New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Public teaching of controversial STEM issues through Street Education

John Oversby, Science Education Futures (United Kingdom)


I have been working with Global Justice Now ( on reaching out to the public in the street, what I call Street Education. I camapign for resources to be made available to the many, not the few, and consequently, power and influence to be grabbed for the benefit of the many. We tackle issues such as seed control (patenting of seeds in favour of corporations rather than small scale farmers), access to energy for all (in contrast to energy simply for the wealthy and big business),  and trade deals (especially those that regulate international trade strongly in favour of big business, rather than the ordinary consumer).

We set up a street stall, adorned with posters and leaflets, seeking to attract passers-by in dialogue on the impact of science and technology in every-day life. We use large scale interactive floor games for families, petitions and research-based leaflets and booklets for those willing to engage in education. We attract about 10% of passers-by, and about 10% of those are engaged in discussion and education for between 5 and 10 minutes. We have follow-up meetings (films, presentations by outside speakers, preparation for further street education) advertised through regular newsletters and two websites.

The paper will provide details of our successes, and areas for improvement, but more specifically about how we have worked with members of the public.

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