Teenagers are widely perceived in the UK as being a 'difficult' audience to target for science communication activities. In response to the UK Government education department's declaration that 2001/02 was Science Year, with special focus on 11 - 14 year olds, the BA devised a programme of activity to complement the formal science curriculum in schools. The programme was designed to reach young people not usually engaged in such activities - both those excluded for social or cultural reasons and also the 'gifted and talented'.

The presentation addresses the challenges the BA faced in developing programmes while working to a brief that was pre-defined by the UK Government. By using three BA examples, the presentation will explore the need to define specific audiences relevant to the age group and to develop programmes that are meaningful and sustainable. The three examples are;

- physical and virtual science clubs in schools and science centres aimed at teenagers and moderated by teachers and explainers

- a science discovery day at the Royal Albert Hall in London during the UK National Science week for teenagers accompanied by teachers

- 'Footprints' - a touring drama workshop for teenagers, their parents and teachers about the social implications of genetics

The first phase of Science Year eneded in September 2002. The BA's programme is being evaluated and Science Year continues into 2003 under the new name of Planet Science.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

UK Science Year working to a pre-defined government brief

Jill Nelson   Science Communication, The BA

Teenagers are widely perceived in the UK as being a 'difficult' audience to target for science communication activities. In response to the UK Government education department's declaration that 2001/02 was Science Year, with special focus on 11 - 14 year olds, the BA devised a programme of activity to complement the formal science curriculum in schools. The programme was designed to reach young people not usually engaged in such activities - both those excluded for social or cultural reasons and also the 'gifted and talented'.

The presentation addresses the challenges the BA faced in developing programmes while working to a brief that was pre-defined by the UK Government. By using three BA examples, the presentation will explore the need to define specific audiences relevant to the age group and to develop programmes that are meaningful and sustainable. The three examples are;

- physical and virtual science clubs in schools and science centres aimed at teenagers and moderated by teachers and explainers

- a science discovery day at the Royal Albert Hall in London during the UK National Science week for teenagers accompanied by teachers

- 'Footprints' - a touring drama workshop for teenagers, their parents and teachers about the social implications of genetics

The first phase of Science Year eneded in September 2002. The BA's programme is being evaluated and Science Year continues into 2003 under the new name of Planet Science.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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