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Simulation as a public engagement: engaging children in medicine and science in some surprising places

Simulation as a public engagement: engaging children in medicine and science in some surprising places

Coates, L, Weldon, Sharon Marie ORCID: 0000-0001-5487-5265, Rodrigues, A, Bello, F and Kneebone, R (2015) Simulation as a public engagement: engaging children in medicine and science in some surprising places. In: 7th International Pediatric Simulation Symposia and Workshops - Book of Abstracts. International Pediatric Simulation Society, pp. 146-147.

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Abstract

Introduction: The last 10 years have seen profound changes in how UK universities use public engagement1 to show the impact of their research and increase funding, yet engagement remains a complex and elusive concept. We explored shared immersion simulation scenarios across a range of settings to engage schoolchildren and their families. Our primary aim is to stimulate interest in the science behind our scenarios and the medicine within them. A secondary aim is to categorise the computer science, technology and design which realistic simulations demand.

Aim: To investigate simulation as a public engagement, outreach and educational tool.

Method: Our primary data source is a series of innovative simulation scenarios at 2 major UK venues over 3 years. The Big Bang Fair (BBF) is the UK’s largest science and engineering fair for young people (attendance 63,000 over 3 days). We presented the lead stand in the Health Zone over three consecutive years, using sequential simulations (SqS) of a range of healthcare scenarios.These included adolescent asthma, heart attack, craniotomy to head injury and surgical treatment of knife injury. SqS presents a series of scenes presented in front of a large audience, some of whom participate by playing roles alongside clinical practitioners. Set-piece demonstrations are complemented by interactive stands and discussion areas, inviting young people to engage with healthcare professionals, designers and computer scientists. The Green Man (GM) is a three-day music festival in Wales. The venue includes Einstein’s Garden, a large co-operative space where children and families experience performances and interactive sessions based on art, science and nature. We explored unorthodox approaches to surgical engagement over two consecutive GMs. Collaborators included a sculptor, puppeteers and a stage magician, with each of whom we explored parallels between surgery and other forms of craft and performance (especially around communication and teamworking). Observational, interview and written free-text data was collected at each event.

Results: Evaluation data shows extremely positive responses. BBF 2014 showed that only 2% of respondents could suggest improvements, with the remaining 98% highlighting the interest/informative nature, realism, and interactiveness. 95% of BBF 2013 respondents “loved” or “liked” our exhibit, while 90% of respondents reported learning or gaining knowledge. Analysis of the evaluation from GM is ongoing but preliminary analysis shows similar levels of interest and engagement.

Conclusion: These results build on our previous findings that immersive public engagement offers major potential to introduce clinical practice and biomedical science to new audiences, opening up two-way channels of communication and feedback resulting in reciprocal illumination. Simulation is highly effective in engaging schoolchildren and young people, and encouraging them to consider healthcare, technology or science as possible careers.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Title of Proceedings: 7th International Pediatric Simulation Symposia and Workshops - Book of Abstracts
Uncontrolled Keywords: simulation, sequential simulation
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development > Centre for Professional Workforce Development
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2021 13:50
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/30797

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