Science Communication masterclass: engaging young children with ecology

Join us at the Great North Museum:Hancock in Newcastle for our half-day interactive Science Communication Masterclass on how ecologists can connect with younger audiences (and their accompanying adults!) in schools and public venues.

Format of delivery: In-person workshop 13:00 – 17:00 BST, Tuesday 17th May 2022.

Location: Great North Museum:Hancock, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE2 4PT 

Cost: £12.50 – £30.00 dependent on BES member and Student Status

Deadline to book: Bookings are now closed for this event.


Event details

  • How do we communicate ecology and our careers to primary school aged children?
  • How do we engage young individuals who are disengaged with science?
  • How do I make outreach interactive and fun for both children, and their accompanying adults?!

By the end of our half-day Masterclass training, you will have gained new in-person communication skills, ideas for interactive activities (including your own activity action plan), and top-tips for approaching and working with teachers and public organisations to begin managing your own engaging activities and events. You will also receive useful materials and templates to take away.


Aims and structure of the day:

This foundations masterclass is most suitable for those with basic knowledge and experience of science communication and interactive activities, wanting to build confidence to conduct independent activities and even begin project managing larger events. Please contact us if you have questions about content level and relevance to you.


(1) Pitching your work to younger audiences:
– Making ecology accessible, relevant, and exciting
– Linking content to school curriculum
– Top tips for in-person communication: pitch, tone, and body language

(2) Getting interactive: activities for engaging even the most indifferent individuals
– Designing activities for different audiences and finding common ground
– Using case studies to share best practice and develop your own activity ideas!

(3) Organising your own events
– How to approach schools and working with teachers
– Working with public venues such as festivals and museums for managing your own events/activities
– Project management essentials, from safeguarding to event planning and logistics

Post-event opportunities: putting theory into practice!

Attendees will have the opportunity to sign up to provide digital and in-person primary schools outreach sessions, as well as opportunities to exhibit at the Great North Museum itself in Newcastle!

Training providers:

Staff from the BES Education & Outreach staff, Great North Museum, and guests will bring their years of experience connecting diverse audiences with ecology!

Dr Chris Jeffs (British Ecological Society)
Now leading the BES public engagement and schools outreach programmes, Chris is a former community ecologist with years of public engagement experience with charities, learned societies and universities. This has ranged from photography exhibitions and stage shows, to community co-design and educational resource projects for commercial festivals and museums.

Sammy Mason (British Ecological Society / Durham University):
Now leading the BES ‘Connecting schools to nature in North East England’ project, Sammy’s PhD at Durham University specialises in engaging pupils and teachers in monitoring mammals through ‘citizen science’. This work assesses how participants can help local wildlife and improve their personal connection to nature. Sammy has built a number of partnerships with many schools and teachers in the North East, with extensive experience delivering primary school workshops.