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SCC 2014 - How informal science education can better inform STEM education


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Despite considerable agreement that engaging science communication can stimulate interest in formal STEM study and careers; only relatively few providers report these outcomes. Given that insufficient young people are choosing to study STEM subjects and that the profile of those who do pursue STEM careers is too narrow, we are challenging three very different providers of informal science communication to measure the impact of their work. To do this our speakers will consider how science communicators can build sustainable business models that successfully balance impact and values against the need for funding and we will question if the sector is hampered by a perception that the only credible communicators of science are active researchers.

Facilitator: Tim Slingsby (British Council) Speakers: Wendy Sadler (science made simple), Jonathan Longfellow (Mad Science East Midlands), Eduardo Sáenz de Cabezón (The Big Van Theory)

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SCC 2014 - How informal science education can better inform STEM education

  1. 1. How Informal Science Education Can Better Inform STEM Education Wendy Sadler Jonathan Longfellow Eduardo de Cabezón Facilitator: Tim Slingsby #SciComm14Edu #SciComm14
  2. 2. Uk’s largest independent science outreach company (est. 2002) 13 staff across four regions of the UK – 26 countries Reaching 70,000 each year – 500,000 since we began An award winning* social enterprise – and limited company *Royal Academy Engineering Medal for the promotion of Engineering *EU Descartes Prize Innovation in Science Communication *and some others…. who are we? @scimadesimple
  3. 3. science made simple is working towards a wo which STEM subjects are perceived as culturally and enriching activities which can be shared vi
  4. 4. to inspireinspire the next generation of scientists and engineers to engageengage a wider public with STEM as part of popular culture to translatetranslate STEM research for the public our mission @scimadesimple
  5. 5. do we evaluate…? of all SMS audiences are asked@scimadesimple 3%
  6. 6. @scimadesimple
  7. 7. “Engineering I thought was to do with machines and I thought it would be a boring job, but now I think I might be one.” 10 year old girl @scimadesimple
  8. 8. Who is the customer? balancing our business model @scimadesimple
  9. 9. UK
  10. 10. What we are…. • 7 owners dedicated science communicators from varied backgrounds…. • Moral backbone / social good • Operating since 2006
  11. 11. What we are….
  12. 12. What we are…. • 320000 children in 2013 • 62 full time employees • 305 part time • Consistent growth
  13. 13. What we are…. • focused on getting children interested and inspired by science – ‘the world around them’
  14. 14. What we are…. • positive role models for children in schools • trying to positively affect all children’s lives
  15. 15. What we are…. • interested and investing heavily in the long term • repeat business is everything – we tend not to suffer from legacy issues • continually evolving developing new ideas linked to contemporary science themes
  16. 16. How do we do it …. • driven by customer needs and dependent on their satisfaction • Continuous monitoring of customer feedback • Feedback drives change or assures we are on track
  17. 17. Who are our customers? • Parents 70% • Great thing about our product is that it is win:win • Schools • Businesses • Councils/Government • We don’t exist because of grants – though we do like them
  18. 18. What is our product? •Focused on training, development and assessment of our team of presenters •We are a training company •Deliver an effect
  19. 19. What we are…. • Predominantly children <14 Science Education in Europe: Critical Reflections A Report to the Nuffield Foundation Jonathan Osborne Justin Dillon King’s College London 2008
  20. 20. Of vital importance •FUN
  21. 21. @TheBigVanTheoy @edusadci m
  22. 22. WHO ARE WE?
  23. 23. WHAT DO WE DO?
  25. 25. WHO PAYS US?
  27. 27. WHAT IS OUR GOAL?
  30. 30. @TheBigVanTheory @edusadeci