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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/S80752/01
Title: PPA: Science with Coffee and Hobnobs
Principal Investigator: Eason, Professor RW
Other Investigators:
Reid, Professor G
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Professor J Flynn Professor A Vaughan
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Physics and Astronomy
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: PPE PreFEC
Starts: 28 May 2004 Ends: 27 May 2006 Value (£): 18,476
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Mathematical Physics
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Primary school pupils are exceedingly enthusiastic about science but often their carers lack confidence when they ask questions or when their children approach them for help doing homework or projects. In this project science specialists will go into schools and give carers of young children the chance to find out more about the science their children do at school. The aim is to help them realise that they already know a lot and increase their confidence in helping and supporting their children.This proposal follows on from a highly successful pilot study previously funded by PPARC and the form and nature of the project being proposed here is based on feedback from this initial pilot. Over 100 respondents completed questionnaires to inform our thinking on how best to run this larger scale project. For the final report on this project see grantreport.doc at www.hep.soton.ac.uk/-jflynn/popsciCoffee mornings/evenings meetings will held in local primary schools hall to ensure that the attendees feel comfortable in familiar surroundings. They will be run by an education consultant with expertise in the National Curriculum for Science. She will explain the nature of the science, demonstrate some phenomena and explain how carers can help their children.In addition there will be one or two active researchers in attendance at each meeting whose work is related to the National Curriculum topic chosen. These researchers will talk about their work and answer questions with the aim of encouraging those attending the meeting to be more aware of the nature of the research process and showing how cutting edge science is linked to the basic science covered in schools. Carers will, therefore, become much more conscious of the role of science and the benefits to society of science. They will also be more aware of career opportunities in science and the value to their children of continuing with science qualifications.Handouts will be produced to support carers with ideas for activities to undertake with their children at home. These will also be published on the university website so that schools can link to them for the benefit of their parents.As a result of specific feedback from the earlier pilot project, activities will be set up at a local science centre so that families can, together, undertake experiments as follow up to the coffee mornings. This again increases carers' confidence in their ability to support their children in science.Finally to broaden the dissemination of this work, excerpts from the handouts and summaries of the researchers' presentations will be turned into articles for the local paper encouraging readers to consider the role of science in their lives.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk