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SMASHfestUK: Exploring approaches for widening participation and increasing diversity in STEM through the Arts

SMASHfestUK: Exploring approaches for widening participation and increasing diversity in STEM through the Arts

Keith, Lindsay ORCID: 0000-0002-5324-1719 and Griffiths, Wyn (2015) SMASHfestUK: Exploring approaches for widening participation and increasing diversity in STEM through the Arts. In: Science in Public 2015, 9th - 10th July 2015, University of the West of England.

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Abstract

Recent studies show that there is a known lack of gender, ethnic and socio-economic diversity in STEM education and careers. The Warwick Commission has again highlighted that this imbalance also exists in access to Culture and the Arts.

The CASE Campaign for Science and Engineering, ‘Improving Diversity in STEM’ from May 2014 revealed that only “9% of STEM jobs (outside of Medicine) are held by women” and “BME men are 28% less likely to work in STEM than white men”.

Many initiatives nominally seek to address this imbalance, but often suffer from institutional centrism, narrow-focus and community disconnectedness.

The Warwick Commission states “The role of cultural organisations as partners in the fundamental place shaping role, building and moulding local communities and identities, remains underdeveloped”.

SMASHfestUK – www.smashfestuk.com - is a science and arts festival that has recently completed its pilot run. It was conceived to explore new approaches to widening participation and improving diversity in STEM through the Arts.

Key principles include:
• Participatory authorship
• Immersive entertainment
• Narrative led
• Trans-media delivery
• Embedded and delivered in, and by, local communities

The paper will discuss the principles, practice and audited impact of this approach.
SMASHfestUK was funded by: The Wellcome Trust, The Arts Council, Middlesex University, The Physiological Society and L&Q Housing.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Festival, Science, Communications, Scicomm, Public engagement, STEM, Smashfest, Diversity, Gender, Social
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Department of Creative Professions & Digital Arts
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Digital Arts Research & Enterprise
Last Modified: 23 May 2017 12:14
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: GREAT a
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/17021

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