conducted. What shape should the consultation process take (online forums, roundtable discussions etc) Logistics How did you recruit your participants? How was it advertised? · ·

· · ·

·

· · · · · ·

The Dana Centre had an initial consultation with group facilitator Elizabeth Anionwu and together selected participants. As Elizabeth had extensive experience of consultation with members of London’s African-Caribbean community this enabled the Dana Centre access to a good network of diverse individuals that came together as a challenging and varied group with different ideas, perspectives and backgrounds. Elizabeth was able to represent the communities’ needs, aspirations and expectations at the highest level. Trust between the organisation and focus group, who were new to the Museum, was established quickly, as the panel knew and respected Elizabeth. The focus group were all independent adults of African-Caribbean background and were all practitioners or professionals working in the private or public sector. All are well connected to various networks relating to community, professional networks and advocacy groups. An initial focus group meeting explored how an event series about the first topic, Scientific Racism, should be approached. The focus group concentrated on how to tackle this sensitive subject area: which aspects should be explored, which formats are appropriate, whose views would be presented. Development of event proposals based on focus group findings were begun by Dana Centre events team. Input from the focus group to the proposal using a private online discussion group. A second focus group to explore draft event proposals and establish if plans met the focus groups expectations. Final stages of event development: In response to feedback from second focus group and consultation via the online discussion forum, final event details were finalized. Promoting the event: This happened via marketing materials (email leaflet, paper leaflet) and word-of-mouth/direct personal contact. A final focus group was held after the first event to access the event and the

74


consultation process. What were the barriers to designing and/or running this activity? By working with the focus group the project identified the following barriers to their community engaging with the Science Museum. Representation: The group identified that Black history and Black role models need to be more visible in any cultural attraction to engage members of that community and get involved with an organisation. Further, they felt that the perception of Black culture and Black Britons in society can be negative. The group as a whole was very committed to fighting for positive representation of their community in society. Overcoming barrier: Through the project the museum worked with the community to raise visibility of Black history and Black issues. Events relating to Black History and of interest to the African-Caribbean community were embedded into the regular programming at the Dana Centre and the Science Museum - outside of Black History Month. Institutional: Networking opportunities were highly valued by this group. Networking for this group meant the opportunity to meet new people, make new contacts, and spread information about other events of interest to the African-Caribbean community. Most of the conversations during breaks involved networking, sharing information and skill sharing. The community would like to use the Museum to be a place where they can network. For example, one member of the group was angry that she had requested to distribute leaflets at a recent Dana Centre event relating to Black History Month and had been asked to stop and collect everything back. Overcoming barrier: The Museum reviewed some of its policies that create barriers for this audience to networking in the way they expect. This is a diversity issue, because different audiences wish to interact with the Museum in different ways. Networking is an important function for the African-Caribbean audience. Diversity in the Workforce: The group strongly felt that staff needed to be more diverse and that diversity training was important for all staff at all levels of any organisation to help understand diverse communities needs better.. It was important to focus group members that they felt welcomed and assured that the Dana Centre is for them and one of the ways that this can be done is through a diverse work force. Overcoming barrier: The Museum acknowledge the need to communicate to the community what it was doing to diversify its workforce and the cultural offer to overcome perceptions of not being engaged with diversity and establish and reinforce its reputation in this area with audiences. Perceptions of Tokenism: Some members of the focus group were suspicious or had reservations of the Museum’s intentions and questioned if the Museum was being tokenistic, or really wanted to work with the community in the long-term to deliver better programming with them. Overcoming barrier: By continuing the project after the initial year the Museum demonstrated to the community that they wanted to embed Black history and Black issues in its programming to overcome perceptions of the museum being ‘tokenistic’. The Museum has committed to regular, sustained activity with this community, and other underrepresented communities, with funding to back it up. The Museum is now looking to ensure that cultural representation is embedded across all its cultural products not just in events. Lack of confidence in the audience-led process to go beyond informing events: A few

75


members of the panel were not confident that focus groups would be able to affect the direction of exhibitions. They were pleased to be part of planning events, but did not think there would be the opportunity to do the same with exhibitions. Overcoming barrier: To gain the increased confidence of this audience, the audience-led approach to visitor focussed services should be embedded. The focus group was pleased that the Museum responded to their request to focus on scientific racism as opposed to issues surrounding the 2007 Bicentenary of Abolition. Did you carry out any evaluation? If so, how and what were the results? Yes, the main recommendations are outlined below. What resources were required for the project? · · ·

Dana Centre events developer – 40 days in first year. 16 days for each subsequent event (approximately 3 events a year) Museum’s Audience Research and Advocacy Team – 10 days in first year The Museum committed £3K a year to pay for the group facilitator and focus group participant time and event costs.

