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Festival of Science European Researchers' Night 2014 - 2015 in Slovakia

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ERN14-15SVK (Festival of Science European Researchers' Night 2014 - 2015 in Slovakia)

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

The European Researchers’ Night in Slovakia, ERN 14 -15 SVK, relied on a strong
awareness campaign, based on the concepts that “science is adventure” and “sicencie is the future of Slovakia”;
such campaign addressed the large public with a specific focus on students,
aiming at attracting them towards scientific studies and careers.
Top Slovak researchers explained the way science influences citizens’ daily life, how
research outcomes help to solve emerging problems and increase quality of life.

The second strog pillar of the project consisted of a close cooperation with the research
community: a wide range of activities, including large science shows, presentations, lectures
and discussions in shopping malls, museums, cafes and observatories, were organized,
covering all country´s territory (Banska Bystrica, Kosice, Zilina, Tatranska Lomnica).

The main event was held in Bratislava in the Old Market Hall, V-club in the City House of
Art; various science installations and stands were spread through the close City centre, and
the various venues were linked through live streaming.
As for the activities offered, they ranged from presentations and lectures, to test scientific
applications, latest research outcomes, debates with researchers. The direct exchanges with
researchers allowed the attendees to better remember inspiring stories and successes of
Slovak researchers, which enhanced their public recognition and increased the public
awareness about the positive impact of their work.

The third strength of the project consisted in a flexible management structure, also based
on the experience accumulated during the past years of successful Slovak Researchers’
Night events, ruled by a consortium agreement concluded amongst the partners and
cooperating bodies before the real launch of the activities.
In 2015 we launched the pilot version of Scientific board which was in charge of selection process for the planned scientific discussions, specification of the themes as well as appointment of discussants - top Slovak scientists, experts for each theme. Scientific board also processed post event survey and feedback from scientists

The event certainly contributed tackling the remaining stereotypes about researchers
and science and increasing the awareness of research and innovation activities, through an
improved understanding of the impact of researchers' work on our daily life, while it also
encouraged young people to embark on scientific careers.
Personal visit of Mr. Prezident Andrej Kiska, at the event in Poprad in 2015, was also great message for young people. Mr. President highly esteems the science and expressed the strong belief that the future of our country is in the hands of skilled and well-educated people among whom the scientists belong to.
Tasks undertaken
Target audiences
o Public at large regardless of age and scientific background;
o Special attention to be paid to young people, especially those facing a career choice and to women;
Messages conveyed
o Common to years 2014 and 2015:
o Researchers are amongst us;
o Researchers are ordinary people with an extraordinary job;
o Science is a girl thing (too);
o Europe invests in education and science, why won’t you?
o Let’s talk about science , let’s talk about scientists;
o For the year 2014:
o Science is adventure, discover the adventure of science;
o Have the courage of facing science, make your life more adventurous;
o For the year 2015:
o Science is the future of Slovakia
o Experience and celebrate science;
o Meet science, make your life exciting;
o Fee your mind, science is the future;

Main communication tools to rely on
Off line
o Publication of articles, interviews, announcements, advertisements in written press;
o Direct invitations and visits towards local and regional governments, universities, schools;
o Public advertising (city lights, posters, billboards, large banners, display of promotional material notably in the shopping malls and the different venues of the event;
o Airing of promotional spots, announcements, interviews, discussions, programmes (guest in the morning show) on radio and TV stations (FUN radio, SRO Slovak national radio, TA3, first TV news in Slovakia, TV Markiza, spots in TV JOJ…);
o Launch of several competitions, such as: Researchers S.O.S. you can’t run away from science, why is it so?, vox Populi…;
o Screening of media faces, portraits of Slovak Scientists during commercials and trailers prior to display of movies in cinema City
o Exhibitions of the works and outputs from the festival completion in shopping malls;
o Organisation of a press conference, attended by the Lord Mayor of Bratislava;

On line
o Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of project website;
o Revamping, updating and maintenance of social networks profiles (Facebook, Twitter);
o Links with other EU, institutional and popular websites;
o On-line banner campaign (special focus on students’ websites);
o Direct mailing to contacts networks of partners;
o On-line video archive (containing notably lectures and discussions at the festival venues);
o Short films of the event available on-line;

Promotional material
o City lights, posters, flyers, programmes, brochures, billboards;
o Ads and banners, 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 (such as T-shirts, badges and adhesive labels) (displayed through the European corner notably), complying with the general guidelines available at

