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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/H046534/1
Title: Theatre in Education - Magnets, Ducks and Superconductors (call for PPE)
Principal Investigator: Jackson, Dr T
Other Investigators:
Tarte, Dr EJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Electronic, Electrical and Computer Eng
Organisation: University of Birmingham
Scheme: Partnerships- Public Engage
Starts: 14 July 2010 Ends: 13 May 2012 Value (£): 115,481
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Quantum Fluids & Solids
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
09 Mar 2010 Partnerships for Public Engagement 14th Call Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
We propose to develop a touring version of the Theatre in Education play Magnets, Ducks and Superconductors . The tour will visit 72 Schools over a two year period and engage over 4320 year 9 and 10 pupils in a creative learning activity. The principle issues explored in the play are the impact of science and engineering on everyday life, the creativity inherent to science and engineering and the personal rewards of working in science and engineering. At the heart of the project is a creative partnership between University scientists and engineers engaged in cutting-edge research, writers and performers from the dramatic arts and teachers in Schools. The project embodies thinking across boundaries to challenges accepted perceptions of science and engineering and the individuals that work in those professions. Exploration of a human story is used to pose questions. Why do people study and work in science and engineering? What are their motivations, what are their rewards? Wider, open questions concerning how their activities impact society, and are driven by their needs and by the needs of society, are also posed. There will be workshop sessions facilitated by the actors in which the audience invents desirable technologies and the actors will then improvise a sketch based on the world before and after the arrival of the new technology. The trial version of the play was developed under EPSRC support for public engagement and partnerships that was built into a Portfolio award held at the University of Birmingham. The pilot enabled the team to learn what interests the target audience and what their perceptions and concerns are. This front-end evaluation was an important first step towards the current project, because the objective in Theatre in Education is to challenge existing thought. The pilot also allowed the team to try various strategies for evaluation and ensuring long-lasting impact which will be carried forward into the new project. The pilot showed the potential for a significant impact on the thoughts of the participants. Indeed, both the cast and the audience reported shifts in perception about the nature of science and engineering as activities within society. An increased awareness of career structures was an unexpected additional benefit. The delivery of the piece will take place in two series, the second being modified as a result of the evaluation of the first. A full summative analysis of the impact of the play and of the depth of the learning experience will be performed in the later stages. This will include feedback from immediately after the performances and feedback from lessons delivered afterwards, using resource packs supplied to the schools.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL: http://www.mdsproject.bham.ac.uk
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.bham.ac.uk