Outcomes What worked well? The project was hugely successful in creating a dynamic and committed focus group with which the Dana events team developed a strong relationship. Together they developed many interesting and unique events which appealed to the African-Caribbean community and attracted them to the Dana Centre. Attendance at the events by member of the African-Caribbean community rose significantly. The project has enabled an effective and thorough exploration how to target and encourage the African-Caribbean community to attend events, find out topics or formats of particular interest, how to sensitively explore challenging topics and how we can remove barriers to their involvement. The focus group’s feedback was very positive. Some key thoughts are below: · Overall, the focus group participants were positive about the events and nearly all specifically said that they liked the choice of speakers and found them interesting. · The focus group articulated early on that they wanted to audience at the event to be diverse and from many different ethnic backgrounds. They noted that it seemed to them, from appearance, that the audience was very mixed and diverse, and they were pleased. · The focus group liked the fact that the event was relevant to everyone, not just the African-Caribbean community. · The group felt that they had genuine impact on the shaping and direction of the events. · Many related that they felt the process empowering and that the Museum staff really took on board the recommendations they had. · Due to the length and depth of the process, with 4 meetings and an online discussion forum, the group felt that the organisation had not been tokenistic, but genuinely valued the group, giving significant time and resources. · Members of the group felt that the Dana Centre provided the partnership opportunity to get events off the ground that they wanted to see but had not had the resources to do individually or in smaller communities. · After experiencing the events, participants praised the innovation of the Dana Centre

76


What did you learn from this project? What would you change if you did it again? Below are the key recommendations from the evaluation: · The Science Museum must embed Black history, Black role models, and Black contribution to science and technology into its cultural offer to ensure reaching African-Caribbean audiences and working towards a true reflection of its audience. Further, the Museum must work with the Black community to define and deliver on this aim. This will ensure more diverse voices are heard and truly reflect its audience. This project has demonstrated at the Dana Centre is gaining a positive reputation with the African-Caribbean community and this approach will ensure that reputation continues to flourish. · Amongst some sections of the Museum audience the perception exists that somewhere like the Science Museum would not know about diversity or is not active in embracing diversity and delivering on related action. The museum needs to promote all the work it does on diversity, including external communication, ensuring representation on museum websites, highlighting in marketing material when offers have been developed in consultation with audiences. · The focus group now view the Museum as an appropriate and appealing partner to deliver subjects of interest to diverse communities in a sensitive way. The Museum should continue to explore opportunities and partnerships with the African-Caribbean community to continue to build on this successful partnership project. · The Museum must engage diverse leaders for key cultural offers to ensure diverse voices are heard and diverse representation is embedded. Leadership by Elizabeth Anionwu, Dana Centre Trustee, Professor Emeritus of Thames Valley University and Head of the Mary Seacole Centre for Nursing Practice was a key factor in the success of this project. · To develop effective, targeted and innovative topics, communities must be consulted at the earliest possible time in the planning process. Ideally, before a funding bid is agreed. This will ensure that the topic is something that the Museum’s target audience wants us to explore. The Museum should continue to use audienceled processes to explore sensitive topic areas. This project ensured that sensitive and challenging topic areas were explored thoroughly with key audience groups. · The Museum is now looking to involve the African-Caribbean focus group in shaping the content of other outputs, for example the Museum’s monthly ‘Lates’ events, which attract several thousand adults to the main Museum. What are your top tips for anyone thinking about a similar activity? (As many as you can) Employing a respected and authoritative member of the community to facilitate the focus groups on behalf of the museum was crucial to this project. Future projects should always seek to engage respected community consultants. Please attach any photos from the event or quotes from participants (if you are happy to share them) Details of all the events run in conjunction with the focus group can be found here http://www.danacentre.org.uk/events/programmes/22

77


National DNA Database on Trial Name

Email

Dr Rachel Iredale

Organisation

University of Glamorgan

Claudine Anderson

Wales Gene Park

Dr Anita Shaw

Techniquest

Dr Steve Bain

University of Swansea

anita@techniquest.org

Website

www.dnadatabaseontrial.org

The project When did the project run? June – December 2008 Who were the main participants? How many were involved? Young people between the ages of 15 and 18 years. We worked with 84 young people during the research phase; 37 young people were involved in the trial and preparation workshops. What did you do? We ran a mock trial in Cardiff Crown Court, with young people aged 15 – 18 years taking roles as the prosecution, defence and the jury, with the charge: that the government would be guilty of causing an unreasonable threat to the civil liberties of the United Kingdom by the creation of a universal DNA database. The project had four main phases: 1. Research with the target group comprising10 focus group discussions. The results of this fed into the development of the charge that would be put to the Court 2. Pre-trial workshops. The project team and partners worked with the prosecution and defence teams as they prepared their cases over a period of weeks, and also ran induction events at the Court with the prosecution, defence and jury 3. The trial. The processes conducted in a criminal justice trial were emulated as closely as possible 4. Dissemination. The young people presented their verdict to the Human Genetics Commission at a plenary session as part of the HGC’s consultation ‘The forensic use of DNA and the National DNA Database’.

