“Sharing your work can bring enjoyment to those you engage with and in return, new ideas and a personal sense of satisfaction”
Dr Mark Jabbal, Postdoctoral Researcher, Aerospace Engineering, University of Manchester
Do you have a flair for creativeness and design? If so, then why not host an engaging exhibition during the Festival of Learning as a way to engage your audience in your research?
It is well known that exhibitions are a great way to engage and involve members of the general public in your research, and by hosting an exhibition this can also help you to explain and promote your research more appropriately to those non-specialist audiences.
Why should I hold an exhibition?
Exhibitions are a good way to raising awareness of your research and attracting in an audience. Whilst hosting your exhibition, you could also have some tests/experiments in place so that you can test your study on your audience and engage the public as research participants. Festival of Learning 2013 feedback had shown that members of the general public wanted to get involved with research projects and become contributors to data.
How will I make my exhibition engaging and interactive?
Here are a few pointers on how to make your exhibition engaging and interactive:
- An exhibition should be easy on the eye and catchy with images that are related to the research.
- Your messages need to be communicated clearly, accurately and concisely for those non-specialist audiences to be able to understand.
- You could interrogate your audience and get them involved with the experiments.
- You can entertain your audience… no, I do not mean flame throwers or knife jugglers, but why not use props and tangible objects which the audience is able to physically hold and touch? Or include hands on activities that they can get involved with?
- You can provide them with something to take away, for example: flyers, posters or other types of literature.
- Offer some questionnaires, a voting system or a diary room where the audience can provide some feedback and reflect upon their experiences.
Where could I hold the exhibition?
Your first initial thoughts would be to hold the exhibition at our campus, and of course you can, but why not spread your research much further than that and hold it in museums, shopping centres, libraries and venues that are in the heart of Bournemouth?
You can find out more ‘hot tips’ on how to host an engaging exhibition here. You can also find out why public engagement is beneficial here and other innovative ways of getting involved with public engagement here.
If you would like to get involved in the Festival of Learning 2014 and have some exciting ideas for a public lecture or anything other type of public engagement activity, please register your interest with Emily Loring: or my colleague Rebecca Edwards
Alternatively, you can download the application form here. Please return this to Rebecca Edwards by 6th December.