SEPnet Outreach & Public Engagement: 10th Anniversary Symposium

A celebration and reflection on the 10 years of Outreach and Public Engagement at SEPnet. Throughout the past 10 years, SEPnet has strived to position itself at the forefront of STEM engagement with schools and has more recently begun to start embedding a culture of public engagement with research across the partner universities.

The symposium highlighted the vast array of initiatives that SEPnet has been involved with since its inception with a session from previous SEPnet Directors of Outreach, Charlotte Thorley and Clare Harvey who contemplated the changes they witnessed over the years.

The symposium continued with a talk from Dom Galliano, SEPnet Director of Outreach, about the future of SEPnet schools’ outreach and public engagement with the launch of the new 2018-2023 strategy.

Schools’ outreach will continue to deliver SEPnet’s key messages with the aim of building and maintaining student’s science capital. SEPnet will continue to encourage projects which involve multiple engagements with strategically selected students across the region, helping build longer term partnerships with teachers and schools through activities such as Connect Physics.

Public engagement across SEPnet will now be focused into three themes: local community, research in schools, and consultancy. The symposium saw example projects within SEPnet from these three themes share the good practice and learning that have resulted from their projects.

Martin Archer of Queen Mary University of London discussed his Research in Schools programme which has seen school students across London taking part in research projects and impacting upon students, teachers, and researchers. Vicky Mason, Xanthe Pitt and Nikki Hildesley from the University of Kent and Discovery Planet reviewed the past 4 years of collaboration to bring science activities to underserved audiences in their local community. Nic Bonne and Coleman Krawczyk from the University of Portsmouth shared the exciting new developments that will be taking place within their Tactile Universe project which engages the visually impaired with astronomy research.

In addition to the talk, there was a poster exhibition from all SEPnet partners, highlighting the successes and achievements SEPnet projects have brought across the region. External partners such as STFC, IOP and RAS were also present and contributed with posters and stands.

Many thanks to all of those that attended and to the Wellcome Collection for being wonderful hosts. All the presentations from the day can be found here.

The SEPnet Outreach Team:

Please use the following link and password to access the images from the day:  Link:

Password: SEPN3T