Author: Theodoros Anagnostopolos – SciCo, Greece

Marilena Andrikopoulou – SciCo
Elpiniki Pappa – SciCo

STEMpowering Youth is a program developed to facilitate innovation in local communities, via STEM education and science communication. Trying to fill in the gap of Greece’s educational system, the program supports interactive “hands-on” education and seeks to connect citizens’ everyday life with science.

We developed a 9-week STEM program that was piloted in 12 educationally weak, remote areas in Greece. This program was implemented in out of school hours and aimed to make students use science tools and engineer innovations in order to tackle local social challenges. As a long-lasting solution approach, we empowered local educators on how to use student-centered and project-based activities to teach science. As an end result, each team produced an innovation that aims to solve local or social problems.

In a second phase, the “student-innovators” were asked to explain their work through a series of local, popular events. The common characteristic of all these events was the communication of scientific and technological knowledge to the public, i.e. to people who were not aware of these topics.

In the pilot phase, we trained fourteen teachers and 360 students, aged 13 to 16, while 15 innovative projects were constructed. The projects constructed, as well as, the science behind them were communicated to approximately 3.000 people.

The project’s results were disseminated to the general public through social media while all innovative constructions were video recorded and uploaded on video platforms. More than 50.000 people have viewed these. The project is planned until 2019.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Visual talk
Theme: Science
Area of interest: Investigating science communication practices

Author: Theodoros Anagnostopolos – SciCo, Greece

Co-author: Elpiniki Pappa – SciCo

Most science communication approaches and mediums are usually attracting people with a pre-existing interest in science, and with high appreciation for the added value of involving scientific knowledge in everyday life. Thus, failing in achieving their principal goal, i.e. bringing science to the general public.

To overcome this challenge we have organized an outreach event in a place where thousands of people with different backgrounds pass by: The Metro! “Mind the Lab” was piloted for the first time in the Athens metro, Greece, on February 3, 2017.

Approximately 10.000 people stopped by (1 out of 10 of the total number of passengers) to be informed and interact with the exhibits for an average time of 2-3 minutes. The 89, 6% was keen on learning more about the presented scientific and technological topics and 96, 3% would be interested in similar outreach events. These data support that “Mind the Lab” can be a powerful tool, since it acts as a science teaser, attract the general public and direct it to science-related channels.

“Mind the Lab” is unique in the way that has been designed as an easy-to-use / do-it-yourself online platform that will facilitate the organization of the event in other cities and countries. This design facilitates the establishment of an international science celebration day where “Mind the Lab” will take place simultaneously in as many cities around the world as possible. We propose that such an initiative in international level will increase public engagement in science, by boosting the impact of traditional science communication activities and increasing their dissemination to the general public. “Mind the Lab” is being planned to take place in five European and two Latin America cities in 2018.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Idea in progress
Theme: Society
Area of interest: Investigating science communication practices