SuperLab - Supermarket Poster Campaign
To provide a high impact campaign that will allow HEIs to engage the general public with STEM applications in a non-traditional outreach setting.
To enable academics to develop new communication skills which will help them evidence research-specific public engagement activity relating to the new Research Excellence Framework.
Academics will be trained by the BSA and the NCCPE in producing posters for communicating their work and public engagement. This training will also emphasise the impact of research communication on the new Research Excellence Framework (where possible).
As part of the project, academics will develop their newly acquired skills from the training by contributing to a collection of themed posters/postcards to be displayed in-store at a large supermarket chain.
Each poster/postcard will explain a relevant in-store STEM application, such as the use of laser scanning on tills, mathematical models for logistics, engineering principles in store design, and industrial cleaning products. The print based material will include the name and institution of the academic, raising the HEIs profile. Commitment on the part of the employer will be in displaying the materials for a set period of time (one month) and sending a small number of representatives at the training event. The final print products will also contain a QR code, enabling some of the public to provide immediate feedback on the resource.
Traditionally academics and HEI outreach staff engage with school pupils (and less frequently the general public) through activities which take place either on campus, or through public lectures (such as Café Scientifique). However, these activities are at risk of ‘preaching to the converted’ especially for off-campus events, as most attendance for most participants will have required a conscious decision and expending effort. Existing public engagement events that adopt a street busking style have the advantage of engaging with the general public on ‘neutral ground’ but are both time consuming and unappealing to many academics. A poster based campaign which illustrates real world applications of STEM subjects sited in a context that is relevant for large numbers of people offers an opportunity to widen engagement for both academics and the public.
Although online food retail is an increasing market, the majority of the general public still shop in store for groceries. This is an untapped resource for providing relevant and contextualised examples of STEM applications, such as the lasers used in scanners, distribution logistics, food storage conditions and store design.
1. Academics to attend a training event
2. Academics to produce text for poster examples of STEM applications in store.
3. A large supermarket chain to display the resources in a minimum of 10 stores stores for one month over NSEW 2012 stores for one month over NSEW 2012 stores for one month over NSEW 2012 stores for one month over NSEW 2012 store.
Minimum of 8 STEM applications resources - available in store as printed poster displays and a postcard set. Also available electronically as part of the National HE STEM repository of resources.