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Science Goes To School

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SCIENCE GTS (Science Goes To School)

Reporting period: 2023-01-01 to 2023-12-31

Context
European Researchers' Night is a successful initiative since more than 1.6 million people participated in it in 2019 and exceeded 2.3 million in 2020 (taking advantage of online formats). It is a public action that every year strives to communicate and disseminate the research activity and its outcomes. In the 2021 edition, the majority of consortium partners took part in MEDNIGHT, a project in wich the awareness campaign played a prominent role and which involved entities from several Mediterranean countries. In this edition, the project reduces the geographical scope to the Valencian Community and the Region of Murcia to better cover it. The consortium, made up of entities from these two regions, proposes to recover the essence of the European Researchers' Night: to make citizens witnesses and participants in Mediterranean research of excellence. To achieve this, it sets as a priority the design of a strong program of activities for Researchers at Schools and the European Researchers' Night, placing these actions in the foreground. The new project, named SCIENCE GTS, is presented as a back to school for researchers, an opportunity to show that they are not working in an ivory tower, but by and for the society, of which they are a part of. Moreover, it's a chance to enhance the interest of young people in learning and training, so that they become the professionals of the future. The public will perceive the research community as diverse, gender balanced and inclusive, of which people with all kinds of profiles, conditions and capacities are a part of.

Objectives
The general objective of SCIENCE GTS is to blur the barrier between research activity and social reality in the two regions involved, using the European Researchers‟ Night and the Researchers at Schools activities as tools to achieve this objective, it has been broken down into specific goals detailed below:


Expected impact
1. Improve citizens' understanding and commitment to Research and Innovation.
2. Raise awareness of the general public about the importance and benefits of R&I and its impact on daily life.
3. Contribute to the dissemination and promotion of research projects of excellence in Europe and beyond, as well as EU policies and programs among the general public.
4. Increase the interest of young people in scientific and research careers.
5. Support the scientific approach of teachers around priority topics and create learning opportunities through student-researcher interaction.
Work performed and main achievements

1. Introduction
The main activities of the project are collected in two programmes: Researchers at Schools and European Researchers' Night. They have been supported by an awareness campaign, an impact evaluation and a management report, according to the projected work packages.

2. European Researchers’ Night 2022
All partners have carried out their activities normally and with a large influx of public of all ages, children and young being especially large. The main events have taken place on university campuses, but attention has been paid to territorial delegations to achieve greater impact. Digital activities have also been carried out, such as a virtual museum exhibition with international projection.

3. Researchers’ at schools 2022
All partners have carried out their activities normally and with a large influx of public. Dissemination activities have consisted both in the visit of researchers to schools and vice versa. There have also been virtual activities, such as a contest for the creation of informative videos.

4. Awareness campaign report 2022
In general terms, the awareness campaign of the MEDNIGHT GTS project has fulfilled its objectives of reaching the general public as well as specific audiences such as young people, the educational community, families, Mediterranean researchers, science and technology-based companies, and audiences particularly interested in science.

5. Impact assessment
The main conclusions of the assessment are:
a) The social perception of science in terms of the importance and benefits of research and its impact on everyday life has been very well rated
b) The public's perception about their participation in the events has also been rated very positively
c) Concerning stereotypes about the researcher´s job and their profession, respondents reported positive emotions, mainly the younger ones.

6. Management report
The management actions guaranteed the right coordination of the entities through virtual and face-to-face meetings and ensured compliance with the calendar of activities and the correct execution of the budget.
The project has succeeded in raising awareness and overcoming stereotypes about gender and science among younger people. In future editions it could be interesting to transfer this methodology to other groups affected by stereotypes such as people with functional and intellectual diversity, the elderly or people at risk of social exclusion.

The participation of the public in events improves their perception of science, so we suggest the continuity of the initiative to continue fulfilling the objectives of the ERN. In addition, satisfaction with the event has been positive, so the event could be sustainable over time.

Regarding the formats, the most interesting parts of the event for all population groups were the workshops, exhibitions and monologues. Postgraduates positively emphasized the possibility of public interaction with the researchers, the humor and the positive emotions.
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