If you’re new to outreach and interested in engaging with different audiences about chemistry, taking those first steps can sometimes be a bit daunting. We’ve come up with some top tips and resources to help get you started.
Start a conversation…
Whether you are based in industry, academia or education it always helps to talk to someone who has done this before. We have a regional network of Education Coordinators that can offer advice and are just a click or a phone call away.
Alternatively, many organisations also have people and departments that can help. Teams that you may already be familiar with include Knowledge Transfer, Marketing and Communication, Volunteering, Widening participation and public engagement.
Join an existing network or scheme
Many online mailing lists and forums exist to encourage people to discuss and share public engagement experiences. Psci-Com and Big-Chat are active mailing lists that offer the opportunity to share best practice, promote upcoming events and discuss science communication topics of the moment.
The NCCPE Public Engagement Network is dedicated to those based in higher education and provides support for both staff and students to develop their public engagement work.
Start small and give it a go
The biggest hurdle to trying something new is often just finding the right way to get started, so the key to success is sometimes to start small. We have lots of opportunities for everyone to get involved, both face-to-face and online.
Other ways to get started include:
- Writing a science blog
- Volunteering in a local science centre
- Participating in a science festival
Our Local Sections organise and participate in a huge variety of activities aimed at both school and public audiences and may have opportunities to get involved. Get in touch with the Local Section chair for your area to find out more.
Part of the excitement and fun of engaging different audiences with the chemical science is the reaction of the audience to hands-on activities and demonstrations. If you’re stuck for ideas visit our outreach collection on Learn Chemistry. Here you can find anything from kitchen chemistry to the latest global experiment.
Organise your own event
If you’ve participated in a few activities you may be ready to have a go at organising an event yourself.
Before you start, these are the questions that you should ask yourself:
- What are the aims of your activity? Why are you doing it?
- Who is your audience? Why should they care?
- What are you planning to do?
- How will you evaluate it? How will you know it was a success?
If you think you know the answer then a good place to start to find more information is Plan it on the NCCPE website.