In 2016 the Museum of Natural History developed Super Science Saturday, a twice-yearly family-friendly science event. To date, nearly 5,000 people have taken part.
The focus has been on engaging with the science departments to encourage DPhil students and post-doctoral researchers to deliver activities based on their research. The event is targeted at a family audience and provides them with the opportunity to engage with some of the world-class research that goes on at the University.
Super Science Saturday developed from a previous event that was focused on engaging families about science in general to one that was more related to the museum’s collections and contemporary scientific research from the University.
How did this help to build capacity?
Museum staff supported and trained researchers to design activities based on their current research that are accessible for a family audience. Once developed, these activities can be delivered again at other events. As well as gaining practical experience, researchers also develop communication skills through delivering the activities. The ongoing programme of Super Science Saturdays provides a valuable platform for researchers to engage the public with their research in a supported way.
“I’ve gained experience in communicating effectively with children of varying ages, modifying my explanations to suit their abilities. I’ve gained confidence in talking to members of the public about science,” said participating postgraduate research student Fiona Jones.