ERIC Number: EJ1024049
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Transforming a School Learning Exercise into a Public Engagement Event: "The Good, the Bad and the Algae"
Redfern, James; Burdass, Dariel; Verran, Joanna
Journal of Biological Education, v47 n4 p246-252 2013
School science laboratory classes and hands-on public engagement activities share many common aims and objectives in terms of science learning and literacy. This article describes the development and evaluation of a microbiology public engagement activity, "The Good, the Bad and the Algae", from a school laboratory activity. The school activity was developed as part of an educational resource which aimed to promote practical microbiology in the classroom. The public engagement activity was derived locally for National Science and Engineering Week 2011 and was subsequently adapted for a national science and engineering fair (The Big Bang 2012). The aim of the session was to raise awareness of the importance of algae and to encourage hands-on laboratory examination in a fun and informal manner. Evaluation of the first event, delivered in a workshop format, helped shape the educational resource before publication. The second event was modified to enable delivery to a larger audience. Both events were successful in terms of enjoyment and engagement. Over 2200 people participated in the Big Bang activity over three days, with evaluation indicating 80% of participants had increased awareness/knowledge of algae after the event. The success of both iterations of the activity demonstrates that it is possible to transform a simple school activity into an exciting and effective public engagement activity.
Descriptors: Microbiology, Program Descriptions, Service Learning, Science Laboratories, Hands on Science, Consciousness Raising, Knowledge Level, Learning Activities, Educational Resources, Workshops, Models, Community Involvement, School Community Programs, Science Course Improvement Projects, Science Activities, Science Fairs, Participant Satisfaction, Case Studies, High School Students, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Manchester)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A