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Education and Outreach

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Education and Outreach

The Education and Outreach group (Accessibility of Science) explores how students and the general public and other stakeholders engage with Biosciences and Chemistry-related subjects.

The group has two main interlinking aims:

1) To enhance higher education teaching within the Bioscience and Chemistry disciplines by developing and evaluating innovative practices.

2) To develop then evaluate inclusive and accessible science outreach activities and events.

The group systematically designs studies to collect and analyse data related to existing and innovative education practice and outreach activities occurring in the department to achieve these aims. Outputs are published in peer-reviewed journals and shared widely at national and international conferences.

Teaching and Learning

Educational research has been focused on understanding how students use the different learning spaces within the University and have led to interventions that enhance the teaching experience. We have also developed technology-enhanced learning methods to engage students in both the physical and virtual laboratories. Other projects include understanding how students engage with research during their studies and the development of tools to improve the effectiveness of feedback. The group is also actively involved with initiatives to close the BAME awarding gap by developing and evaluating targeted interventions and supporting the transition of students to higher education. Outputs from the group are shared through publication and conference presentations such as STEM HE, American Chemical Society, Heads of University Bioscience (HUBS), The Biochemical Society and The Society of Experimental Biology.

Outreach

Outreach activities include the highly successful Explore Science and Engineering @ SHU.

Established in 2014, this family-focused event, organised by the BMRC, features a range of interactive stands and talks, welcoming the general public into the university campus to engage with researchers from across the departments of bioscience and chemistry, engineering, physics and maths, sport, allied health.  The group also collaborates with Museums Sheffield to deliver the blended science and arts Live Lates evenings Live Late targeting which aim to reach adult audiences who traditionally do not attend science-focus events. .  Throughout the academic year, our researchers have an active involvement in delivering activities to schools and colleges, with a particular focus around British Science week.  An emphasis of our research is placed on understanding how to engage harder to reach audiences and evaluate events' impact to inform future activity design.  The group has successfully secured a number of funding grants, including from the Microbiology Society, Cell Biology Society, The Royal College of Pathologists and The Welcome trust, leading to computer games, videos, and virtual reality tools.

Explore! Science and Engineering

Publications

Bassindale, T., LeSuer, R., & Smith, D. (2021). Perceptions of a program approach to virtual laboratory provision for analytical and bioanalytical sciences. The Journal of Forensic Science Education, 3(1). https://jfse-ojs-tamu.tdl.org/jfse/index.php/jfse/article/view/46

Duckett, C. J., Hargreaves, K. E., Rawson, K. M., Allen, K. E., Forbes, S., Rawlinson, K. E., ... & Lacey, M. (2021). Nights at the museum: integrated arts and microbiology public engagement events enhance understanding of science whilst increasing community diversity and inclusion. [Access Microbiology, 3(5), 000231.](https://www.microbiologyresearch.org/content/journal/acmi/10.1099/acmi.0.000231)

Lacey MM, Campbell S, Smith DP (2020) Self‐selecting peer groups formed within the laboratory environment have a lasting effect on individual student attainment and working practices [FEBS Open Bio, 10: 1194-1209. doi:10.1002/2211-5463.12902](https://febs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2211-5463.12902)

Smith DP, Hoare A. and Lacey MM (2018), Who goes where? The importance of peer groups on attainment and the student use of the lecture theatre teaching space. [FEBS Open Bio, 8: 1368-1378. doi:10.1002/2211-5463.12494](https://febs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2211-5463.12494)

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Get in touch

Contact the BMRC to discuss facilities, partnerships, doctoral research and more

Email BMRC
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