Overview of the results
o Conception, realisation of promotional material: posters of various formats (A0, A1, A2, A3) distributed in cooperation with the municipalities, uninversities, regional self governances and shopping malls, programme leaflets distributed in city centre, primary schools and secondary schools, roll ups, infopanels and LCD spots in the shopping malls, give away namely namely T-shirts, badges, flexible colourful pencils, bubble blowers (I love Researchers' Night);
o Public advertising: citylights, billboards, large banners on the facades of the buildings and partner's premises, LCD promotional spots in streets in the various cities involved, in public transport (trams, busses), display of promotional spots TV See and GO ( public transport of Bratislava, trams, buses, adhesive films, labels on the buses, display of programmes in city centre (Bratislava), 3D mapping laser show on the the Old Market Hall façade;
o Airing of annoucements,advertising,/programmes,interviews on national and regional radio and TV stations:
o Sending of invitations to municipalities, regional self governances, universities, schools, media, regional media, academic partners, commercial partners, private companies, Ministries, politicians and embassies;
o Annoucements during public events such as “ The night of the scientists “- warm-up discussion about the science and business, at Connect Coworking centre in Bratislava 23.9.2015;
o Pre events:
o Flash mobs;
o Teasing activities such as launching of several competitions ( “Pictures from the future” (drawing competition), “Become a journalist and polpularise the science!” , photo, creative and educative compeitioon for kdis from Roma settelments ""Why is it so?"");
o Warm-up discussion about science and business;
o Special TV broad cast dedicated to the festival (replacing initially planned press conference, presentation of history, goals, tradition, invitation of audience…);
o Publication of 4 types of press releases regionally modulated addressed to national and regional media (over 200 press contacts);
o Publication of articles, interviews, announcements, advertising in written press (Magazines, newspapers at national and regional levels);
o Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of project website: detailed programme, interviews with scientists, photo and video galleries, competitions, online streaming of the main event in Bratislava…;
o Links with popular and institutional websites such as , participants' websites, and numerous new popular websites;
o 40.038 visits of project website, of which 28.027 unique visitors, 212.925 views;
o Revamping, constant updating and maintencance of social network profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube…);
o 3.432 likes on Facebook, 114 followers on Twitter ;
o 2,7 million people made aware of the Researchers'Night and its objectives.

Tasks undertaken
List of locations and venues involved
o Banska Bystrica: Europa shopping centre
o Bratislava: city centre, Old Market Hall, City House of art, Slovak national museum, Nu Spirit club,;
o Kosice: shopping centre Atrium Optima;
o Tatranska Lomnica: the observatory of Astronomical institute SAS;
o Zilina: Aupark shopping centre;
o Poprad, Max shopping mall

Main types of activities planned
Hands-on experiments, demos, simulations, science shows, debates, discussions, chats with researchers, lectures, guided tours, science shows, stage happenings, science party, stargazing, discussion with astronomers, exhibitions, various competitions, science in roma settlements, European corners…

Detailed programme of activities
o Common themes: “Science is adventure” (2014) and “Science is the future of Slovakia“ (2015);
o Hands-on experiments, demos, simulations: interactive presentations of the work of Slovak researchers, research teams, PhD students and innovative companies in a range of scientific disciplines;
o Science cafés, debates, discussions and chats with researchers: educational activities aimed at motivating youth to embark on scientific careers by getting in touch with the latest research outcomes and friendly chatting with researchers;
o Lectures (selected after Internet survey and process of tours registration from the multi select menu);
o Guided tours in venues chosen by students and school groups, conducted by young researchers or students (explanation of work, of the action, of the objectives pursued, interfacing with researchers for contacts with audience);
o Science shows and stage happenings (Banska Bystrica, Zilina, Bratislava, Kosice, Poprad):
o Traditional performance by music bands;
o Science show animated by popular TV moderator;
o Interviews with scientists having submitted a ERC grant under FP7;
o Interviews with top scientists and the best women working in important national and international research structures (CERN, NASA, SAS…);
o Interviews with Slovak celebs and their opinion about science and researchers;
o Debate around “women in science”, covering various aspects of the gender issue and led by male and female researchers;
o Stargazing, debate with astronomers and related exhibition with video display (Kosice, Astronomical Institute SAS in Tatranska Lomnica, and Slovak national museum in Bratislava);
o Permanent science exhibition (theme and presentation to be determined at a later stage) in Slovak national museums (Bratislava );
o Science in roma settlements:
o In cooperation with EQUITY association and researchers from Comenius university in Bratislava;
o Hands-on experiments, discussions with researchers;
o Several competitions, all rewarded during the events themselves:
o Labyrinth of science: addressing visitors of the Old market hall, collecting a stamp for right answers in scientific stalls, dropping the ticket in polling urn;
o Drawing competition: also addressing students, theme to be pre-defined (such as researchers S.O.S. for example);
o Become a scientific journalist!: literary competition, addressing students: description of the research topic they would be most inspired working on or they consider the most important;
o Stage happening competitions, ad hoc quizzes and tasks animated by show moderator;
o Photo competitions addressing all visitors, with themes such as “science selfies”, science is adventure (2014) “science is the future” (2015), display of artworks through website and social networks;
o Why is it so? drawing, photo, video, song, literary essay… addressing kids from roma settlements about their perception of research and researchers, presentation of competition outputs and videos during the event;
o Science party (DJ performing, popular music bands, laser show (Bratislava Old Market only);
Specific celebration of 10th anniversary of the European Researchers’ night:
o International exhibition of posters and graphic visualisations of the science festival through 10 years of existence;
o International exhibition of short videos and pictures from the events throughout Europe;
o Discussions with the Slovak organisers on the theme “How did the European Researchers’ night idea” start in Slovakia?; Photo and drawing exhibitions such as “the world through the eyes of a researcher”, “who is who in Slovak science”, “did you know” “researchers S.O.S.”