Where did you do it? The pre-trial workshops were held at the participants’ school/college and the trial was held at Cardiff Crown Court. Why did you do it? What was your motivation for developing this project? Techniquest and the Wales Gene Park had previously organised a consultation event to explore young people’s views on the Nuffield Council of Bioethics paper ‘Forensic Uses of Bioinformation’ and had subsequently developed a resource to encourage people to

78


explore some of the social and ethical issues surrounding the National DNA Database. The partners wanted to explore further the attitudes of young people to the NDNAD, but we wanted to engage those who would not normally be involved in this sort of project, specifically those who may have been arrested and who may have had direct experience of the NDNAD. We were keen for this group to present their views to the Human Genetics Commission as part of their consultation on the NDNAD (see above).

Logistics How did you recruit your participants? How was it advertised? The 84 young people who were engaged in the research part of the project were recruited through youth offending teams, attendance centres and youth centres in Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend. Of these, 29 signed up to be jurors, of which 12 were chosen. To recruit the prosecution and defence, letters were sent to Heads of Science at all secondary schools in the unitary authorities of Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend and Rhondda Cynon Taff. Four schools responded and the project team worked with two of these. What were the barriers to designing and/or running this activity? We were not able to work with the groups we had originally targeted in the way we had planned because, for a number of reasons, those individuals were unable to give the time or the commitment to the project that was required. Did you carry out any evaluation? If so, how and what were the results? Following the trial, the young people were asked to complete evaluation forms about their experiences of taking part in the project. All but one of the 37 participants said that they enjoyed taking part in the project. The jury (n=12) were asked whether they felt comfortable to express their opinions during the jury deliberation. Seven said they felt very comfortable, four said that they felt comfortable for most of the time, and one said that s/he did not often feel comfortable. Overall, participants’ comments were very positive and showed that the majority enjoyed taking part: “Us youths [sic] should be aware and have more opportunities to participate in such events – as I found it very informative!” “Good experience and I thurely [sic] enjoyed it.” “It’s a brilliant idea that makes us, the youth of today, think more about what’s going on in our country!” Please see Anderson et at, 2010 and Stackhouse et al, 2010 (see last section below) for more details What resources were required for the project?

79


The main resource was staff time from the four partners. We also worked with Funky Dragon, the Children and Young People’s Assembly for Wales, and staff at Parc Prison. Funky Dragon prepared the participants for the experience through advising on teambuilding skills, sharing responsibilities, training on presentation techniques, and guidance about how to form their arguments. Staff at Parc Prison worked with prisoners to develop a sculpture representing the NDNAD that was placed in the dock and a banner that was displayed in the public gallery. We used Discuss DNA, a discussion resource developed by the Wales Gene Park and Techniquest, inspired by DEMOCs©, to introduce all those involved in the project to the National DNA Database. We developed a website about the project and a short film, ‘From Cheek to Court’ which describes the journey DNA takes from when it is removed from a suspect’s cheek in the custody suite at a police station to being a profile on the National DNA Database.

Outcomes What worked well? This project demonstrated that the mock trial format can be used to facilitate young people’s understanding of complex, contentious genetic topics, and can encourage them to undertake comprehensive research about wider issues in the forensic use of genetic information in criminal justice. It enabled young people to make decisions about applications of DNA technology after careful consideration of associated ethical, social, legal and economic issues and for them to discuss their conclusions with policy makers. What did you learn from this project? What would you change if you did it again? See above. We were disappointed not to engage as fully with young offenders as we had originally proposed; although they took part in the original research, they did not get involved in the trial. The young offenders found it difficult to commit to the project because of the time required, which is similar to those views reported from participants in other deliberative democracy models. By reducing this commitment by, for example, fitting in with the young offenders’ current activities or running fewer preparatory sessions, it is possible that their involvement could have been increased. Some members of our advisory board believed, from their experience, that thanking the young offenders for their time in the project with an event or activity which they would not normally experience (e.g. go-karting, a ride in a limousine, a buffet meal at a hotel) may have been appreciated more than High Street vouchers. In addition, other methods for collecting information for their evidence, such as excursions to conduct personal interviews with experts, could have increased the project’s appeal. These changes may also have suited some of the young people from youth centres and schools who expressed an interest, but did not commit to the project. These alterations could produce a format which might appeal to those who did not continue with the project, but remain untested. However, the format used in this project does appeal

