Science concepts are often portrayed out of context and sometimes very mathematically, particularly the 'big ideas' of physics. Michael will discuss differences between formal traditional presentations of science and informal contextual presentation.

2 The problems of prior experience. Sue Stocklmayer

Presenting the big ideas to the general public carries the attendant problems of prior knowledge and even misconceptions Sue will provide some suggestions for effective communication which take into account the most recent theories of learning.

3. Interactive science centres and current research. Leonie Rennie

Leonie will present an overview of visitor behaviour in interactive science centres. In particular, Leonie will discuss visitor interaction with exhibits and the kind of learning outcomes which might be expected. She will suggest some future directions for research in interactive science centres.

This panel presentation will report on four facets of research related to interactive science centres, and will invite participation and discussion on these themes.

1. Introduction: Research in the public understanding of science: Chris Bryant

Implementing effective change in interactive science centres is difficult, because there are as yet few findings to guide exhibit designers and managers. Chris will discuss the present methodology related to exhibit design and to science shows such as the ubiquitous "Voltage show", and will outline the need for more focused research into the public perception of such events. Some suggestions will be made about possible research methodologies and important target groups.

2. The importance of context: Michael Gore

Science concepts are often portrayed out of context and sometimes very mathematically, particularly the 'big ideas' of physics. In this symposium, Michael will share some of his experiences in presenting science theatre to the public, with an emphasis on the theoretical basis for presenting science in a contextual framework. In particular, he will compare formal traditional presentation with informal contextual presentation and provide an analysis of differences.

3. The problems of prior experience: Sue Stocklmayer

Presenting the big ideas to the general public carries the attendant problems of prior knowledge and even misconceptions which, if not addressed, may hinder or prevent effective understanding. In addition, analogies, if used indiscriminately, may further confuse. In this symposium,

Sue will address these issues primarily in the areas of physics and chemistry, and provide some suggestions for effective communication which take into account the most recent theories of learning. Implications for designing exhibits and presenting science shows will be discussed.

4. Summary: Interactive science centres and current research: Leonie Rennie

Leonie will present an oven/iew of our present understanding of the response of the public when they interact with an exhibit, and of general visitor behaviour in interactive science centres. In particular, Leonie will discuss several aspects of research and will suggest future directions.

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 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

What research says about interactive science centres and the public understanding of science

Michael Gore  

Sue Stocklmayer  

Leonie Rennie  

This panel presentation will invite participation and discussion on three themes.

1. Presenting to the public. Michael Gore

Science concepts are often portrayed out of context and sometimes very mathematically, particularly the 'big ideas' of physics. Michael will discuss differences between formal traditional presentations of science and informal contextual presentation.

2 The problems of prior experience. Sue Stocklmayer

Presenting the big ideas to the general public carries the attendant problems of prior knowledge and even misconceptions Sue will provide some suggestions for effective communication which take into account the most recent theories of learning.

3. Interactive science centres and current research. Leonie Rennie

Leonie will present an overview of visitor behaviour in interactive science centres. In particular, Leonie will discuss visitor interaction with exhibits and the kind of learning outcomes which might be expected. She will suggest some future directions for research in interactive science centres.

This panel presentation will report on four facets of research related to interactive science centres, and will invite participation and discussion on these themes.

1. Introduction: Research in the public understanding of science: Chris Bryant

Implementing effective change in interactive science centres is difficult, because there are as yet few findings to guide exhibit designers and managers. Chris will discuss the present methodology related to exhibit design and to science shows such as the ubiquitous "Voltage show", and will outline the need for more focused research into the public perception of such events. Some suggestions will be made about possible research methodologies and important target groups.

2. The importance of context: Michael Gore

Science concepts are often portrayed out of context and sometimes very mathematically, particularly the 'big ideas' of physics. In this symposium, Michael will share some of his experiences in presenting science theatre to the public, with an emphasis on the theoretical basis for presenting science in a contextual framework. In particular, he will compare formal traditional presentation with informal contextual presentation and provide an analysis of differences.

3. The problems of prior experience: Sue Stocklmayer

Presenting the big ideas to the general public carries the attendant problems of prior knowledge and even misconceptions which, if not addressed, may hinder or prevent effective understanding. In addition, analogies, if used indiscriminately, may further confuse. In this symposium,

Sue will address these issues primarily in the areas of physics and chemistry, and provide some suggestions for effective communication which take into account the most recent theories of learning. Implications for designing exhibits and presenting science shows will be discussed.

4. Summary: Interactive science centres and current research: Leonie Rennie

Leonie will present an oven/iew of our present understanding of the response of the public when they interact with an exhibit, and of general visitor behaviour in interactive science centres. In particular, Leonie will discuss several aspects of research and will suggest future directions.

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

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