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Science in the City

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Science in the City (Science in the City)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2015-11-30

Science in the City”, the European Researchers’ Night in Malta 2014, was actually the continuation of several previous successful events. It consisted of a nationwide festival that married science to the arts to showcase Maltese researchers and their work.

The main objectives of the action included the enhancement of the public recognition of researchers and their work, of its positive impact on citizens’ daily lives and well-being; it also showcased the researchers as ordinary people having an extraordinary job, with a view to stimulating young people’s interest for science and science careers. Furthermore, while tackling the remaining stereotypes about the job researcher, it also promoted gender balance in science.

The activities filled Valletta, Malta’s Capital City, a UNESCO world heritage site, with the wonders of science in a highly fascinating, innovative and interactive way.
Installation combining music, visual art, mathematics, computer science (The Harmant), science workshops, viewer centred performance (biomedical engineers and dancers), science theatre, science film festival, guided visits, exhibition of live sculptures (animals), Famelab activities, interactive science booths, science cafés, indie games, informal talks, with scientists, presentation of most recent findings on cancer immunotherapy, science stand-up comedy, EU corners…. were amongst the numerous activities offered to the general public in all its components, with a strong focus on kids and young people.

The consortium was led by the University of Malta and composed of the Chamber of Scientists, the Malta College of Science, Art and Technology, as well as Studio 7 and Karl Borg Events Ltd in audio visual activties and communication and logistics planning respectively. The consortium cooperated with a large number of institutions and organisations, to implement the various activities.
"AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

Target audiences

o Public at large regardless of age and scientific background, reached through different targeted communication tools;
o Special attention will be given to kids and young people, especially to encourage science careers;

Messages conveyed

o Researchers are amongst us;
o Researchers are ordinary people with an extraordinary job;
o Research is exciting and fun;
o Other more specific messages linked to researchers ‘public recognition and stimulation of young people to embark on scientific careers;

Main communication tools to rely on

Off line

o Publication of regular press releases sent to all local newspapers (about 25);
o Publication of articles, advertisements and announcements in the most popular English/Maltese newspapers;
o Organisation of press conference (broadcasted on 3 TV stations, press pack delivered to all local media);
o Airing of TV and radio ads (most engaging research activities), interviews with researchers for discussion and promotion of science careers (Radio 101, Campus FM, One Radio, Community Radio stations, TVM, One TV);
o Public advertising through banners in Valletta streets and posters in surrounding establishments as well as participating institutions;
o Sending of a flyer to all households in Malta (including a map, the programme, the age appropriateness and the schedule);
o Launch of a research and science competition during seminar SkolaSajf: science performances in schools from July to September, Mind Trekkers;

On line

o Revamping , constant updating and maintenance of project website;
o Revamping, updating and maintenance of social network profiles;
o Mailing and electronic newsletters to all partners, corresponding bodies and NGOs;
o Sharing of videos, news, details clips generated by media via social networks;

Promotional material

o Folders, brochures, programmes, posters;
o Banners, ads, websites, links to institutional and popular websites;
o Mention of ""This European Researchers' Night project is funded by the European Commission under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions"" on all promotional material displayed;
o Promotional gadgets (displayed through the European corner notably), complying with the general guidelines available at
http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/communication/services/visual_identity/index.en.htm

Overview of the results

o Conception, production and display of promotional items: flyers & map and summary programme displayed to Malata households in over 10 cities, and to Valletta residents (by Valletta Local council) posters of various formats,
o Sending of letter ot restaurants, bars, cafés, etc. owners inviting them to remain open during the event;
o Publication of press releases having generated 184 prss references;
o Publication of inserts, annoucnements, articels, interviews in free press, newspapers and magazines, amongst which a 3 pages-interveiw of Edward DUCA in the Circle magazine monthly circulated with the Times of Malta;
o Organisation of one press conferences ( launch of the awareness campaign, launch of the cars race)
o Airing of interviews on radio and TV stations (Radju Malta, Radju Malta 2, RTK, Radio 101…), coverage of press conferences (National Broadcasting Station, TVM and 2 on Net TV, PBS);
o Airing of early live broadcast during the event on national TV station;
o Production and airing of a TV ad on thz National TV station TVM;
o Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of project website, namely www.scienceinthecity.org.mt;
o Over 4.000 visits on project website;
o Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of social networks profiles (Facebook, Twitter);
o 100.000 people reached through Facebook, 61.000 post clicks, 6.398 likers (approx.. 1 % of whole Malta population);
o General mailing to partners and coollaborators (approx.. 67.000 addressees, including the Department of Information of all government employees and MEUSAC database);
o Organisation of a walk about for journalists the day prior to the event (tour of Valletta in venues, explanation of the activities planned;
o About 400.000 people made aware of the Researchers'Night and is objectives.


