SiS catalyst – Children as change agents for science in society is a 4 years, FP7 funded project under the Mobilisation and Mutual learning scheme of the Science in Society programme. It seeks to identify how children can be change agents in the science and society relationship, and from this starting point, to indicate how they can be catalysts in the longer term solutions to the grand challenges faced by society – their future. The focus will be on children with ability, who are currently least likely to progress to study science in post secondary education, thus combining the science and society agenda with the social inclusion agenda.

Within the project, a research activity has been carried out to identify how the voice of children and teenagers can be incorporated into science in society activities and influence higher education institutions and the way they interact with the rest of society. Several types of science in society activities have been analyzed (from children universities to science festivals, from science centres to media products for children) in terms of their capability to listen to and dialogue with their young publics. Three phases were considered: the planning phase of the activity (how can children and/or teen be involved in designing a science in society activity?); the execution of the activity (how can dialogue occur during a science in society activity?); the impact phase (how can dialogue with children provoke a true institutional change?).

We will present the results of this and highlight some relevant case study, in order to draw an ergonomics of listening and dialoguing, that is, a better understanding of the key elements that make dialogue with young people possible or difficult, ranging from a very theoretical to a very practical approach, i.e. from Plato to the disposition of the tables in a room.

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Children as change agents for science in society
Ergonomics of listening to young people during the design, the execution and the follow up of science in society activities

Matteo Merzagora   Traces

Meriem Fresson   Traces

SiS catalyst – Children as change agents for science in society is a 4 years, FP7 funded project under the Mobilisation and Mutual learning scheme of the Science in Society programme. It seeks to identify how children can be change agents in the science and society relationship, and from this starting point, to indicate how they can be catalysts in the longer term solutions to the grand challenges faced by society – their future. The focus will be on children with ability, who are currently least likely to progress to study science in post secondary education, thus combining the science and society agenda with the social inclusion agenda.

Within the project, a research activity has been carried out to identify how the voice of children and teenagers can be incorporated into science in society activities and influence higher education institutions and the way they interact with the rest of society. Several types of science in society activities have been analyzed (from children universities to science festivals, from science centres to media products for children) in terms of their capability to listen to and dialogue with their young publics. Three phases were considered: the planning phase of the activity (how can children and/or teen be involved in designing a science in society activity?); the execution of the activity (how can dialogue occur during a science in society activity?); the impact phase (how can dialogue with children provoke a true institutional change?).

We will present the results of this and highlight some relevant case study, in order to draw an ergonomics of listening and dialoguing, that is, a better understanding of the key elements that make dialogue with young people possible or difficult, ranging from a very theoretical to a very practical approach, i.e. from Plato to the disposition of the tables in a room.

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

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