The vision: To provide an environment in which STEM professionals can share and discuss their work and its relevance to society with varied family audiences.
Project Summary: The Meet the Scientist (MtS) programme has been running for approx 6 years. In this time, we have developed a model that works for both our STEM professional and visitors, both of whom are considered audiences for this programme. Teams of STEM professionals from similar backgrounds (e.g. Cancer Research UK) work with the Informal Learning Team to create highly interactive and hands-on experiences that engage visitors of all ages and provide a platform for intergenerational dialogue as well as opportunities for adults and children to learn together. The STEM professionals have an agenda of ‘public engagement’ to satisfy either personal or professional needs whilst some specifically wish to target diverse audiences such as those that visit Thinktank in large numbers during Open Weekends. An example here would be the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Healthcare Trust who have identified Asian communities as being significantly underrepresented in their work due to the cultural stigma of mental health issues within these groups. An important outcome for both audiences is the perception that they have been listened to as an equal and have had the opportunity to share their attitudes and opinions and it is a key indicator of success that many groups of STEM professional return on more than one occasion to take part in these events.
Your contact name: Kenny Webster
Your organization: Thinktank, Birmingham
Participants: Families visiting over half terms and Open Weekends and local STEm professionals (academic and professional)