The Transforming Practice blog is written by practitioners, for practitioners working in public engagement and informal learning environments to share and reflect on what research into STEM engagement means for our day-to-day practice.
The blog was set up by the Science Museum Group Academy (part of Science Museum Group Learning team) to share the Science Museum Group’s journey and experiences of applying science capital, and wider research around science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) engagement, into practice.
The blog posts reflect a range of content – from sharing examples of best practice that we’ve found out and about, through to the successes, and challenges, that we’ve had embedding the research to develop and deliver more inclusive and accessible STEM and cultural engagement experiences for the widest possible audiences.
With this being our 100th blog on the Transforming Practice blog we thought that it was a wonderful opportunity to reflect and look back on the blogs which have come so far. To this end we asked some of the blog contributors to pick and recommend their must-read blogs.
jess, Academy Programme Leader
The blog I’ve chosen is a classic, all about the Engagement Reflection Points. These are points that help us think critically about our audience’s experiences. It is wonderful to have a blog post that not only gives the overview of each of the points, but also links to a new post for each point, providing more detail for those who want to find out more.
Sophie, Learning Resources Producer
My must-read blog is How to extend classroom activities into the home. Before working at the Science Museum Group this wasn’t something I’d really considered. When running an activity, I might have signposted someone to a related gallery or event, but usually as a follow on from a conversation. I’d never really reflected on the value or purpose of making an experience last longer than the activity itself. Now it’s a vital part in any activity development I do, and this blog explains what we mean by ‘Extend’ and why we should think about creating these extensions.
Beth, Academy and Resources Manager
Developing the Total Darkness game was huge project for us – and we learned so much through the process. This final blog post from the series which documented the development of this resource, is a really interesting reflection from the creative director and the project manager of the game on their process and rationales behind the decisions that were made along the way to bring to life an ambitious project.
Kate, Academy Programme Leader
We’ve strived over the last few years, experimenting with various formats, activities and events, to help visitors understand that they have skills that can help them participate in STEM. Jess’s account of the first Skills Fair in 2019 is a great blog, sharing how we have been working with industry professionals to create experiences for young people to help them discover the careers available in STEM and the skills needed to be able to do those jobs. This has really formed a foundation for the work currently going into creating Technicians: The David Sainsbury gallery, opening later in 2022.
Andy, Academy Programme Leader
The temptation to choose one of my own blogs was too tempting, almost too tempting to resist but was a temptation I conquered. My must-read blog is “Why is STEM important to society?”
This blog does an excellent job of highlighting why STEM is so important, how it can, and does, improve our lives. Perhaps most importantly it highlights that STEM careers are for everyone, which is a message we all feel should passionately be shouted about and put into the world.
Max, Academy Programme Leader
It must be ‘making top secret a family friendly experience’. Not only does this blog share tantalizing highlights from the ‘Top Secret’ exhibition, but it reveals with us how the team have used the content to create a fantastic family day out. The author, Hannah Daley, gives us insight into how the team embedded the STEM Engagement Reflection Points throughout exhibition and the ingenious ways they got families working together. Although this exhibition has now left the Science Museum, you can relive the joy by reading this blog.
Jon, Resources Developer
This is a great blog that works for both people that already have some knowledge of what science capital is as well as being the perfect quick introduction and overview of the framework and the philosophy that underpins it. It gives all the detail that is needed without feeling overwhelming.
Micol, Academy Programme Leader
I like the fact that this blog is written so candidly (I don’t think I’m a maths person either!), this blog clearly lays out solutions and practical resources.
So, they are our must-read blogs. Would you consider the above blogs amongst the best of the site? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.