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SCC 2012 Making a difference? Measuring the impact of informal learning (Penny Fidler)
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SCC 2012 Making a difference? Measuring the impact of informal learning (Penny Fidler)

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  • 1. Measuring the impact of Informal Science Learning Dr Penny Fidler
  • 2. The Big QuestionWhat are we trying to achieve?
  • 3. Inspiration, Engagement, Family Learning,Involvement, dialogue, passion, enjoyment,encouraging school students to study science,world-leading scientific workforce, creativity,entrepreneurship
  • 4. Why is it so tricky?
  • 5. Each programme and activity is trying to achieve slightly different aims And, the effect is different on each person Children in a Turkish Science centre (attitudinal)
  • 6. Students doing high-end molecular biology for the first time
  • 7. Scientists discovering that the public is hugely interestedin their work and asks really interesting questionsStudents meeting a ‘real scientist’ and seeing they arenormal!
  • 8. What are you trying to achieve?•Promoting an interest in science and encouragingyoung people to embark on a career in science(utilitarian)•As a creative and cultural pursuit, in the sameway that theatres and galleries are thought to bea valid and important thing (cultural).Science as a natural human pursuit
  • 9. 20 millionparticipantsevery year
  • 10. For many, their actions and impacts fall into avariety of realms•Social•Economic•Cultural•Intellectual and educational•Emotional•Environmental•Their impacts can be felt locally, regionally andnationally•Impacts can be both long-term and short-term. KPIs, Strategic Goals, Funded Programme Goals
  • 11. We talk about engaging and inspiring, but what is most important tous? Is it building STEM skills or increasing Confidence, Enjoymentand Passion to learn and discover more?
  • 12. The project visionTo make high quality engaging molecular biologyexperiences accessible to students across the UK
  • 13. What did the students think? Evaluation forms from 1500 students in 15 UK centres (results here from half those participants, aged 14-16) • 90% felt it increased their interest in science • 95% felt it increased their confidence in them being able to understand this area of science • 74% felt it made them think that working in science might be interesting
  • 14. ConfidenceConfidence to experiment, to fail, to seek new ideas,and to take risks
  • 15. Thank you Dr Penny Fidlerwww.sciencecentres.org.uk
  • 16. Guangdong Science Center, Guangzhou, ChinaOur success economically demands that we invest heavily inthe sciences. A key part of this is to invest in informal sciencelearning to ensure a vibrant economy in the future