80


to some young people as all of the participants in the trial took part voluntarily and almost half of these participants said they would have taken part without remuneration. What are your top tips for anyone thinking about a similar activity? (As many as you can) 1. Work closely with people with experience of working with the young people you are targeting (school teachers, youth offending teams, youth centre workers) 2. Choose a subject that personally affects individuals in the target group so that it has relevance 3. Carry out research with the target group to get preliminary data about issues that are relevant to the group 4. Be prepared to change your project if it isn’t working as planned, but work closely with your advisory group (which, in our case, consisted of those with expertise in NDNAD, youth work, law, public engagement and social sciences, as well as representation from the Welsh Assembly Government and HGC) and funders (in our case, the Wellcome Trust) to take into account the views of all stakeholders 5. Where possible, provide opportunities to input into current consultations, so that participants can see that their views are important to the democratic process 6. Provide opportunities for the young people (not the project team!) to present their views to decision makers (in our project they personally presented to the Welsh Assembly Government and the Human Genetics Commission) Please attach any photos from the event or quotes from participants (if you are happy to share them) Please see www.dnadatabaseontrial.org

Comments Please share a1ny further comments The project report is available from the website or as a hard copy on request from the project partners. A DVD of the trial is available on the website. The team published two papers, on the research that preceded the project, and on the trial itself: Avoiding the “usual suspects”: young people's views of the National DNA Database (2010) R. Stackhouse; C. Anderson; A. M. Shaw; R. Iredale. New Genetics and Society, 29 (2) pp 149 – 166

81


The National DNA Database on Trial: engaging young people in South Wales with genetics C. Anderson; R. Stackhouse; A. M. Shaw; R. Iredale. Public Understanding of Science (accepted for publication, May 2010)

82


Science activity visits in hospitals Name

Sally Montgomery

Organisation

W5

Email

Sallymontgomery@w5online.co.uk

Website

www.w5online.co.uk

Jamesbryant@w5online.co.uk

The project When did the project run? The project has been on-going since the summer of 2004 and is due to continue until at least April 2012. This has been funded by Children in Need. Who were the main participants? How many were involved? The programme was delivered by the education team from W5 and Play Specialists from the Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children (RVHSC) in Belfast, Northern Ireland. During the course of the project more than a dozen members of W5’s education team and numerous play specialists have been involved. The visits have reached over 1,000 children over the course of the programme so far. These are children who have been in the Royal Victoria for Sick Children. What did you do? W5’s education staff visit the RVHSC in periods when the hospital’s own education staff are unavailable (such as during the summer and Easter holidays). Unless fewer are specifically requested by the hospital [staff], 2 members of W5 staff attend the RVHSC on each visit. On most occasions the W5 staff separate and visit different wards under the supervision of a RVHSC Play Specialist. They meet with patients on a 1-on-1 or small-group basis and present a short demonstration or hands-on activity based on simple science concepts. The activities are all related to the Northern Ireland Curriculum and have a focus on learning through fun. They are designed such that the patients produce something reflecting the science concept which they can keep once the visit has been completed. An example includes making borax-slime to investigate the properties of solids, liquids & gases and some very basic chemistry - with the young patients able to keep their own slime at the end of the demonstration to continue to have fun with. On other occasions the W5 staff put-on a 50-minute show in the RVHSC foyer to larger audiences - these shows were composed of a series of linked demonstrations based around Newton’s laws of motion and had a focus on fun and interactivity. Where did you do it? Initially in various care wards at RVHSC, also in the “mall” foyer area at the RVHSC. In 2005 visits were also made to the Musgrave Park hospital in Belfast under the same programme.

83


Why did you do it? What was your motivation for developing this project? W5’s stated aim is to “fire the spirit of discovery whilst unlocking the scientist and creativity in everyone” that means all members of society, especially children and young adults. W5 endeavours to actively engage with those who, for reasons beyond their control, may be excluded from normal activities. So, W5 undertakes numerous outreach programmes to spread that spirit to those for whom it is not possible (or convenient) to visit W5 itself. Those who are unfortunate enough to have been hospitalised are unable to visit W5, so W5 targets such areas specifically as prospects for outreach programmes. In addition to the physical stresses of illness and surgical procedures, long-term hospitalisation can have serious psychological effects on patients and their families. Boredom and lack of stimuli can both cause serious difficulties, not only for the children and young adults, but also for parents and families. W5’s aims for this programme were to offer a break from routine, some fun interaction with different people and a chance to learn something new. Whilst the parents and families commonly join in with the activities, for some W5’s visit is a valuable opportunity to get some respite, a breath of fresh air or just a coffee to recharge their batteries. Once the visit is over there is then an opportunity for the child to pass on their own new-found knowledge to their families and carers; this in itself is furtherance of W5’s stated aim.

