PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


BigVan- scientists on the road. Participatory science education approaches based on performing arts.

Oriol Marimon  

Young people disenchantment with STEM represents a critical limitation for the European society. The use of performing arts in science education is an under-explored field of practice and research. In this sense, the scientific stand-up comedy Spanish group BigVan- scientists on the road mingles science, humour, education and social media to engage secondary school students in STEM. The Spanish national project "Crazy for Science (#locosXciencia)" is a scientific stand-up comedy contest addressed to students aged 14-16. Teenagers are encouraged to create and represent their own scientific monologues after attending to scientific stand-up comedy shows performed by young researchers. Researchers maintain long-term interaction with young people through social media (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) answering their questions about science and technology. The project was assessed through pre- and post- formularies (under analysis) and the final of the contest was video-taped. Quantitative and qualitative results will be correlated to assess the effect of direct interaction -trough social media and on live- between young researchers and students in young people engagement with STEM. In 2015, BigVan and eight other European entities created PERFORM, a three years European project funded by H2020-SWAFS program. PERFORM will investigate the effects of high-school students and young researchers interaction in the promotion of young people's engagement in STEM. PERFORM is a multicultural and interdisciplinary project that follows Responsible Research and Innovation guidelines using a participatory educational process based on performing arts. PERFORM will systematically evaluate the quality and quantity of social media-based impacts stemming from the students' participation in the performance events on their feelings, perceptions and attitudes towards science and researchers. Thus, this paper will show results and challenges of active research in science education through performing arts and including social media to promote the engagement of young people in STEM careers at local and European level.

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