5 female students and postdocs at solar energy stand at science festivalThe MRes and CDT programmes include a significant outreach component, and the Centre for Plastic Electronics strongly encourages students and researchers to contribute to and organise public engagement activities.

Outreach Officer

The Outreach Officer, 2009 Famelab runner-up Dr Simon Foster, trains and assists students in disseminating science to a wider audience. Not only does this give students a chance to inspire and enthral people with their science, it also instils important communication skills that students will draw on throughout their careers. These outreach activities also act as a cohort building exercise, giving students the chance to work together on a shared interest.

MRes Outreach Course

Busy science festival at Natural History MuseumIn the MRes year, each cohort undertakes a series of lectures with the outreach officer to learn how to present their ideas and discuss their research with the general public. Through this course the students will be given a gentle introduction to the world of outreach and public engagement, learning important engagement and public speaking skills. All Plastic Electronics MRes students work together to plan and deliver a stand for the annual Imperial FestivalThe skills that the students develop in this course will go onto help them in their future careers. 

Session 1

The history of outreach and public engagement and the UK government's "Public understanding of science" policy; how successful research grants incorporate public engagement.

Session 2

Considering how to construct an activity or talk, looking at the various types of audiences you will encounter and how to engage with these audiences.

Session 3

How to produce the content of a talk and your performance: body language; how to contruct engaging slides; management of scientific speech; developing and encorporating demonstrations and audience participation.

Session 4

Putting into practice what has been learned in previous sessions in order to plan and design a group presentation/demonstration, for example a stand for the Imperial Festival.

Session 5

Presentation of group projects and peer review.

Further Outreach Opportunities

3 young boys speaking to PE-CDT student at busy science festivalThe Plastic Electronics CDT encourages and supports participation in a wide variety of outreach and public engagement activities throughout the MRes and PhD. This includes College-wide events such as the annual CDT Festival of Science, Imperial Festival, Open Days, and Imperial Fringe. Students also take part in events hosted at the local museums, as well as workshops with local schools.