Access for All: Dundee Science Centre Reaches Out to Under-Served Communities
Dundee Science Centre has been selected for a national community engagement project, aimed at engaging under-served and under-represented communities and audiences.
The UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres (ASDC) has awarded £15,000 to the Centre as part of its Project Inspire: Digital Engagement and Innovation Programme. This project is in collaboration with the Inspiring Science Fund, a partnership between UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Wellcome.
The grant will allow the Centre to identify barriers which might dissuade certain individuals and families from engaging, establish their preferences and jointly trial and develop new ways for them to engage digitally. As well as liaising with charities who support some of these under-served communities, Dundee Science Centre will also gain inspiration from other partners in the use of accessible technologies.
Rebecca Duncan, Head of Development said, “We have made huge leaps when it comes to community engagement and, over the years, have positioned ourselves as leaders in this field. We have taken a huge range of fun and educational activities out to families, school pupils and others who perhaps felt detached from us, or unsure if Dundee Science Centre was for them!
“While that face-to-face work will pick up in the months ahead, we are also building on that, looking at new ways we can reach and connect with under-served communities online, providing them with fun, engaging activities while developing their confidence and life skills in the process.
“However, we can’t assume that everyone digests our content and activities the same way – some people struggle with literacy or IT skills. Others might feel that ‘science’ isn’t for them, that it’s intimidating or irrelevant – or perhaps they want to get involved in our online activities but don’t have access to the internet. This project will allow us to work with families and local charities who support these key groups, to establish what they’d like to see from us in the future, and how we can deliver these activities and programmes to them in a way that suits them.”
Outcomes from the project will also be shared within the Centre itself and their digital platforms, encouraging others to get involved.