'Science Rendezvous' - Promoting STEM Education

Dalgarno, Nancy and Colgan, Lynda (2013) 'Science Rendezvous' - Promoting STEM Education. In: CU Expo 2013, June 12-15, 2013, Corner Brook, NL, Canada. (Submitted)

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Abstract

This session describes the implementation of Science Rendezvous (SR) Kingston, a community outreach event targeted to people of all ages. The Queen’s University Community Outreach Centre (QCOC) situated in the Faculty of Education, provides Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education through public outreach. This session details how the QCOC partners with community organizations, museums, artists, the City of Kingston and other university and college faculties to collaboratively provide an annual large-scale, one-day event that showcases hands-on activities, demonstrations, experiments, and scientific research to promote public interest, engagement, and understanding of STEM education and careers. The presenters in this session will share their findings from a two-year study aimed at (a) determining the strengths and challenges of community-university partnerships in the context of SR, (b) providing a set of actionable recommendations for future iterations of SR, and (c) refining outreach models that attempt to clarify the phenomena which occur in the process of adopting and implementing a STEM-based community initiative through collaborative partnerships. The research involved 42 interviews with community partners and an online survey completed by 43% of SR participants over 18 years of age. The findings revealed that first-order barriers (e.g., cost, access, advertisement, and schedules) were easier to address than the second-order barriers that emerged from the analysis. The study found that intrinsic beliefs towards public education events such as public perceptions about STEM careers, faculty beliefs about the role of universities in public outreach, and authentic collaborative community-university partnerships were barriers associated with engagement, organizational structures, and sustainability. The data analysis assisted in understanding the importance of community-university partnerships when engaging in sustainable public outreach events that aim to showcase STEM education through teaching, research and knowledge mobilization. During the session, participants will be provided with resources designed in collaboration with all 25 participating community partners.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1855
Item ID: 1855
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > CU Expo 2013
Date: 15 June 2013
Date Type: Completion
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