Logistics How did you recruit your participants? How was it advertised? Participants are identified by the RVHSC play specialists immediately prior to each visit. A specific effort is made to include those patients who are spending long periods of time continuously in the hospital. The nature of the programme is such that no advertising is necessary - it is promoted within the RVHSC itself by the play specialists and participation by patients is voluntary. Some participants are approached “on the spot” by play specialists during the visits but most are planned-out by the RVHSC staff in advance of W5’s arrival.

What were the barriers to designing and/or running this activity? The “kit” containing all of the demonstrations available during the visit has to be handportable by one person. The kits include numerous (up to a dozen) different activities, so as to appeal to the widest possible range of interests. This puts a size and weight limitation on the materials that support each activity. On some wards all materials taken in to patients must be left with them (to prevent the spread of infectious diseases) and in all cases the materials and their handling must meet with hospital hygiene standards. The patients at the RVHSC vary in age from toddlers to teenagers. As such the activities often have to be scalable in complexity. In addition to age constraints patients are sometimes limited in their manoeuvrability due to injury, illness or invasive medical equipment to which

84


they are attached. Some patients have very limited mobility - in these cases a mental rather than physical focus for the activities is necessary; such requirements must be accounted-for when designing the range of activities. In addition to this the patient’s treatment and wellbeing are paramount, so the timing and length of the activities must allow for interruptions or curtailment as the hospital’s medical personnel deem fit. Within W5 the education staff deal with large groups. School-groups for workshops or audiences for a demonstration show will typically be about 20 - 40 people in size. At the RVHSC almost all demonstrations are performed on a 1-on-1 basis. Adapting show demonstrations to work in a 1-on-1 situation presents difficulties that must be overcome without compromising the content. In some cases activities are designed and developed only for use during the RVHSC visits. The patients are often in episodic pain or distress - sometimes seriously and unexpectedly. The W5 staff must take such occurrences in their stride to minimise exacerbation of the patients’ condition. As W5’s staff are not medical professionals and are only infrequently present at such events the experience can be an emotionally difficult one. Did you carry out any evaluation? If so, how and what were the results? Formal evaluation was not deemed appropriate for this project, however testimonies from the RVHSC Play Specialists have been collected each year as part of the reports made to Children in Need (who have sponsored the programme). For example ‘Just a quick note to let you know how beneficial I believe the visits to the ward are. You and your staff have a great rapport with all the children you work with, you see past the tubes, wise, disfigurements etc and treat every child with respect; you don’t focus on their illness but see them as the child they are. You bring laughter and enjoyment to their lives, you bring your experiments that fascinate them, particularly useful for the child who has been in for some time and has exhausted all we as play specialists have to offer.’ Hospital Play Specialist. What resources were required for the project? Logistics included obtaining the use of W5’s vehicles for the outreaches and maintenance of a constant supply of materials for the activities. Materials include arts and crafts supplies, preprinted activity sheets and some consumable chemicals such as di-sodium tetraborate (borax). The lines of communication between the RVHSC and W5, both during the delivery and in the planning stages are essential logistical tools that benefit from regular maintenance.

Outcomes What worked well? The 1-to-1 nature of the visits has proven very popular with the patients, who appreciate treatment as individuals. Likewise, that the choice of activity is to some extent “up to them”

85


rather than prescribed is welcomed. More involved activities can seem daunting so several simple activities are preferable to a single complicated one. Something as simple as learning to make a paper aeroplane and adjusting it to display different flight characteristics can be immensely rewarding. The practice of having the two W5 staff split-up and visit separate wards allows more patients to receive a visit and increases awareness of the project in general. Having the RVHSC Play department staff accompany the W5 staff has also worked well. Not only are the Play staff familiar with the patients, they are also able to liaise with the RVHSC staff around them. What did you learn from this project? What would you change if you did it again? We have learned that although the larger-scale shows are well-received, the individual 1-on1 sessions are more effective and appreciated. It was also noted that the limitations of some patients’ treatment regimes meant that they were unable to attend the shows, making the shows somewhat counter-productive. Initially it was envisaged that the shows would comprise approximately half of the visits, but over the course of the programme these have been scaled-back in favour of the bedside visits. We have also learned to theme several of our demonstrations and activities similarly. This facilitates preparation and delivery of a range of activities to suit all ages and forms a series of linked activities when more time is available to spend with a single patient. We have also realised the importance of the visit to the patients and the flexibility in relation to arrangements. W5’s team really value this programme as being worthwhile and value it as much as the patients do. What are your top tips for anyone thinking about a similar activity? (As many as you can) - Formation of a good working relationship between the RVHSC Play department and W5’s education department is key to the success of this programme. The participation of the RVHSC’s Play staff and their comfort in working with the W5 staff has been essential. The enthusiasm of the Play staff regularly overcomes any trepidation some patients may have, resulting in a much more positive and enjoyable experience for all. - Maintaining the number of delivery staff at a low level (in the case of this project the delivery staff have typically numbered only 5 at a time) has fostered this relationship and also has allowed W5 staff to build a rapport with long-term patients that they have met during visits over a series of weeks. - Remember that in projects like this you are interacting with individuals, each with their own different and very special requirements. Remembering to treat each patient as an individual and being prepared to be flexible is crucial. - When emotionally difficult circumstances arise it’s key to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. - Those that find the project emotionally difficult should try to avoid focussing on that aspect in anticipation of an upcoming visit. Emotionally difficult instances do occur, but individuals