ACTIVITIES DURING THE NIGHT

Locations and venues

Valletta: The venues selected were situated along the main street. The continuous flow of activities ensured one activity led to another and helped maintain the festive atmosphere. St James Cavalier (Valletta’s Centre for Creativity, 16th century fort of the Knights of Malta), Magisterial Palace of the Knights, Teatru Rjal, Palazzo Ferreria, La Vallette Band Club, , national museum of archaeology, royal pharmacy, King’s Own band club, St George’s Square, Freedom Square, 282 Café, MEUSAC Building, National Library, Ministry for Health;

Main types of activities planned

Installation combining music, visual art, mathematics, computer science , science workshops, debates, viewer centred performance (biomedical engineers and dancers), science theatre, science documentary, Famelab activities, interactive science booths, science cafés, indie games, informal talks andspeed-dating with scientists, presentation of most recent findings on cancer immunotherapy, science stand-up comedy, EU corners….

Detailed programme of activities

o St James Cavalier (Valletta’s Centre for Creativity, 16th century fort of the Knights of Malta:
o Blast Off - Science and arts workshops for the very young, learning about the planets while building a solar system;
o Mindset BCI dance: viewer centred performance translation of thoughts to dance and sound, discussion afterwards;
o 2 Science Puppet shows for younger and older kids;
o Airing of TV Documentary produced by Science in the City on researchers’ work at the University of Malta

o Magisterial Palace of the Knights: Science in the House, exhibition showcasing Malta’s best researchers in several fields;

o Science Stage (Law Coutrs):
o Famelab: do you talk science? (3 minutes entertaining science talks);
o science stand-up comedy (local comedians and scientists);

o Palazzo Ferreria: Science debates

o City Gate, Science Fair:
o NSTF expo of interactive science stands, by secondary school students, chats with students;
o The Circus comes to Town, organised by the Malta council for Science and Technology: talks, science of circus show, performances, a beatbox session linked to the science of language and interactive experiments;
o Wonder Emporium: high-energy and fast-paced expoeriments;
o UoM racing car team: exhibit of the car they built and raced in Parma, Italy;
o Quakes and shakes, made and recorded by visitors, presentations and posters about the related scientific phenomenon;
o The world of coca-cola: a mini lab showing how the soft drink's production, quality testing in the lab;

o La Vallette Band Club: history of Computers Exhibition;
o Café 282: science cafés, series of discussion with Malta’s researchers about borad science topics range from cancer to botany;

o The National Library:
o Indie gaming area (according to researchers’ digital gaming research study);
o Digital gaming: the day of the dead, facilitating learning process of kids with dyslexia;

o National museum of archaeology:
o 15 minutes talks followed by discussion by archaeologists, historians, other researchers (DNA heritage, migrations, art restoration and linked science, 3D technology in cultural heritage…);
o 100 objects exhibition: objects found by archeaologists dating back 1000’s of years to the more recent ones;

o STEM Unplugged along Republic Street, hosted by 7 University Science Student organisations, from ICT to Dentistry, 22 stands offering interactive experiments, providing information about health issues, robots, engineering etc;

o Royal pharmacy: communication about last findings about cancer immunotherapy: displays, demos, quizzes, hands on activities;

o King’s Own band club: chat, games, party with researchers including families of the best performing students in famelab;

o Amaze2 St George’s Square: 3D art crystallography exhibition (2014 year of crystallography), creation of 3D alternate reality, game blitz;

o The Italian Institute for Culture: fine arts exhibition “the scientist”, body of interactive art inspired by the scientist theme, meetings between art students and local scientists at their place of work;

