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More inclusion and diversity in Covid times

The Covid-19 pandemic clearly impacted everyday science learning as many institutions had to seek alternatives to face-to-face interactions and adapt their offerings due to lockdown measures. In such times, collaboration between researchers and practitioners proved to be of great value in creating innovative solutions to aid inclusion and diversity. This session will explore three stories of new equitable practises in informal science education. The case studies offer global insights; from the Dutch association of science centres, to academia in Japan and Unizulu Science Centre in South Africa. The session will run in three parts: the presentation of the three projects which bring key issues to life, before participants join one speaker of interest for an interactive discussion, and ending with a discussion of our learnings.


PhD Researcher
King's College London
United Kingdom

Session legacy

Derek’s session: The problems that Derek discussed with his group focused mostly on overcoming the digital divide in covid times. In setting up good materials role models are very important. Language problems should be overcome (Zulu / Suid Afrikaans / English) and serious attention should be given to costs.

Yuko’s session: David Jones from the Life Centre (New Castle) wanted to know whether the innovations in Miraikan were made with the groups involved? (They were not, only in terms of evaluation). It would be great if Miraikan could start involving the target audiences (participants) from the start, especially with autism related groups. And David also wanted to know – how does the tool for those with hearing problems (the display) deal with accents? It does not yet – interesting aspect.

Liesbeth’s session: Group was interested in what suggestions the students had made (Evolution talks idea was interesting; but also more women in science museum portrayed; and special exhibits for the neurodivergent). Another key issue is how to get the message of more EDI to the visitors. It would be nice and worth while to communicate that.

Session speakers

Unizulu Science Centre
Richards Bay
South Africa
Derek Fish will be sharing the response of a university based Science Centre in South Africa to the pandemic. Unizulu SC pioneered the concept of offline digital resources which were physically distributed to over 50 000 pupils in remote rural schools to ensure inclusion for all. This joint project allowed academia to assist disadvantaged schools with science resources and has also been implemented elsewhere through school-based wireless networks and an innovative WhatsApp tutoring system.
Deputy Manager of Office of Science Communication
Miraikan - The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
Yuko Okayama from Miraikan - The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo will be sharing two stories of extensive collaboration with university research groups during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the aim of making our society more inclusive. One is about the guided tour in the museum using See-Through Captions (STC), real-time captioning on a transparent display for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. The other offers special support in the form of stimulating classes for those with an intellectual disability.
Lecturer in science communication
Utrecht University
Liesbeth de Bakker, science communication lecturer at Utrecht University, will tell the story of designing a mini course for her master students about Equity in Informal Science Education based on Emily Dawson’s framework. As my students are a museums’ future employees, a partner was quickly found in Sanne den Adel from the Dutch association of science museums and centres. Through innovative co-creation in pandemic times we generate a learning experience for all.