Leisure and pleasure: Science events in unusual locations
Bultitude, K. and Sardo, M. (2012) Leisure and pleasure: Science events in unusual locations. International Journal of Science Education, 34 (18). pp. 2775-2795. ISSN 0950-0693
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2012.664293
Building on concepts relating to informal science education, this work compares science-related activities which successfully engaged public audiences at three different ‘generic’ locations: a garden festival, a public park, and a music festival. The purpose was to identify what factors contribute to the perceived success of science communication activities occurring within leisure spaces. This article reports the results of 71 short (2–3 min) structured interviews with public participants at the events, and 18 structured observations sessions, demonstrating that the events were considered both novel and interesting by the participants. Audience members were found to perceive both educational and affective purposes from the events. Three key elements were identified as contributing to the success of the activities across the three ‘generic venues’: the informality of the surroundings, the involvement of ‘real’ scientists, and the opportunity to re-engage participants with scientific concepts outside formal education.
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