SCENE: A novel model for engaging underserved and under-represented audiences in informal science learning activities

Keith, Lindsay and Griffiths, Wyn ORCID logoORCID: (2021) SCENE: A novel model for engaging underserved and under-represented audiences in informal science learning activities. Research For All, 5 (2) . pp. 320-346. ISSN 2399-8121 [Article] (doi:10.14324/RFA.05.2.09)

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Inequitable access to science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) has been explored by multiple studies which have shown that some publics are underserved by existing informal educational and cultural provision, and under-represented in related study choices and careers. Informal science learning (ISL) and public engagement with research activities (such as science festivals) tend to attract audiences which are largely white, middle class and already engaged with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). This article describes the development of an engagement approach and model through a story-based festival (SMASHfestUK) which was specifically designed to attract new and diverse audiences, including Black and mixed-heritage families, and families living with socio-economic disadvantage. The festival was delivered on five annual occasions, each co-designed with a wide selection of stakeholders, including audiences, researchers, performers, institutions and organizations, and considered as an iterative prototype.

Key messages
• Engagement with STEM can be tailored to under-represented audiences by co-designing a festival format and content that resonates with those audiences.
• Enquiry-based learning with participants immersed in a meaningful story provides an opportunity for participants to experience STEM with agency.
• Success was built on the SCENE model (STEAM, community, enquiry, narrative, entertainment), co-designed hyperlocally, leading with free entertainment and an overarching narrative

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Design Engineering and Mathematics
Item ID: 34984
Notes on copyright: Copyright: © 2021 Keith and Griffiths. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are credited.
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Depositing User: Wyn Griffiths
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2022 14:08
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2022 14:08

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