Dundee Science Festival 2010
2010 was the first year of Dundee Science Festival. We wanted to create a celebration of science, and drafted the following aims (in conjunction with partners).
Dundee Science Festival exists to:
- promote science as an aspect of culture to rank alongside heritage, arts, music and theatre
- raise awareness of and celebrate Dundee as a city of science, including raising civic pride
- hold a flagship event to enhance awareness of science learning opportunities that take place throughout the year, promoting lifelong science learning for all
- promote Dundee as a place to both work and play in science
- promote science engagement as enjoyable, exciting, sociable and accessible
- to involve partner organisations
- to create a programme spanning both the usual science engagement venues, and other cultural venues
- to engage adults, small children and teengagers as well as schools
Summary of activity:
Dundee Science Centre led the creation of the festival – as part of our mission to make science part of culture.
We invited senior representatives of a range of partners (universities, college, education etc) to a discussion session, to gain suport and establish aims.
We created a collaborative structure (we provide the secretariat/core coordination role; partnership meetings; steering group).
We extended the invitation to become a partner to a wide range of organisations across the city.
- our staff attended all events, in order to experience the event and record its operation and reception
- numbers of participants were recorded
- we used a standard feedback form across all festival events, using Likert scale questions linked to Generic Learning Outcomes (based on the Association of Science and Discovery Centres format), plus questions about how visitors heard of the festival, where they travelled from, what was best, and how we can improve.
The full report is on http://www.sensation.org.uk/cmsimages/Dundee%20Science%20Festival%202010%20report.pdf
What went well:
1. The partnership model allowed lots of diverse partners to get involved
2. Events in community centres in residential areas - so people don't necessarily have to travel to the city centre
3. Visitor experience - evaluation shows that people *both* enjoyed the events and felt they had learned something
What was learned:
1. Advertising through the schools (brochures distributed via schools) ensures lots of people hear about the festival
2. The importance of communication and partnership across the city - holding the festival as a partnership leverages a lot of support, and helps create a rich programme
3. The importance of advertising individual events as well as the festival as a whole
Top tips and advice for others
1. Involve partners - you get more support (in-kind and financial)
2. Work with the local authority - helps you to engage communities in the right way, and spread the word via schools
3. Invite the local newspaper to be media partner, to gain a higher profile