Below is a (non-exhaustive) list of regular public engagement opportunities and also inspiration for events that you can hold yourself at any point in the year.
Also see our calendar of events for more public engagement opportunities.
When: It takes place at 3 points throughout the year (March, June and November), with each lasting two weeks.
What is it: “I’m a Scientist, get me out of here” is an online public engagement activity where schoolchildren connect with real scientists about real science. It’s a competition where the school students are the judges. The students can ask the scientists anything they want and then vote for their favourite scientist. The winning scientist receives £500 to communicate their work to the public. Communication takes place over live (text-based) chats with classes of students. The chats last 30 to 45 minutes and you can attend as many or as few chats as fit in with your schedule.
For more information, and to sign up, visit https://imascientist.org.uk
Who: It’s suitable for anyone working in science (researchers, technicians, managers, private sector, public sector… everyone!)
Ideas Cafe's are a relatively simple format where each speaker presents for no more than 5 minutes on the issues surrounding their topic and presents key discussion points for the audience. After all speakers have presented, they then join the audience in a round table discussion where they may focus on the discussion points presented, or possibly explore another tangent depending on the knowledge, expertise and interest of that table. After 20 - 30 minutes discussion each table feeds back on their conversation and the speakers move round to the next table. This continues until each table has had a chance to meet with each speaker. Typically, we break up the events with lunch or coffee and cake to give people a break and encourage informal conversation over food.
Consider who your target audience are, and what locations might be suitable. Above all, get off campus and out into the community.
Costs will include venue hire, transport and refreshments.
Previous ideas cafes have included ones on Energy, Microbial Communities, Issues facing the Carribean Community.
For support with hosting an Ideas café please contact a member of the public engagement team.
In a Pecha Kucha presentation, you prepare 20 slides that will each be shown for 20 seconds. In other words, you have 400 seconds to tell your story using 20 images.
There are regular Pecha Kuchas nights held in Leamington that you can apply to take part in. See their facebook page for details.
Events take place in the evening and are aimed at adults.
The U3A (The University of the Third Age) is a UK-wide movement which brings together people in their ‘third age’ to develop their interests and continue their learning in a friendly and informal environment.
If you’re wondering what we mean by the third age - it is a time after you have finished working full-time or raising your family and have time to pursue your interests or just try something new.
U3A has a ‘university’ of members who draw upon their knowledge and experience to teach and learn from each other but there are no qualifications to pass – it is just for pleasure. Learning is its own reward.
It's all voluntary; a typical U3A will be home to many activity groups covering hundreds of different subjects - from art to zoology and everything in between.
There are a range of groups across Coventry and Warwickshire (within the West Midlands region) who are always interested in having speakers attend their meetings. Normally you would prepare a 45 minute talk and deliver it then would have plenty of time for questions from the audience. The U3A members tend to be very engaged and interested in learning new things.
We have contacts for most the U3A groups so get in touch if this is something you are interested in please get in touch.
The local groups and relevant meeting details are as follows:
Warwick – Science interest group, 4th Wednesday of the month at 2.00 pm. Location: The Gap Community Centre, 39 Oakwood Grove Warwick CV34 5TD
Kenilworth – Open meetings, 2:30 pm on the 3rd Thursday of the month at the Kenilworth Methodist Church, Priory Rd, Kenilworth CV8 1LQ
Café Scientifique is a place where, for the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. Meetings take place in cafés, bars, restaurants and even theatres, but always outside a traditional academic context.
Café Scientifique is a forum for the discussion of current work and interesting scientific issues. Cafes are informal and accessible. to be questioned and talk about their work at all levels. Cafés start with a short talk (usually no more than twenty minutes) by the speaker, to introduce the topic. After this there is usually a short break to allow glasses to be refilled and conversations to start. This is followed by an hour or so of questions and answers and general discussion.
There is a cafe scientifique held in Leamington with talks held once a month, on the third Monday of the month, from 7.30 – 9.00 pm.
The university hosts two family days each year, in summer and winter. Shows, workshops and stalls should be aimed at families and children. You can specify an age range the activity is suitable for.
It’s also a possibility to have information/activity stands about your research. We’ve previously had stands at local libraries and the Herbert Gallery on the subject of tuberculosis. This was held on World TB day and was used to promote the research at Warwick and also to dispel some myths about TB. However, you should aim to make your stand interactive, rather than just giving out information. If this is something you’re interested in then talk to a member of the public engagement team.