86


remain individuals regardless of the circumstances. Our experience has taught us that the patients at the RVHSC are very often delightful company - far more often than not, in fact.

Comments Please share any further comments We have fully realised the importance of the visit to the patients and in some circumstances this is very humbling. W5’s team really value this programme as being worthwhile and are very grateful both to Children in Need that help fund the work and the staff at the Royal Victoria Hospital for their advice and support.

87


Camp for Climate Action Name

Anonymous

Organisation

Camp for Climate Action

Email

info@climatecamp.org.uk

Website

www.climatecamp.org.uk

The project When did the project run? Camp for Climate Action is an on-going endeavour. However, this case study focuses upon the Climate Camp on London’s Blackheath in August 2009. Preparation has in some ways been cumulatively underway since 2006 and before, as skills and experience have been developed in groups with different guises such as Reclaim the Streets, Earth First and Greenham Common. Project-specific preparation began in April 2009. Who were the main participants? How many were involved? No accurate records were made. Hundreds of people were involved in preparing for the Camp – all people who to a greater or lesser extent consider themselves to be “Climate Campers”. Approximately 400 people camped on Blackheath, with many activists staying for part of the occupation. Thousands of members of the public visited the site during the five day occupation. What did you do? The only way in which the Camp for Climate Action (CfCA) exists is through neighbourhood meetings, UK Gatherings and direct actions that result from these meetings. Geographically organised neighbourhood meetings draw in activists from a particular area and normally meet in one or more towns or cities in their region. For example there is a London neighbourhood meeting in central London, … More information is available on the CfCA website, under ‘get involved’ and local groups pages. The UK Gatherings have generally happened on a monthly basis, and give an opportunity for all the neighbourhoods to gather and decide what actions to take, nationally, regionally and locally. Neighbourhoods are autonomous and can also make suggestions for national action at a UK Gathering. All meetings and Gatherings operate within consensus decision-making solutions. This system also operates during a Climate Camp, as camping areas and kitchens are arranged according to the neighbourhoods. Each neighbourhood and working group on the site sends a ‘spoke’ to daily hub meetings. Notes of each neighbourhood, working group and hub meeting were made available at meetings and on neighbourhood noticeboards. The location, length and style of Camp were debated at length in monthly UK Climate Camp gatherings and regular neighbourhood meetings from January 2009-June 2009. From April 2009, working groups were set up to cover the logistics of preparing for, holding and deconstructing the Camp. The working groups met at UK Gatherings and networked through email lists and tele-conferences. Some groups held additional physical meetings. Many of the working groups used guidelines prepared by working groups for previous Camps. When new working methods were needed, the wisdom and consensus decision making of each