European corners
Number: 5 one in each city involved;
Location: frequented and busy area;
Activities planned:
o Display of central info about EU policies and programmes;
o Display of specific information related to HORIZON 2020;
o Connection to all relevant EU websites and other interesting ones;
o Permanent presence of personnel likely answering the audience ‘s questions about EU, research and researchers;
o Presentation of research results of at least one Slovak project EU-funded;
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 to be provided on due time by the European Commission;

Overview of the results
o Offer of activities as described in Annex I part B to the Grant Agreement, namely:
o 187 scientific booths;
o 48 lectures;
o 14 discussions;
o 3 exhibitions;
o 3 competitions prior to the festival;
o 10 competitions and quizzes ;
o Science in Roma settlements at 3 places , namely: Humenné: Evacuation and transit centre for refugees, Primary school in Stráže pod Tatrami and Primary school in Spišský Štvrtok;
o Active involvement of 979 researchers from whom 17 having benefitted from Marie Curie schemes;)
o 163.200 visitors of which 40.000 pupils and students, having taken part in the activities offered, distributed as follows:
o Bratislava: 76.620
o Žilina: 39.000
o Banská Bystrica: 20.686
o Košice: 25.398
o Tatranská Lomnica: 300
o Poprad: 1.200

Tasks undertaken
Description of the current situation
o Relying on custom public opinion survey (October 2011, published in February 2012 by coordinator);
o Online surveys from previous Researchers’ nights events;
o Eurobarometer survey (April-May 2013)(thousands Slovak respondents, 26.563 respondents from all over Europe), face to face interviews);
o Nationwide anonymous poll (popularisation of science and technology in Slovakia, launched by CVTI SR in 2013);
o Feedback that will be collected ruing awareness campaign 2014;
o As far as students and pupils are concerned, feedbacks collected during awareness campaign 2014 and questionnaires from 2013 R.N.

Ex-ante questionnaires displayed to schools (attitudes and opinions of kids about science), reward of most active schools in the field;
o Face to face interviews, questionnaires available on site during the event;
o Ex-post Google analysis, Facebook analysis, media feedback, on line surveys and questionnaires;
o Ex-post on line surveys addressing attendees (website and Facebook page), on line questionnaire addressing media partners and sponsors, on line survey addressing researchers involved;
o Ex-post questionnaires distributed to schools for pupils and students;

Indicators and parameters to be applied
o Qualitative: public opinion on researchers and their job, association with the word “researcher”, characteristics of actual and desired researchers, typology of attendees (age, gender, occupation, background), intention to attend similar future events, involvement of researchers having benefited from a EU support…;
o Quantitative: number of attendees, regional coverage, rating of the event, participation in various activities offered, number of hits on website, of friends and followers on social networks, of promotional items displayed during the campaign…
Selection of the sample
o Method: random selection
o Absolute figures: at least 500 feedbacks from participating researchers, 500 from cooperating schools and 1.000 from general public.

Overview of the results:
o Colletcion, analysis dn processing of feebdacks from about 15 % of attendees, 60 % of researchers involved, 10 % of volunteers and frutehr 10 % of vistors based on feedback questionnaires, survey through website, face to face interviews to researcehrs and interviews conducted by volunteers;
o Main conclusions:
o Typlogy of visitors: rather equal male and female participation, complete rage of age represented, from mothers with babies, school kids, studens, treachers, adults and seniorsacademis, businesses representatives, politicians, ..
o Knwoledge about the event: school and teachers 35%, TV spots 19 %, promotional campaign (posters, leaflets) 12%, Facebook 10%, radio 7%, word of mouth ( friends and family) 6%, by accident 5%, campaign in shopping centres 3%, advertisements in the newspapers and magazines 3%;
o Overall positive feedback about the event itself (activities, interest, contacts with researchers, venues and locations, programme), expectations filled for 90 % of respondents and understandable for 95 % of them;
o Overall appreciation from scientists involved (communication with organisers, venus, project website and social networks, techcnial support);
o Most successful activities: presentations in Bratislava, Košice, Žilina and Banská Bystrica, scientific discussions on hot topics with renowened scientists (main stage Bratislava), personal visit of Mr. President of Slovak republic, Andrej Kiska at the local event in Poprad, theatre performances for schools (from Brno, Czech Republic), competition with electromobile, exhibition of the biggest fraction of the meteorite fallen in Slovakia, science in roma settelments;
o Less successful activities: outdoors activities due to bad weather conditions, star gazing, actities in Slovak national museum due to current works, lectures in Bratislava;
o Improvement of public awareness about researchers their work and it potential societal impact for 95 % of respondents;
o Increased interest in science and science careers amongst young people and kids, based on their reaction and interest observed by the researchers involved;
o Increased public awareness about the Slovak scientists' conribution to science progresses and results;