Connecting your science course to the Community

By Alison Ackroyd posted 06-03-2023 14:54


British Science Week, 10-19 March 2023, will soon be here. The theme of connections seemed too good to pass by as a discussion topic in the most recent Post-16 Remote National Science Network meeting. We explored communicating your work to your school/college and community in British Science Week and beyond.  
In post-16 environments such as FE colleges, marketing and communications are vitally important to connect to the wider community. Improving traffic to the website attracts students to enrol of course but there are other benefits. Creatively demonstrating the skills and content that your courses deliver builds the reputation of what you do. They are certainly a talking point when we interview prospective students or talk to other stakeholders such as governors. There is a reciprocal benefit for your students, who may later use the content of postings for personal statements or add to their digital CVs. There is also often synergy when you share work; you grow your own professional network and gain ideas for your teaching.  
Estelle Whewell, CREST Product & Partnerships Manager of the British Science Association. joined us in the meeting to talk about how CREST awards can be used in British Science Week and beyond to help students engage in projects to showcase on social media. There is a range of projects to suit students aged 5-19 and run on a variety of timescales. The British Science Week site also has guidance on how you can publicise your work on social media.  
Charlotte Bonner, the Marketing and Communications officer at MidKent College shared practical advice on collecting material for social media.  Practical sessions showing happy and enthusiastic students make the best posts. Don’t allow students in photos that have not given consent but shots such as close-ups of activities make good alternatives. She advised clearing the clutter and lighting rooms if necessary. Charlotte recommended making short videos of experiments or activities. Videos are more sought after on social media and they get more views or reach than just standard photos.  She finished off by saying that you may think that what you do isn’t exciting enough for social media but try to remember that people outside of your subject area will find it interesting. They do not necessarily know what you do day to day.  
If you teach in any post-16 setting and would like to connect with us at the next post-16 remote science network meeting please sign up here. We will be looking at the topic of employing STEM Ambassadors’ expertise to deliver technical education and career pathways. Look forward to seeing you! 

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