More Search
We help universities engage with the public

Manchester Beacon Science Festival Community Awards 2010

< Back to all case studies

Overview

Who: The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) and Manchester Beacon

What: The Manchester Beacon made four awards available to develop community engagement activities during Manchester Science Festival 2010

Why: These awards aimed to make Science inspirational, accessible and relevant to local communities and to develop co-operative networks or collaborative partnerships

Where: Manchester Science Festival

When: 2010

Project description

The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Manchester is one of the five partners from the Manchester Beacon for Public Engagement. The focus of the Beacons for Public Engagement initiative is to create university cultures that support, value and encourage public engagement.

The previous experience of MOSI working with diverse community groups helped the museum to lead this project - building links between networks of researchers from the Manchester Beacon universities and community groups from Manchester and Salford.

The Manchester Beacon made four awards available to develop community engagement activities during Manchester Science Festival 2010. These awards aimed to make Science inspirational, accessible and relevant to local communities and to develop co-operative networks or collaborative partnerships between research groups or research networks from the Manchester Beacon Universities and community groups or community networks working with residents from Hulme, Longsight, Moss Side, Ardwick, Rusholme and Salford.

The Manchester Beacon for Public Engagement invited expressions of interest for the Science Festival Community Awards. Four awards of up to £2000 each were available to develop community engagement activities during the Manchester Science Festival 2010. Prospective participants were invited to take part in an ideas workshop and networking event. At the event, participants had the opportunity to network and meet potential partners before applying for an award. Applications were shortlisted according to the selection criteria (based on the Manchester Beacon objectives) and invited to pitch their idea to a selection panel. The panel comprised: Natalie Ireland (Manchester Science Festival Director), Elizabeth Lauder (Manager, Louise DaCocodia Education Trust) and Gemma Moores (UCL Beacon evaluator).

The Community Awards were delivered during the Manchester Science Festival with support from the Manchester Beacon team.

The Dragons Den

The Dragons’ Den: Institute for Cultural Affairs, School of Pharmacy (UoM), Salford Business School (UoS), School of Life Sciences (UoM)

Photographer:  Jan Chlebik

 

 

 

 

 Wriggling Rangoli

The Art of Science: Wriggling Rangoli. School of Translational Medicine (UoM), Development Education Project and Inspired Sisters

Photographer:  Jan Chlebik

 

 

 

 

 

Transforming Guns into good

Transforming Guns into Goods. School of Arts and Design and School of Computing, Science and Engineering (UoS), CARISMA and PeaceFM

Photographer:  Jan Chlebik

 

 

 

 

Climate Change Testimonies from Refugees. Research Institute for Cosmopolitan Cultures, School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Sciences, School of Environment and Development (UoM), Manchester Refugee Support Network and Virtual Migrants.

Photographer:  Jan Chlebik

 

 

Purpose

  • The museum supporting the development of co-operative networks between research networks from the universities and community groups
  • To make science inspirational, accessible and relevant to local communities
  • Develop community engagement activities during Manchester Science Festival 2010

Results and outcomes

Impact

This is a summary of the impact reported by project participants:

  • Change of perceptions about the lack of interest in science from the local communities
  • Increased confidence working with culturally diverse groups and using creative approaches
  • Starting the process to build trust between local communities and academic researchers
  • Raised awareness about the relevance of research activity for the communities and vice versa
  • Looking at alternatives funding streams to carry on with the work from these collaborative partnerships

The projects involved a total of 610 people in Manchester Science Festival 2010.

What worked well

Benefits reported from the project partners from working in new collaborative partnerships

  • Project participants benefited by two way learning from the projects
  • Initial networking event facilitated the creation of new collaborative partnerships
  • New audiences were reached by both project partners
  • The projects received good PR coverage within the regional press
  • Projects generated resources to be used in future engagement activities.
  • The projects raised  interest and awareness of Science topics within local communities

What didn’t work well

  • The amount of time required to run the projects was in excess of the time anticipated.
  • Because of the short timescale to deliver the projects, project leaders had to be very focused on their own projects.  A lesson to take forward is next time to promote more networking opportunities between the different projects giving them more opportunities to share their experiences.
  • Beginning of academic year is a difficult time for academic/researchers to get involved in the projects
  • Emphasise the importance of crediting the support received from Manchester Beacon

Resources required

  • Venues 
  • AV equipment to record the learning journeys 
  • Funding for the awards 
  • Volunteers to cover events

Top Tips

  1. Promote the use of creative methods to work with disengaged audiences
  2. Incorporate training opportunities within the project to maximise the impact and sustain the benefits of the project
  3. Consider sustainability for this kind of initiatives
  4. Raise the value and importance of knowledge exchange when working in partnership
  5. Manage expectations from different partners in collaborative projects
  6. Sharing the learning and working model from these projects as wide as possible

Top Quotes

“I can use the skills I learned during the training sessions to benefit my community.” Climate change project participant

“After this project… everything is possible.” Dr Joanne Pennock, Wriggling Rangoli partner

“Is this Physics?? It’s not like the Science at school. I didn’t know you could do Physics at University.” Transforming Guns into Goods attendee

“This is really great, this project is ground breaking!” Longsight resident about Wriggling Rangoli

“This event has made me think about the different things I could do…I think I want to do Medicine.”  The Dragons Den attendee

“I want to do it all again!!” Young Dragon

Contact

Name

Antonio Benitez

 Zora Kuettner
Name of organisation Museum of Science and Industry Museum of Science and Industry
Email a.benitez@mosi.org.uk  z.kuettner@mosi.org.uk
Telephone 0161 606 0109