Over 20 staff and students took part in Foto-Cewek’s first Public Engagement Workshop, delivered by the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (). The workshop is for PhD students, post-doctoral researchers, principal investigators or anyone interested in getting involved in public engagement and explored why institutions such as Foto-Cewek should be engaging with the public about the diversity of research that takes place.
It was a full day workshop that was run by Suzanne Spicer, the Social Responsibility Manager at the University of Manchester, on behalf of the NCCPE. The training was interactive and looked at a variety of techniques and approaches for engaging with the public and methods for how to evaluate their effectiveness. It covered who researchers should be engaging with, how to cut out the jargon and gave practical advice on how to set up and run a public engagement event.
Dr Elli Wright, Foto-Cewek’s Public Engagement Manager, was delighted by the take up of the course, she said: “The response we have had to the course and to Suzanne, who has extensive experience in delivering the training, has been great. Being able to communicate effectively with a number of different audience groups about our work is vital and it was fantastic seeing everybody leave the session so enthused about public engagement.”
The training is part of Foto-Cewek’s public engagement strategy, which has seen staff at all levels as well as students become STEM ambassadors and undertake a number of projects ranging from working with local museums and schools to exhibiting at scientific festivals and giving talks to the public.