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      SCENE: A novel model for engaging underserved and under-represented audiences in informal science learning activities



      Research for All

      UCL Press

      inclusion, engagement, festival, co-design

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          Inequitable access to science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) has been explored by multiple studies which have shown that some publics are underserved by existing informal educational and cultural provision, and under-represented in related study choices and careers. Informal science learning (ISL) and public engagement with research activities (such as science festivals) tend to attract audiences which are largely white, middle class and already engaged with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). This article describes the development of an engagement approach and model through a story-based festival (SMASHfestUK) which was specifically designed to attract new and diverse audiences, including Black and mixed-heritage families, and families living with socio-economic disadvantage. The festival was delivered on five annual occasions, each co-designed with a wide selection of stakeholders, including audiences, researchers, performers, institutions and organizations, and considered as an iterative prototype.

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          Most cited references 29

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          Entertainment?Education and Elaboration Likelihood: Understanding the Processing of Narrative Persuasion

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            Enjoyment: At the Heart of Media Entertainment

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              Using narratives and storytelling to communicate science with nonexpert audiences.

               M. Dahlstrom (2014)
              Although storytelling often has negative connotations within science, narrative formats of communication should not be disregarded when communicating science to nonexpert audiences. Narratives offer increased comprehension, interest, and engagement. Nonexperts get most of their science information from mass media content, which is itself already biased toward narrative formats. Narratives are also intrinsically persuasive, which offers science communicators tactics for persuading otherwise resistant audiences, although such use also raises ethical considerations. Future intersections of narrative research with ongoing discussions in science communication are introduced.

                Author and article information

                Research for All
                UCL Press (UK )
                21 September 2021
                : 5
                : 2
                : 320-346
                University of Greenwich, UK
                Middlesex University, UK
                Author notes
                *Corresponding authors – emails: l.keith@ 123456gre.ac.uk ; w.griffiths@ 123456mdx.ac.uk
                Copyright © 2021 Keith and Griffiths

                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.

                Page count
                Figures: 10, Tables: 2, References: 52, Pages: 28


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