Create an exciting activity to involve and inspire the public with science, engineering and maths.
- Offered to 2nd Years
- Mondays 16.00-18.00
- Planned delivery: On campus (South Kensington)
- 2-term module worth 5 ECTS
- Available to eligible students as part of I-Explore
- Extra Credit or Degree Credit where your department allows
This lively and interactive module will explore public engagement (PE) and why is it important. Public engagement means involving those outside of our institution with our research and teaching. It might include an activity at a festival, talk or performance, schools workshop or discussion with patient groups amongst many others!
In this module you will discover how to deliver enjoyable and meaningful PE activities for you and a diverse range of audiences. You will have an opportunity to practice your communication and teamwork, whilst also developing valuable evaluation skills to help you evidence if your activities are successful.
This is a module focusing on face-to-face public engagement activities for a range of non-academic audiences. Whilst it will help to develop communication skills it is not a module about presentation or public relation skills.
- Apply your knowledge and understanding of public engagement to plan the delivery and evaluation of an activity exploring Imperial research.
- Effectively communicate Imperial research to a non-specialist audience using appropriate language, styles and formats.
- Work effectively and appropriately with others to deliver pair and group tasks.
- Apply established techniques to critically evaluate your public engagement activity and reflect on your personal skills and knowledge.
- Recognise potential impacts of public engagement within higher education.
Indicative core content
In the first term you will gain a broader understanding of public engagement within higher education and key concepts to consider when designing engagement activities. In the second term you will develop practical skills and hands-on experience as you work with your group to plan, deliver and evaluate a public engagement activity.
Sessions 1-4. Introduction to module, engagement within a university context and public audiences. Including what engagement is, why it is important and the benefits of engaging the public. Exploration of history and drivers of public engagement within UK higher education and evolving relationships between STEM research, universities and wider society.
Sessions 5-10. Designing and planning engagement activities tailored to specific aims and audiences. Learn about key audience groups for engagement through external speakers and interactive activities. Consider the aims and potential outcomes of engagement. Experience exhibition design first hand through visit to a museum with discussion of exhibition design, text and marketing. Working individually or in small groups you will be supported to develop engagement activity ideas for a target audience based on Imperial research. Each student/group will pitch your ideas to the class and Public Engagement team for inclusion in the Student Showcase event in the second term.
Session 11-16. Engagement in practice. Module tutors and the Public Engagement team will support you to practice identifying key messages, constructing a story and delivering clear and confident communications. Building on the activity pitches from the first term, you will work in groups to translate Imperial research into a hands-on engagement activity as part of a Student Showcase event. Each group will present a written production plan to module tutors and refine your ideas through feedback, piloting and rehearsal for delivery to a live audience.
Sessions 17-20. Reflections on the role of public engagement. Time to reflect on the Student Showcase event and discuss what went well and what you would change for the future. Exploration of range of case studies of how to tell a research impact story to support your written reflections of your activity and experiences across the module. Consideration of broad range of public engagement activities and future opportunities within Imperial.
Learning and teaching approach
- Coursework: Group written production plan for public engagement activity - 1-3 pages (20%)
- Practical: Individual engagement activity delivered as part of Student Showcase event (20%)
- Coursework: Individual written evaluation of public engagement activity - 3-5 pages (60%)
- Requirements: You are expected to attend all classes and undertake approximately 85 hours of independent study in total during the module. Independent study includes reading and preparation for classes, researching and writing coursework assignments and preparing for other assessments.
- This module is designed as an undergraduate Level 5 module. For an explanation of levels, view the Imperial Horizons Level Descriptors page.
"Great module! Finally a course that systematically teaches public engagement concepts, ideas and operations."
"Taught me about how public engagement is essential to communicate specialised knowledge to the general public in a creative and fun way."