Science Non-Friction

Jones, Kathryn, Canovan, Cherry orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9751-5646 and Fallon, Paul orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2517-6101 (2023) Science Non-Friction. In: Festivals and Edutainment. Routledge, London, pp. 13-25. ISBN 9781003305415

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Science festivals represent powerful and ‘out of the ordinary’ edutainment experiences. They are also highly resource intensive. In a climate where there is concern about science’s declining popularity, they have the significant remit of increasing general public interest both in science and its post-16 study. While organisers often primarily target schoolchildren, it can be just as important to acknowledge parents, who potentially have a vital influence on their children’s interests and behaviours. Consequently, science festival organisers are required to fulfil several operational and legacy agendas. This chapter considers how the organisers of the Lancashire Science Festival balance a range of factors to deliver their annual edutainment experience at the University of Central Lancashire. These factors include multiple resources (notably time, space, and people), cognitive and affective learning outcomes for its attendees, school and family audiences and their associated stakeholders, and its staging at a normally functioning campus setting. The study highlights how specialist organising and evaluation teams, working in combination, design, implement, and review the festival in fine detail and within a process of continuous improvement. The discussions are relevant for not only other science festivals but also other educational institutions which stage, or are considering staging, related edutainment experiences.

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