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Case Studies

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Focus on the Positive

People at Focus on the Positive event
The world is full of problems, but it’s also full of brilliant people, chipping away at those seemingly insurmountable problems with their ideas and expertise. Funded by the EPSRC, ‘Focus on the Positive’ is a public event where the audience chooses how to change the world.

Creating Connections

People at Creating Connections event
Creating Connections brings together UCL staff and postgraduate students with representatives from community organisations, charities, residents’ groups, social enterprises and statutory organisations, with the aim of finding ways to work together.

What if...?

What if image
What if…? demonstrates that trusting and supporting young people to realise their own curiosity and creativity can result in unique and inspirational methods of engagement. The project culminated in the development of a live interactive performance piece, produced through collaboration between 20 young people from Greenfield Community College (Newton Aycliffe, County Durham), teachers, theatre makers (Unfolding Theatre) and scientific researchers (Durham University).

Erica The Rhino

Erica the Rhino
In the summer 2013, Marwell Zoo organised a conservation project to boost awareness of the rhino’s dwindling numbers. Taking place around Southampton, the city centre was flooded with life-size fibreglass rhinos that had been painted by local artists.

Dreams of a Low Carbon Future

Project group from Dreams of a Low Carbon Future
The aim of this project is to develop engineering researchers’ communication skills, by enabling them to work with schoolchildren and professional artists to produce a ‘graphic novel’ (comic) that explores the children’s visions of a sustainable ‘low carbon’ future society.

Marine Engineering Connections

Marine engineering team
Marine Engineering Connections turned a routine 40-minute sea crossing across the Solent into an exciting engineering journey. Passengers traveling to and from the Isle of Wight on board WightLink’s flagship ferry during the summer of 2013 were able to meet the engineers and explore the impact of marine and maritime engineering in a fun, engaging and educational manner.

Objects of Invention

Child examining object
'Objects of Invention' aimed generate interest in engineering and design amongst school pupils and museum visitors, whilst providing an opportunities for graduate engineers to develop their skills in engagement. We provided training in public engagement for 16 graduate engineers from the University’s Department of Engineering Sciences, and the opportunity to gain experience of planning and delivery events for secondary schools and the visiting public.

The Enlightenment Cafe: Deadinburgh

Deadinburgh project
An unknown pathogen ravages Scotland’s capital, turning the unlucky souls into bloodthirsty ambling beasts. You are one of the last uninfected citizens in a city under martial law, cut off from the rest of the UK. Now, with help from real scientists, you have only hours to decide how to save Edinburgh, and perhaps the world.

Prison reading groups

Prison Reading Group
Prison Reading Groups (PRG) promotes the spread of reading groups in prisons and provides advice and support to those who run them. It began in the year 2000 with four reading groups and now supports more than 40 groups across the UK, impacting on more than 200,000 prisoner hours since 2010.

Interactive sensory objects for and by people with learning disabilities

Loaf of bread that makes sound when tipped
Lord Rix, president of Mencap, noted that hands-on exhibits can bring a space to life, and give a greater understanding and meaning to cultural heritage, and is especially important for people with learning disabilities. However, in many heritage contexts, exhibits incorporating interactive elements that are accessible to audiences use surrogates instead of original items, and are usually chosen by the curators rather than determined by the user-group.