Public Engagement Manager for the Mathematics of Waves and Materials group, Department of Mathematics
The Mathematics of Waves and Materials group work on the theoretical, numerical and experimental aspects of materials and waves, employing ideas from materials science, chemistry, engineering and physics as well as mathematics.
I joined in September 2019 as the group’s Public Engagement Manager and am putting together a programme of public and school events, activities and resources on themes stemming from the group’s research, with a broader remit of widening participation in STEM.
Public engagement highlights
My interest in public engagement began during my PhD, when I took part in the Researchers in Residence scheme which paired research students with local schools.
Since then I have worked in various public engagement roles. Highlights have included delivering planetarium shows to brownies and cubs, presenting science shows in unusual locations such Aintree racecourse, and dressing children as rubbish and putting them in a ‘landfill’ during a roadshow about waste.
In the Mathematics of Waves and Materials group, I am enjoying putting together a new programme of activity. We recently participated in the Science and Industry Museum’s Platform for Investigation event.
A team of PhD students and postdocs delivered hands on activities designed around a piece of research from the group. Over 600 visitors joined us as we formed patterns in sand using sound, and found out how to make extraordinary noises with a slinky!
Best public engagement advice
Make it relevant to the audience! Think carefully about who you want to engage with and why, and find a way to make what you do meaningful to them.
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