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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)

  1. 1. Measuring the impact of Informal Science Learning Dr Penny Fidler
  2. 2. The Big QuestionWhat are we trying to achieve?
  3. 3. Inspiration, Engagement, Family Learning,Involvement, dialogue, passion, enjoyment,encouraging school students to study science,world-leading scientific workforce, creativity,entrepreneurship
  4. 4. Why is it so tricky?
  5. 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. 6. Students doing high-end molecular biology for the first time
  7. 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. 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. 9. 20 millionparticipantsevery year
  10. 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. 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. 12. The project visionTo make high quality engaging molecular biologyexperiences accessible to students across the UK
  13. 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. 14. ConfidenceConfidence to experiment, to fail, to seek new ideas,and to take risks
  15. 15. Thank you Dr Penny
  16. 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