88


monthly UK Gathering was sought. The working groups networked with each other to enable the site to be occupied midday 26th August. Site security, composting toilets, kitchens, camping areas, workshops and entertainments were all working by the afternoon on 26th August. Less obvious working groups were also in action, such as the welcome group welcoming activists and visitors, and the meetings group facilitating daily meetings and information flow between each neighbourhood and working group. The outreach group and media group were particularly active in the run-up to the event and during the event, inviting national and regional groups, local groups and people and explaining the Blackheath Camp to anyone who asked. Then much fun was had by all involved. The workshops informed and skilled up participants about economics, climate science, community facilitation skills, and direct action techniques. Various direct actions were developed on-site and took place in central London. Planning for a larger direct action at Ratcliffe in October 2009 and Climate Camp’s role at Copenhagen were also carried out. The Camp led by example for all activists and visitors by providing vegan food, renewable powered infrastructure and composting toilets. Twice daily tours introduced visitors to the Camp and the Site working group kept all the infrastructure working. Where did you do it? In the past, UK Gatherings were held in a different location each month, according to which neighbourhoods could offer to host it, while seeking a sensible balance of geographical locations. Local meetings are held across the UK, according to the geographical location of climate camp activists. The May 2009 UK Gathering chose London as the location for England’s summer Camp. The exact location was chosen by a closed working group, and was revealed to most of the activists involved on 26th August as the site was occupied. Camp for Climate Action also created Camps in Scotland and Wales during the summer of 2009. Why did you do it? What was your motivation for developing this project? Everything the Camp for Climate Action does shares the following aims: * Education: raising our own and wider public understanding of the problem, its root causes and how it might be solved; * Sustainable living: exploring and experiencing in practice some of the ways in which a truly sustainable society might function; * Direct action: taking part in small and large group action to confront the root causes of climate change; * Movement-building: acting in solidarity and forging links with people and groups with common or related interests, including workers and the communities or populations most acutely affected by climate change in Britain and throughout the world, to build a movement with the wisdom, diversity and strength to achieve true ecological and social

89


justice. The reasons for choosing London and Blackheath are numerous and may be summarised in the following top ten: 1: Tall buildings 2: Low flood plains 3: False solutions 4: Peak oil 5: Long history 6: So many politicians 7: Wide inequality 8: Big banks 9: Small changes, big impact 10: Millions of people

Logistics How did you recruit your participants? How was it advertised? Activists are attracted to Climate Camp for any number of reasons, reflecting their own personal priorities. It is important that both the way in which the Camp for Climate Action conducts decision-making and the nature of the activities it promotes display an integrity of purpose. Working groups attracted activists by ‘shouting out’ at UK Gatherings, and across the UK through contacts at local environment and social groups (eg transition town, local transport, food growing and other local pressure group meetings) and on email lists. The outreach and networking group produced publicity leaflets, had stands at relevant festivals and events, emailed and phoned local and regional groups, and letter dropped local Blackheath residents. Three events for local residents were held a fortnight before the event, during the event and a fortnight after the event to answer any questions. What were the barriers to designing and/or running this activity? Significant concerns about policing inhibited working group activity and outreach, especially following heavy-handed policing (later found to be partly illegal) of the Kingsnorth Camp summer 2008 and the G20 London Camp April 1st 2009. The Camp for Climate Action is made up of disparate individuals and groups, scattered across the UK, many with limited incomes. This makes physically meeting to make decisions together logistically challenging. Similarly, raising funds for each Camp’s infrastructure has

90


proved a challenge to each neighbourhood and working group. Finally, the way in which CfCA organises is only possible due to shared priorities and passions amongst all the ‘Climate Campers’. When this is called into question, for example due to perceptions of ‘political differences’, the amount of personal energy needed to make a Camp happen especially through consensus decision making, can start to break down through to individuals withdrawing their support.

Did you carry out any evaluation? If so, how and what were the results? Yes, the Camp was evaluated by participants during a facilitated meeting on the last day and published on the website here www.climatecamp.org.uk/get-involved/nationalgatherings/minutes/where-next In summary, concerns raised were that: CfCA is becoming co-opted or too close to the state There was insufficient direct action related to the Camp Inclusion of the general public, and avoidance of conflict/controversy during the Camp had excluded more radical elements The messages of the Camp were incoherent Various hierarchies and discriminations operate despite interventions; Campers remain a relatively undiverse group, especially compared to London’s population Burn-out of activists through poor division of labour and skill sharing There was insufficient engagement with workplace & community struggles What resources were required for the project? Hundreds of people’s time and effort over six months. Undisclosed budget for physical site infrastructure – under £100k.

Outcomes What worked well? Huge amounts of positive feedback from the general public and local residents. High profile in the national and London media, of the Camp and related direct actions. Popular workshops programme – CfCA continues to benefit from the learning New links built with climate activists in Canada and Africa

91


Crucial planning for Ratcliffe and Copenhagen What did you learn from this project? What would you change if you did it again? Please refer to ‘where next’ document mentioned above, and UK Gathering minutes since August 2009. As a result of experiences during 2009-10, CfCA has been shifting from a UK process to a regional process, with decision making and action planning shifting away from UK Gatherings to regional groupings. What are your top tips for anyone thinking about a similar activity? (As many as you can) Consensus decision making works and adds value to any activity, though needs trained and experienced facilitators. Share skills and record how activities are undertaken, so that learning is gathered. Keep open to the radical edge. Please attach any photos from the event or quotes from participants (if you are happy to share them) Please see www.climatecamp.org.uk/actions/london-2009/photography and www.climatecamp.org.uk/press

