Create an exciting activity to involve and inspire the public with science, engineering and maths.
- Offered to 2nd Years
- Mondays 16.00-18.00
- 2-term module worth 5 ECTS
- Available to eligible students as part of I-Explore
- Extra Credit or Degree Credit where your department allows
Discover how to empower and inspire people with STEM (science, technology, egineering and maths) through this lively and interactive module where you get the chance to design and deliver an engaging activity for a public audience and take part in one of our public events.
Public engagement is about creating accessible and meaningful experiences and opportunities to share ideas, insights and skills with members of the public. The first half of this module introduces public engagement (PE) and the key concepts to consider when designing PE activities, i.e. your aims, audiences, approaches and evaluation. You will:
- Discuss why it is important to engage the public with science and research and the benefits it can bring for us and the communities we interact with.
- Explore many different public engagement formats – from exhibitions, festival activities, arts and performances, discussion groups and online platforms.
- Gain new ideas and inspiration through case studies, examples, practical workshops and a museum visit.
The second half of the module will build on these foundations as you develop and deliver your own engagement activities in small groups. Work with the Public Engagement team to refine your ideas and put them into action as you become part of one of our exciting events, such as the Imperial Lates or activities at the Invention Rooms in White City.
This practical, reflective and fun module provides opportunities to enhance your communication and team-working, whilst also developing valuable evaluation skills to help you evidence if your activities are successful. There are a wide variety of exciting career paths in public engagement and this module is a fantastic way to learn more about this field, gain experience and develop your skills.
Note: 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.
By the end of this module, you will:
1. Understand the nature of public engagement in the context of a university
2. Explore the factors which lead to planning and delivering good practice in public engagement more broadly.
3. Demonstrate awareness of the steps you would take to evaluate an engagement activity, such as creating and measuring potential outcomes for audiences, as evidenced through class activities such as group work on evaluation case studies.
4. Discuss in class (with peers and external presenters) a range of effective engagement approaches appropriate to communicate with different audiences (such as school groups, families, community groups, audiences to Imperial Lates, and patients).
5. Reflect on the evolving relationships between STEM research, universities, and society, including societal attitudes towards, and participation in, STEM research.
6. Appreciate the role that public engagement plays in citizenship and its value in understanding different perspectives, experiences and inequalities.
7. Develop communication skills through communicating with your peers and tutor(s) and to a public audience at an Imperial Lates event (or similar).
8. Demonstrate awareness of future opportunities to get involved in public engagement and understand the personal benefits of getting involved.
Indicative core content
Oral presentation in class (40%)
- Practical engagement activity delivery (40%) (taking place outside of class time, replacing session and homework time that week)
- Class participation (20%) (assessed through a self-reflection written exercise completed by students reporting on their own participation in class activities)
- 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 course. See Imperial Horizons level descriptors [pdf]
"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."