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      Development of the School Science Club at Cardiff University

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      Research for All

      UCL Press

      science, Key Stage 2, school, co-development, university

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          Challenges faced by schools include how to make science interesting, relevant and engaging for their pupils. This can perhaps be made more difficult by staff members not having direct experience in many areas of the science they are tasked to teach, and therefore lacking the confidence to teach in these areas ( Murphy et al., 2007). Within the higher education sector, there is demand for researchers to actively engage with the local community ( Linder and Spear, 2003; Wynne, 2006). Working with eight schools, we co-developed a programme that both highlights academic research and complements the Key Stage 2 national curriculum with the aims of improving science aspirations, knowledge and confidence in Key Stage 2 (Year 6) children, supporting teachers in the delivery of areas of the curriculum identified as challenging, and increasing science communication and engagement within the university. We delivered two separate sessions with all eight primary schools, interacting with approximately three hundred and fifty pupils. Overall, the project had a positive impact on teachers, children and academic staff. Key findings indicated that 92.9 per cent of 348 children surveyed felt that they had learned something new, while 85.7 per cent surveyed felt they were more interested in science, and 14.3 per cent reported no change in their feelings towards science. The School Science Club represents a collaborative engagement project which highlights the requirement of accurate co-development and outcome settings from both the university and school in order to have a positive impact on all those involved. Findings suggested improvements in planning and delivery for future such endeavours.

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          Most cited references 5

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          Public engagement as a means of restoring public trust in science--hitting the notes, but missing the music?

           Brian Wynne (2005)
          This paper analyses the recent widespread moves to 'restore' public trust in science by developing an avowedly two-way, public dialogue with science initiatives. Noting how previously discredited and supposedly abandoned public deficit explanations of 'mistrust' have actually been continually reinvented, it argues that this is a symptom of a continuing failure of scientific and policy institutions to place their own science-policy institutional culture into the frame of dialogue, as possible contributory cause of the public mistrust problem. Copyright 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.
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            Primary science teacher confidence revisited: ten years on

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              Auditing and Evaluating University-Community Engagement: Lessons from a UK Case Study


                Author and article information

                Research for All
                UCL Press (UK )
                16 February 2021
                : 5
                : 1
                : 86-100
                Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK
                Cardiff University, UK
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Email: jablaxland@ 123456cardiffmet.ac.uk
                Copyright © 2021 Blaxland, Thomas and Baillie

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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                Figures: 7, Tables: 1, References: 9, Pages: 16


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