Spaces linking the venues

o Mind Trekkers, science shows and interactive stands run by students, aerospace exhibition, combining popular craft traditional and science (St George square);
o Health area, planetarium, decoding technology (st John’s square);
o Street science experiments (Great siege square);
o Laws of motion (Republic square);
o Folk forensics, filigree, scientific explanation of cultural tradition (Law Courts);
o Secret lives of seabirds, blood dance, dance performance (La Vallette square);Gren Info points , treasure hunt, vintage medicine show (all streets);
o Transport area with RV Hercules (grand harbour)…
o Realisation of a film recording the night and encouraging the attendance to the next event in 2015.

European corners

Number: 3
Location: entrance of MEUSAC offices, library of the University of Malta, carnival parade through the streets (renowned scientists’ representations such as Marie curie, Nicola Tesla, Censu Tabone…)
Activities planned:
o Interactive information about EU programmes and support to research;
o Quizzes about EU research;
o Witnesses from researchers having benefited from Marie Curie support, discussion about mobility experiences;
o Female PhD students witnessing about their passion for research and their experiences;
o E books and on line games;
o Simple hands-on experiments;
o European Researchers' Night MSCA roll-up (entrance of the event) complying with the following content and format requirements: 200 X 85 cm, and the mentions: ""European Researchers' Night"", ""Marie Skłodowska-Curie: an inspiration to follow"";
o An image provided by the European Commission;
Overview of the results
o Offer of over 35 activities as planned and described in the Grant Agreement Annex I part B, amongst which:
o Street Science STEM Unplugged offering 20 various booths (interactive experiments, demos…);
o Treasure Hunt (famous and reocgnisable scientists to be found);
o Catapult demos, electronic devices, robots,….
o Actvities linked to oral health (tooth faireies, huggable dentists, Molly the molar…);
o Health checks by Malta Medical student Association (blood pressure, blood glucose, BMI…);
o Presentation of ImaGenXbreast cancer (explanation of symptoms);
o Testing of fish canapés (for sustainable fishing and food);
o Kids special programme: puppet show (life and earth evolution), building of space ship to various planets, ..
o Contemporary dancing performances for all ages, video games;
o Talks, social and networking events (night at the museum, sceicne speed dating, science debates);
o Exhibiton in the Royal Pharmacy, including booths about diabetes, amazing human body, active ageing, vaccination, edutainment, crystallography…
o Science Fair;
o Exhibitions (posters on research projects, exhibition by fine Arts students);
o Amaze 2 (massive installation in the shape of a giant cube);
o Planetarium and talks by specialised researchers;
o Lufthansa Technik (interactive exhibition, interactive displays for experiencing science around flight engineering);
o Display of science documentary (stories about Maltese scientists);
o Science stage (short tlaks about topics from renewable energy to quantum physics, the ebst of fame lab, shows about physics and chemistry, science-inspired stand up);
o International science theatre (Galileo's trial, various discoveries, murder happened in 1.738 travelling medicine show)
o EU corners (2);

o Easier management than during preivous years due to closernesss of the activies offered, allowing the audience to take part in more different activities;
o Display of time schedule of the activities, with students helping visitors organsing their visit;
o Creation of Sceicne in the City app (downloaded only 100 times, which has to be improved in 2015);
o Attendance of over 20.000 visitors having taken part in the various activities offered.

IMPACT ASSESSMENT

Description of the current situation

o Relying on “Trends in International Maths and Science Survey (TIMSS)” in 2007 and 2011;
o Also based on results of previous impact assessment exercises in the framework of previous Researchers ‘nights in Malta;

Tools

o National survey to be undertaken prior to the 2014 event;
o In depth questionnaires available in several locations, and through project website, with simple questions (how many researchers met, having been surprised, enthusiast or not about a career In science, intention to take part in similar event in future);
o Questionnaires aimed at getting feedback during the night itself and face to face interviews, with support of National statistics Office;
o Mailing to attendees having registered to activities;
o Facebook polls;
o IPhone and Android apps specifically designed for the night;
o Special questionnaire to researchers involved (feeling to have left an impact or not, description of public reaction to their intervention, successful or not, intention to take part next year or not, suggestions for improvements);
o Survey conducted in November 2014 through Mind Trekkers in a number of schools (different age groups: thought about science education at school, most effective activities, understanding of science, interest in scientific careers.. special attention to gender-linked issues).


