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ScienceX was a pop-up festival organised by The University of Manchester’s Faculty of Science and Engineering. Through this event we hoped to engage ‘non-traditional audiences’, namely those who wouldn’t usually seek out a science themed event; who may feel that going to university or pursuing a career in science or engineering are not realistic options for them; and to generate interest and enthusiasm for the world of science and engineering in local people and families.
To reach this audience, we developed an exciting programme of 17 hands-on activities, including slime stations, dancing robots and a flight simulator, and took them ‘on the road’ to a popular regional shopping and entertainment centre where visitors would not expect to find science.
Over 180 staff and student volunteers had more than 25,000 interactions with visitors across two days in March 2019, and data showed that we engaged with our intended audiences. Visitors described ScienceX as “fun” and “inspiring” – demonstrating that negative perceptions about science and engineering had been challenged and aspirations may have been raised.
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