Through the NOISEmakers programme I have had a number of other courses and workshops made available to me. Previously I wrote about the science-busking workshop, but a couple more were organised more recently. As I have not had time to write about them in detail here is a brief run-through of what I attended, and why:
This was the first workshop I attended in the past few weeks, organised through NOISE. I decided to attend this workshop as though I enjoy writing, I find that I have not had any formal training in it, besides lessons in creative writing as part of the secondary school curriculum. I thought that this would be a good opportunity to take my writing further. The course was delivered by Malcolm Love, who worked as a producer with the BBC for a number of years. He thus tackles the issue of writing from the perspective of an editor on a radio programme who needs to make it fit to the required time: which words are extraneous, how can something be explained better, is the word you are using the right word? The task we were set was alas a creative writing workshop, and though I didn’t get as much as I would have liked on more factual writing, I still got some good tips on what I need to think about when writing.
Speaking to your Audiences
The day after the writing workshop I returned for another workshop with Malcolm Love. This time I felt it was more in his field, and he could give us very good ideas on how to engage an audience, and how to structure a presentation to keep them engaged. I was particularly intrigued by his discussion of the life cycle of an audience, which I had never thought about but is worth keeping in mind (see below). If you break a presentation into smaller contained sections, you are more likely to keep their attention for more of the presentation. Again however I might have appreciated having some examples from the point of view which was not broadcasting, as right now it is not something I have thought about, though of course quite a lot is still relevant!
To be able to work with children in the UK it is important to get a criminal records bureau (CRB) check. For this reason we were encouraged to sign up to the STEMNET programme, which besides offering us such a check, also provide us with even more opportunities to work in science communication, this time mainly with school children. My induction happened earlier in October. Besides handing in our CRB check documents, we also had a discussion on what we should expect from going into school, how to deal with certain situations, and overall a general discussion of how we can be of help. We were a mixed bunch of people, from teachers, to students, to the person responsible for trees at TFL! Such a varied bunch made for some good discussions. I am now looking forward to getting my CRB check approved and to see what I can do within the programme!