Indicators and parameters to be applied

o Qualitative: public perception of researchers and evolution, most appreciated activities, interest for a scientific career,
o Quantitative: estimated audience for each event, mails received, downloads, this on website, ticket sales by public transport people in video footage, registrations at entrance, feedback from each activity, number of attendee, rating of the event, friends and followers on social networks, promotional items displayed, media coverage…

Selection of the sample

o Method: random selection;
o Absolute figures: at least feedback from 10 % of the overall attendees

2015

AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

Tasks undertaken

Target audiences

o Public at large regardless of age and scientific background, reached through different targeted communication tools;
o Special attention will be given to kids and young people, especially to encourage science careers;

Messages conveyed

o Researchers are amongst us;
o Researchers are ordinary people with an extraordinary job;
o Research is exciting and fun;
o Other more specific messages linked to researchers ‘public recognition and stimulation of young people to embark on scientific careers;

Main communication tools to rely on

Off line

o Publication of regular press releases sent to all local newspapers (about 25);
o Publication of articles, advertisements and announcements in the most popular English/Maltese newspapers;
o Organisation of press conference (broadcasted on 3 TV stations, press pack delivered to all local media);
o Airing of TV and radio ads (most engaging research activities), interviews with researchers for discussion and promotion of science careers (Radio 101, Campus FM, One Radio, Community Radio stations, TVM, One TV);
o Public advertising through banners in Valletta streets and posters in surrounding establishments as well as participating institutions;
o Sending of a flyer to all households in Malta (including a map, the programme, the age appropriateness and the schedule);
o Launch of a research and science competition during seminar SkolaSajf: science performances in schools from July to September, Mind Trekkers;

On line

o Revamping , constant updating and maintenance of project website;
o Revamping, updating and maintenance of social network profiles;
o Mailing and
electronic"
Overview of the results 2014
o Conduction of survey prior to the event (97 responses);
o Collection and processing of 189 filled in questionnaires including 10 questions and statements;
o Main conclusions:
o Typology of responders: 50,2 % female, 49,8% male, aged between 8 and 81, most visitors aged 13-19 (26,98 %), followed by those aged about 20 (20,6%), most having visited several activities if not all;
o Overall positive feedback on the event itself (activities, interest, contacts with researchers, scheduling, concrete organisation, venues and locations);
o Most popular activities towards young people: debates, science fair, exhitibions, Lufthansa stand;
o Average number of researchers met by visitors during the event: 12;
o Increased awareness about the positive societal impact of researchers' work, in particular regarding daily lives and well-being, as well as fighting against diseases (94 % responders);
o Increased knowledge about researchers and their work (over 90 responders);
o Strong trend in fabour of an increase of female presence in science;
o General wish of a longer event's duration (over the weekend) and an opening during school hours.

Overview of the results 2015

o Collection, analysis and processing of 128 filled questionnaires;
o Main conclusions:
o Typology of visitors: 52 % respondents female, 67 % having completed the form in English, age comprised between 10 (youngest) and 69 (oldest), larger part of respondents being aged between 13 and 19, 72,6 % having a science-relaetd occupation;
o Overall positive feedback about the event itself (venues, location, contacts with researchers, activities, interest, concrete organisation, scheduling…);
o Most successful activities: science fair, rare diseases, health area and STEAM, mainly offered in the form of hands-on activities addressing both kids and adults, as well as the swarm robotics;
o Less successful: space mission (successful but not as much as could have been expected)notably due to some failing equipment;
o Improvement of knowledge about Maltese research and researchers: almost 100 % respondents (125);
o Increased awareness about potential research'simpact on citizens'daily lives: 57 % respondents;
o Increased feeling of connection with the University of Malta: over the half of respondents;
o Improvements suggested by the audience:
 Longer duration;
 Improvement of signposting;
 Increased interactivity of activities addressing adult audience;