In summary, the phases of this project were:
Phase 1 – ideas
Phase 2 – ordering equipment and trying out the experiments
Phase 3 – improving communication skills
Phase 4 – running the event
Phase 5 – dissemination and evaluation.
Meet the Materials Scientist at the MOSI, 4th September 2010
At this stage, the partners brainstormed ideas for fun and interactive experiments by observing other scientists performing science-busking experiments. This was also the first contact with the public for the scientists, and they had a chance to witness first-hand the difficulties and rewards of public engagement.
The LITTLE event at Thinktank, 7th September 2010
During this workshop, the scientists received valuable advice about science communication and how to pitch to your audience. The Summer Ball story that gives metals a personality was improved to better fulfil our objectives and junk the jargon.
Airbus fun family day at Bristol, 18th September 2010
For the first time, the scientists performed one of their own experiments in front of an audience. The Summer Ball story was tested successfully on the audience. The importance of advertising and keeping it interactive was raised. The idea of a “make and take” system, where the public can keep one of their copper-plated strip was suggested.
Salford Local History and Family Fun day at the Museum and Art Gallery, 19th September 2010
The “make and take” idea was successfully put into practice. Communication skills were improved by working with the mentor, Marieke Navin.
Manchester Science Festival, 29th October 2010
For the main event, more preparation was realised. The success of the event was mainly due to active advertising, including Twitter and articles in the MEN and Culture24, and the variety of interactive experiments on offer.
Dissemination event, 10th November 2010
The different partners realised the importance of evaluation and feedback forms.