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LIGHTS in Lincoln – Get Hold of Tech and Science research nights

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - LIGHTS Nights (LIGHTS in Lincoln – Get Hold of Tech and Science research nights)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2017-12-31

University of Lincoln ‘LiGHTS Nights’ aims to make research accessible and exciting for wider publics, as expressed in its LI-GHTS acroynm (Lincoln – Get Hold of Tech and Science). LiGHTS is a festival event with activities intended to engage and inform people of all ages and backgrounds about the amazing research on their doorstep and inspire them with its importance, excitement and excellence. LiGHTS takes place in the ancient city of Lincoln, serving a huge hinterland of the Midlands and North/North Eastern England with a dispersed, predominantly rural population including some of the most deprived areas of the UK and home to large numbers of non-UK born EU citizens. LIGHTS Night brings the county’s population, and especially its young people, closer to research by showcasing some of the region’s most exciting and dynamic science inspiring visitors with the possibilities of university research and research careers.

The objectives of LiGHTS nights are to:
• Stage a diverse range of public lectures, presentations, discussions and hands-on activities spanning a wide range of topics to showcase the range of research at the University of Lincoln to the wider public.
• Bring the process of research alive to visitors by opening up university laboratories and staging scientific demonstrations.
• Reveal to visitors the importance and relevance of our current research to society by including research which impacts on citizen’s daily lives and places
• Enthuse younger children with the excitement of discovery by providing engaging hands-on activities
• Inspire young visitors to pursue research careers by meeting exciting researchers at all stages of their own careers.
• Show that careers in scientific research are open to women and men by involving broadly equal numbers of women and men in Lights Night activities, enabling young people to talk to scientists of both genders.
• Show members of the public what resources are available in the university with which they can develop their own research and enrich their quality of life
• Use the internet, radio and television and a variety of venues across the city to reach the widest possible audiences. As well as ‘traditional’ educational spaces we use cinemas, churches & other unexpected venues.
• Showcase the importance of European integration by engaging members of the public born in non-UK EU countries and by highlighting Europe as a source of funding for cutting-edge research which reaches all of society.
• More broadly, the project will aim to develop new knowledge and enhance the skills of people behind research and innovation at the University of Lincoln.

The project achieved its objectives and proved to be successful.
"Awareness campaign
o Conception, production & display of promotional material: brochures, posters of various formats, postcards, displayed in shops & public venues in City centre, including the Collection Museum, the User Gallery and Lincoln Castle, as well as during the events;
o Publication of press releases sent to local newspapers, journals and broadcast media stations such as the Lincolnshire Echo, The Lincolnite, BBC Radio Lincolnshire, Lincs FM, Siren FM, Lincoln City Radio, BBC Look North, ITV Calendar, The Bailgate Independent, Business Link, Lincolnshire Pride, Lincolnshire in Focus, the Grimsby Telegraph, Cleethorpes Chronicle, Scunthorpe Telegraph, Newark Advertiser, Nottingham Post, Boston Target, Sleaford Standard, BBC Radio Humberside;
o ""Save the date"" announcement to schools across the county (June 2016, March 2017);
o Provision of information during routine visits to schools;
o Interviews of the coordinator Carenza LEWIS on BBC Radio Lincolnshire on 17/6/2017 (lunchtime show), as well as 3 times in September , including interviews post-events in October 2016;
o Special LiGHTS website (titles of activities, venue, details of programme, booking facilities);
o Promotion on several popular websites such as Visit Lincoln; Lincolnite; Lincolnshire Echo; The List; Skiddle; Where Can We Go?; This is Newark;
o Mailing of PDF format of promotional brochure to the schools (also available from website);
o General mailing to schools (September 2016, March, May and June 2017);
o Promotion on social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat

Activities during the Night

o Offer of the activities as planned in the Anne I Part B to the Grant Agreement, namely:
o Common theme: ""Research for everyone"" ;.
o Interactive stands, displays, demonstrations, experiments, surveys, hands-on activities, lectures, quizzes, games, performances, theatre, screenings, tours, and lab visits;

o Active involvement of over 50 researchers, amongst whom:
o 3 having benefitted from MSC schemes;
o 12 having benefitted from another EU support (FP 7/HORIZON 2020);

o About 2.000 visitors having taken part in the activities offered.

Results achieved for WP1 and WP2 as in the report attached.

Dissemination/communication

o LiGHTS Website - 2.700 unique visitors, 9.653 page views, 2,58 average page views per visit;
o Twitter - 47.622 impressions (March – Sept), 582 profile visits, 166 mentions, 69 Followers;
Facebook - 46.463 people reached of which 37.452 were reached by paid-for posts, 71 people ‘Liked’ the page;

Print and online coverage
o The Lincolnite online campaign which ran from 18th September to 1st October generated 785,554 impressions and 483 link clicks;
o 17 other pieces of print and online coverage with 311,597 total circulation reached approximately 1,090,589 people;
Radio coverage
The BBC Radio Lincolnshire coverage of 180 minute outside broadcast + news bulletin coverage reached c. 99.000 weekly listeners;
Print advertising
Total circulation of magazines used: 26.650 (10.000: Bailgate Independent; 5.100: Heathcliff View; 6.300: Hykeham Gazette; 5.250: Sheepwash Times. 79.950 total readership;
Summary
o The total reach of the PR campaign was estimated by Lava PR at 2,154,001 people.


"
o Collection , analysis and processing of 411 feedbacks, namely 308 activity-specific feedback slips, 72 via school impact evaluations and 31 by completing a whole-event online survey;
o Main conclusions:
o Typology of visitors: age: 42 % 25-60, 32 % over 60, 13 % 16-25, most in employment, followed by retired people, people occupied in education and unemployed, ,
o Overall positive feedback about the events (activities, interest, contact and accessibility of researchers, venues, locations, scheduling, concrete organisation);
o Most successful activities: demos allowing to see a process in action, such as 3-D scanning and the Terracotta Army (no. 14), ‘Is that my hand I see before me?’ (no. 27) and Conservation Science in Action at St Mary Wigford church (no. 30), exhibitions of completed work where visitors could talk to the presenters, such as The Black Death in your Garden (no. 15).
o Less successful activities: lectures (possibly due to the use of an online booking system (intended to ensure safe capacity of lecture/seminar numbers rooms was not exceeded) which many visitors reported finding unwieldy and off-putting (system to be modified in 2017);
o Improved public perception of researchers and their job (87 %);
o Improved perception of university and university's research;
o Improved understanding of science and research (85%);
o General intention expressed to attend future similar events and notably the next edition in 2017 (90 %).

Results achieved for WP3 as in the report attached.
Professor Philippa Hoskin demonstrates her research on medieval seal fingerprinting
MARC the robot ready to welcome LiGHTS visitors
Visitors to 'Good Bad and Beautiful' exhibition in 2017
Professor Carenza Lewis explains her research into the impact of the Black Death
Demonstrating robot Pepper
'Useful autonomous robots' demonstrated to school pupils
Young LiGHTS visitors use 3D printing technology to reconstruct a carved Roman bull
LiGHTS heritage conservation exhibitions in 11th century church of St Mary Wigford
Black Death activity on 2017
Visitors learning about 3D printing for heritage reconstruction
Is it safe to text while you walk? Eye-tracking demo by Dr Frouke Hermans
Children taking part in 'Watch your Step'
Children taking part in 'Eating too much' interactive data collection quiz