Outreach Tool Ideas for ReSoURCE
A while ago, we reported on the world café-format we used for discussions during our team meeting in Aachen and mentioned that outreach tools have been a part of the topics we focused on. Many of the ideas we collected in Aachen and later on in video calls have been transferred in the project deliverable that we handed in last week. This report focused on our plans for communication, dissemination and exploitation.
When it comes to educational tools and program materials for public events or science fairs, I like to build up modular sets that can be put together in different combinations. Of course, a part of such a set should be at least one video that explains the project and its background. We have already done one, but in the long run, I would very much like to have an animated explanatory video about ReSoURCE. I like explanatory videos a lot as they are usually very clear and concise, and allow viewers to easily understand complex ideas or concepts.
As much as I like videos, they unfortunately come with a disadvantage: They need either a laptop with an impressive battery and screen size or an additional screen that needs electricity. The later is not always given, especially at outdoor events. Even if electricity is no problem though, a bright and sunny day might still cause some issues. For these and other reasons, I usually don’t rely on a video presentation alone.
A great addition to a video for example are roll-ups with informational content. We decided to create three roll-ups for a start: the first one will have the basic information about the project – like what is the objective, who are the partners and so on. The second roll-up will explain why you need refractories and the third one will highlight the importance of recycling. We could add more topics – like which scientific disciplines are involved in the project – but we will start with these three as they are the most important ones.
Roll-ups might be really simple, but not needing electricity is only one of the advantages tehy have. The biggest one might be that they can function all by themselves if needed. When at a fair or an event, the roll-up can be read and looked at by the visitors who I cannot talk to personally, for example because I am already in a discussion with somebody else. They also allow those visitors, who would like to be informed but who don’t necessarily want to get in personal contact, to get some information. But aside from that, they are also great as a reminder when I am explaining the project, so I don’t forget to mention any important aspects. And another benefit (this one more from a communicators point of view): they give you some public visibility, as they need some space.
A special educational tool that we planned is the educase. An educase is basically a suitcase with learning material inside. The content and a detailed description of the tool for recreation will be available open source in the Knowledge Vault on our project website as soon as it is ready. The educase is the next little project I am working on and I am looking very much forward to it, as it is always a rather creative work. Our educase will contain information about the project and the research partners as well as cover the topic of refractory recycling and climate change. Information about each discipline involved, the European Union and its funding programs are also in the content. Most of this will be written information and for some of the topics I will invent learning games. To add a haptic component to the mix, the suitcase will contain a microscope and small fractions of used and new refractory brick. These, of course, we cannot offer in the internet for download, so the samples will most likely be replaces with detailed pictures of them in the open access version.
Additionally to all these tools, we will design – or rather have already designed – a flyer for our project. A shout-out to RHI Magnesita’s talented Nina Luger for her huge help and support with this task. The flyer gives a brief overview about the most important facts and links via QR code to the Knowledge Vault. Watch out for it at the next conference where our project is presented.
Carmen Loew, Magistra Artium, is the project ReSoURCE’s science communicator. She studied Archaeology at the Universities of Saarbrücken and Bamberg and managed projects in research and rescue archaeology in Germany and France before she focused on science communication in 2015. She is a certified PR manager, Fundraising manager, Marketing & Sales assistant, and cultural educator. Her (research) interests are science communication and outreach, crisis communication as well as intercultural communication.