The participants used digital technology to create either an animated film or audio podcast, which explored the social, ethical and personal issues that arise out of biomedical science research.
Summary of activity:
We worked with local film and radio professionals to run workshops introducing the kids to stop-motion animation or audio broadcast. They worked in small groups for 15-20 hours to produce their finished pieces. As part of this they interviewed practising scientists about their work, and incorporated some of the ideas into the finished pieces.
Participant questionnaires (pre and post event); Personal reflection
What went well:
1: The finished work was of a high quality, and some of it has had a life beyond the project, being picked up off YouTube by a Dutch broadcaster, and being used in our building.
2: The project was an excellent opportunity for a team member to cut her teeth on a complex and demanding project.
3: The kids and the scientists engaged well with each other, and there was some significant engagement with the issues.
What was learned:
1. We gave the kids a lot of control over their time during the summer workshops – this was a mistake as they struggled to structure their time effectively. Next time we would do that for them to a much greater extent.
2. It was hard to recruit this age group to a week-long workshop of this type in the summer. Next time we would target local parents rather than the kids themselves.
3. Next time we would talk to local youth and community groups up front about getting them involved in the project, rather than trying to do it once the project had been set up.
Top tips and advice for others