What makes a science made simple show? YOU!

As the end of term approaches (well almost) here at science made simple HQ we’re looking forward to our annual retreat.  This isn’t a time of manicures and facials (we’re a Social Enterprise and they probably wouldn’t class that as a socially worthwhile!) but an opportunity for us all to get together, reflect on what we’ve been doing in the past year and make plans for the year ahead.  It’s also a great time for us to improve our shows and our own presenter skills.

To do this we would really like your help!

Below I have outlined everything that makes up a science made simple show, from the presenter right down to the funders. But where do you, the science show booker, fit in? We would really like your opinions to help us decide on our next improvements and direction and how best to spend our time making the best shows possible for your audiences and pupils.

Two ways you can help

1. If you can spare 20 minutes to give us your opinions we would love to hear them and use them to shape the future of our company. Please fill out our customer research questionnaire.

2. If you have a bit more time to spare and would like to get on board with us, we are starting up Focus Groups of teachers in Bolton and Cardiff. We’d really love to have you involved. If you are interested please contact us on info@sciencemadesimple.co.uk.  At present we are just getting a list of interested people together but details will follow. It is likely to take the format of a once termly get together, in each area, with food and wine while we pick your brains! Again please spread the word to anybody you think may be interested.

We look forward to hearing from you and getting cracking implementing your ideas!

What else makes up a science made simple show?

The Presenter

I love working for science made simple and one of the reasons is that I’m given the opportunity to improve my own skills (we all get LAMDA training and Ruth Perkins and Zoë Randell are the latest two to achieve a LAMDA gold medal in public speaking- well done both!) As an Investors in People company that’s an approach which is firmly embedded and supported. The improvements don’t stop with the presenters though.

 

The Research

We always work to ensure that we include the most cutting-edge research in our shows.  We do this by reading research papers, talking to and building links with academic researchers and visiting people working in STEM industries.

 

The Demos

A great way to get across some of the concepts we cover in our shows is to use demonstrations.  We work with other science communicators as well as professional prop builders to get these demos spot on.  Sometimes that means something specially made for us like our hovercraft from our Izzy’s Incredible Adventure show, sometimes it’s something as simple as a straw and a pair of scissors, used in Music to Your Ears, giving you a chance to have a go when you get home.

Kidsonhovercraft1

Audience members having a ride on the hovercraft. Photo: science made simple (All RIghts Reserved)

Ruth and David duet on the straw oboe

Ruth and David duet on the straw oboe. Photo: science made simple (All Rights Reserved)

The Audience

We also regularly take stock of the piles of evaluation forms from students and teachers which we collect, tweaking our shows and our delivery and improving our service when necessary.  You can find out more about the details of our evaluation process here.

 

The Funders

We’ve been very fortunate to receive funding for development of new shows (and to subsidise delivery of them in some cases) from a range of funding sources including The IET, Tomorrow’s Engineers, The Bloodhound SSC Project and WIMCS.

 

We’re always delighted to get support from these organisations, which are themselves focused on education and raising aspirations amongst young people.  However, we are keen to ensure that some of the shows and workshops that we offer are developed with closer collaboration with schools directly.  As a company we sat down (we’re a small company so all 11 of us can actually sit down and decide things together!) and decided that we should invest some time and money  in finding out what teachers and schools want now and how we can adapt what we are already doing or develop new resources to meet these needs.  And that’s where we need your help!

 

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