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Friday, 15 April 2016

Top Tips from Ed Drewitt

Ahead of our Engaging with Schools training session next week, we invited resident schools expert Ed Drewitt to share his top tips for creating outreach activities for schools.

About Ed

Ed Drewitt works across the University delivering training and has been working with schools for over 14 years. He currently teaches part time in the School of Biological Sciences. Previously he has worked at Bristol Museum and on the University’s Bristol Dinosaur Project.

Young archaeologists at work with the Bristol Dinosaur Project (credit: Ed Drewitt)

Top Tips for developing engaging activities for schools:

1. Develop three clear learning outcomes for your activity

2. Employ a mix of activity styles appealing to different learning preferences

3. Use touchy feely objects - children learn through touching

Students learning about electrostatic charge with glitter at the Festival of Nature schools day

4. Don't forget that attention span is related to age: a seven year old generally has an attention span of seven minutes

5. Pilot your workshop in a school first to iron out timings and activities (the Public Engagement team can help you with this!)

Come along to the training to get more information and advice from Ed. You'll be able to expand your knowledge of working with young people and learn how to develop an activity linked to your research that could inspire the next generation of researchers. There will also be presentations from researchers representing the arts, sciences and social sciences, plus advice from a deputy headteacher.

Engaging with Schools Training

21st April, 9.30am-12.30pm - Queen's Building, University of Bristol
The training is aimed at anyone interested in doing outreach activities in schools to get advice and ideas for developing activities. Taking part in outreach is great for skills development as a researcher and most importantly it's a lot of fun!

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

New Schools Partnership Coordinator - Ellie Cripps

I recently started as Schools Partnership Coordinator taking over from Chloe Anderson. I'll be coordinating the SUPI project (School-University Partnerships Initiative) and finding opportunities for local school students to engage with academics and the research of the University of Bristol. Previously, I managed the STEM Ambassador volunteering programme for Bristol/Bath and before that I studied at Bristol myself.

Over the next few months I'm particularly keen to share great examples of Bristol's researchers working with schools and reflections on these activities. I'll also be looking at ways to make the activities sustainable and easy for researchers and schools to get involved.

If you'd like to contribute to the blog and tell others about an activity you've taken part in, or to find out about ways to engage with local schools, email me at ellie.cripps@bristol.ac.uk.

For more information about Public Engagement at the University of Bristol, including past or current projects and advice for researchers, go to our website.

 I'm looking forward to working with you all!