Comments Please share any further comments It is difficult to capture the anarchic nature of CfCA within the confines of this document. Involvement with CfCA is at turns deeply joyous and uncommonly frustrating. Through its process and actions it highlights the urgency and insanity of the situation and has great fun demonstrating at least part of the solution More information is available at www.climatecamp.org.uk including: Blackheath specific pages, covering photos, workshop programme, the reason for choosing London and Blackheath and radio programme; www.climatecamp.org.uk/actions/london2009 Minutes of UK Gatherings: www.climatecamp.org.uk/get-involved/nationalgatherings/minutes Working groups that help prepare each Camp/action; www.climatecamp.org.uk/getinvolved/working-groups

92


National BioBlitz Name

National BioBlitz

Organisation

Various organisations across the UK

Email

savita@bnhc.org.uk

Website

www.bioblitzuk.org.uk

j.tweddle@nhm.ac.uk

The project When did the project run? May – October 2010 Who were the main participants? How many were involved? The project involved 37 key organisations who ran BioBlitz events in different locations across the UK. These organisations included natural history societies, environmental organisations, universities, museums, and charities. Each key organisation then worked with another 1-10+ other partners in order to deliver their BioBlitz event. What did you do? The 37 BioBlitz events that took place in the UK across 2010 (International Year of Biodiversity) were all separately funded, managed, branded, and “creatively controlled”. All but three events ran for the first time in 2010, and most were supported in some way (including light touch phone mentoring, funding, on-site or direct involvement) by either the Bristol Natural History Consortium or the Natural History Museum. The Natural History Museum, through the OPAL project, created and revised a “how-to” guide, which was used by BioBlitz events as a type of manual. The Bristol Natural History Consortium employed a project manager for 1 year (60% FTE) who had a variety of functions. The first was to create and maintain a website to promote BioBlitz events across the year, to run a Twitter account and Facebook profile page. The Bristol Natural History Consortium also received funding to run four funded projects alongside the series of events taking place during the year (including the website) – these support mechanisms were employed by some, but not all, BioBlitz events. The events that took place ranged from 3 hours to 30 hours, across a range of times of day. Where did you do it? BioBlitz events took place across the UK in a range of habitats, from national nature reserves and urban parks to university campuses. Why did you do it? What was your motivation for developing this project? Event organisers were motivated by the shared ambitions of engaging visitors with the natural world, and furthering our collective understanding of UK biodiversity. Linking professional scientists with amateur naturalists and the wider public was another common goal. A number of events around the UK decided to work together in a peer-to-peer support

93


network in order to share ideas, and in some case resources.

Logistics How did you recruit your participants? How was it advertised? Each BioBlitz recruited visitors, participating amateur and academic naturalists, and data collectors separately through their own networks. The Bristol Natural History Consortium conducted a small national campaign in partnership with NERC to try to generally raise the profile of the project among NERC funded scientists; and conducted centralized volunteer recruitment through the BioBlitz UK website. BioBlitz organisers across the UK employed a wide means of advertising for their events, including marketing materials (flyers, postcards and banners) and local, regional and national campaigns. What were the barriers to designing and/or running this activity? BNHC conducted a survey of BioBlitz organisers at the end of 2010, which was completed by most events, and held a conference in November 2010 which was attended by some events. These discussions revealed some of the difficulties faced by organisers, which included: recruiting naturalists with particular expertise, managing the attendance of school groups and the wider public at the same event, health and safety concerns (this was particularly raised by universities). Did you carry out any evaluation? If so, how and what were the results? A number of organisations conducted individual evaluations which can be found online (e.g. http://www.opalexplorenature.org/BioBlitzes). These typically involved questionnaires and conversations with event participants, both during and after the event. What resources were required for the project? Staff time was provided by BNHC and NHM to advise event organisers, market events and develop supporting event planning resources (http://www.opalexplorenature.org/BioBlitzes). The NHM provided direct funding for a number of events through the Big Lottery funded OPAL project.

Outcomes What worked well? Momentum – general knowledge of the programme and organic growth. Working directly with universities and being able to employ small amounts of funding to encourage activity. Timing the initiative to build on the wider awareness raising activities and publicity associated with IYB 2010. What did you learn from this project? What would you change if you did it again? The project demonstrated the power of a centralised brand or initiative – many organisations

94


ran BioBlitzes to celebrate International Year of Biodiversity. There were a number of lessons that were learned throughout the project, particularly on the arrangements of the informal partnership, and those involved have implemented these to continue the programme for future years. What are your top tips for anyone thinking about a similar activity? (As many as you can) Think through issues around unexpected growth in advance, communicate clearly and manage the expectations of those involved. Work as a partnership to maximise the strengths available within the resultant network

95


"Diversity" Case Studies