There are a number of science, engineering and technology schemes promoting all aspects of science, engineering and technology SET currently available in the UK focusing on school age audiences. What are the key factors that determine the effectiveness of these initiatives and can we identify a general set of good practice guidelines for current/future scheme organisers? Some programmes aim to raise the general awareness of SET to their audience whilst others are trying to attract students onto science and engineering degree courses (and careers). What forms of evaluation and feedback exist for the schemes currently in operation, in other words how is the success of a scheme determined? These are the questions that we (the UK Centre for Materials Education) asked a number of current scheme practitioners and deliverers at both the national and local level. Through interviews with scheme organisers and a content analysis of their literature and evaluation and feedback data categories of goals and categories of success that ensure an effective programme have been revealed. The end result will be a resource available to everyone interested in SET initiatives. It will allow them to identify the key elements that can help to ensure that current/new schemes are effective in meeting their aims and if the type of evidence collected to determine that if indeed the aims have been met.

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What are the key elements for ensuring an effective materials awareness programme?

J. Pritchard   UK Centre for Materials Education,Materials Science and Engineering

C. Baillie   UK Centre for Materials Education,Materials Science and Engineering

There are a number of science, engineering and technology schemes promoting all aspects of science, engineering and technology SET currently available in the UK focusing on school age audiences. What are the key factors that determine the effectiveness of these initiatives and can we identify a general set of good practice guidelines for current/future scheme organisers? Some programmes aim to raise the general awareness of SET to their audience whilst others are trying to attract students onto science and engineering degree courses (and careers). What forms of evaluation and feedback exist for the schemes currently in operation, in other words how is the success of a scheme determined? These are the questions that we (the UK Centre for Materials Education) asked a number of current scheme practitioners and deliverers at both the national and local level. Through interviews with scheme organisers and a content analysis of their literature and evaluation and feedback data categories of goals and categories of success that ensure an effective programme have been revealed. The end result will be a resource available to everyone interested in SET initiatives. It will allow them to identify the key elements that can help to ensure that current/new schemes are effective in meeting their aims and if the type of evidence collected to determine that if indeed the aims have been met.

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