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Public Engagement

Current Large Grants

The Centre for Public Engagement has awarded funding to eight projects for the 2019-2020 Large Grant scheme. Find out more about each project below:

The Big Science Question 2020
James Scales, Blizard Institute & Chris Griffiths, Institute of Population Health Sciences

The Big Science Question 2020 looks to equip primary school children with an understanding of scientific methodologies to help them start asking the big questions—like how the air pollution can have an impact on their health.  Schools will be visited by QM ambassadors to learn about experimental design and deliver packs containing air pollution monitors and physical activity tests for the children to use. The children will then be part of a citizen science project to build pollution and health maps of London based on their experiments. From this learning and using an online toolkit, schools will be able to design their own ‘Big Science Question’ for investigation in future in the classroom and help shape the future of QM research.

Decorating Dissidence: Hidden histories and contemporary legacies of Avant-Garde women artists 
Jade French, School of English and Drama & Charlotte Whalen, Independent Researcher

Decorating Dissidence is an interdisciplinary project exploring the political, aesthetic and conceptual qualities of feminine-coded arts from modernism to contemporary. Through a series of different events throughout the year, the project will explore the place of domestic art, craft and the decorative in arts and art education. This includes an open exhibition from contemporary textile artists in celebration of the Bauhaus weaving workshop, a series of public lectures to explore the ways that radical women artists engaged with politics through craft and making techniques, and workshops which will bring together publics, AS-Level pupils, artists, art educators, and researchers into one space

The Green Screening Workshop: engaging stroke communities through performance and interactive technology
Lois Weaver, School of English and Drama; Patrick Healey, School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science & Rosella Paulina Galindo Esparza, School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

The Green Screening Workshop project will deliver a series of therapeutic, interactive workshops to six Stroke Support groups around England in partnership with the Stroke Association. Coupling participatory performance methods with interactive technology, stroke communities are able to explore physical and social identities, imaging new ways of being. In each workshop, survivors are asked to imagine things that they’ve always wanted to do and these fantasies are progressively built using real-time movement visualisations supported by motion capture. Together they can direct and perform, encouraging self-expression and imagination which will stimulate unselfconscious movement experimentation that doesn’t foreground physical problems.

Hatch-It: An online platform to support sex ratio determination in sea turtles
Emma Lockley, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Hatch-It is an online app that is being developed to help NGOs and conservation organisations around the world more accurately determine the sex-ratio of sea turtles using mathematical modelling. The app will be developed and tested with partner organisations in Cape Verde (Turtle Foundation, INDP, and Project Biodiversity) before being launched more widely to sea turtle conservationists. The aim is to allow organisations to improve their conservation management plans based on these sex-ratio determination models, and contribute data to further refine the model accuracy and contribute to a global snapshot of sea turtle populations.

Illustrating Solitude
Barbara Taylor & Akshi Singh, School of History

Illustrating Solitude will channel the power of creative expression for a three-way conversation on the urgent topics of solitude and loneliness. Working in partnership with the social-befriending centre Akwaaba and a visual artist, the project will run workshops to encourage creative visual engagement with experiences of solitude. The resulting artworks will be exhibited together at an event for local community groups and charities who are engaged with issues of solitude and loneliness. These groups will then come together in a series of follow-up events that will give new insights to the continuing history of solitude and build understanding about the role of visual arts in promoting conversations.

Love Letters to Cairo: a place-based filmmaking as engagement workshop
Jessica Jacobs, School of Geography & May Al-Ibrashy, Megawra Built Environment Collective

Love Letters to Cairo is a five-day workshop explores the role of filmmaking in place-based heritage engagement practice. Working in partnership with the Athar Lina Heritage and Design Thinking School and the Megawra Built Environment Collective, geographers and filmmakers from QM will work with residents of the heritage district of Al Khalifa in Cairo to explore what they love about their neighbourhood and support these residents in the creation of films. These films will then be screened for local residents and government allowing the groups to discuss and interpret their surroundings and link the social and economic value of the area to their own personal value.

Moving Together: harnessing the patient voice to engage young adult cancer patients in physical activity
Gemma Pugh, William Harvey Research Institute, Jemima Reynolds, Trekstock & Sophie Epstone Reynolds, Trekstock

The Moving Together project aims to support young adult cancer survivors in their 20s and 30s to be active by accessing support from peers and health professionals. Working in partnership with the London based cancer charity Trekstock, the project will develop peer-support and physical activity promotion training for young adult cancer survivors. These new Moving Together Ambassadors will be supported to reach and engage with other young adults with cancer in their local area to encourage them to be more active. Ambassadors will also utilise the new knowledge and skills to engage with health-professionals in a one-day workshop to improve understanding about physical activity behaviour change and the benefits this has for cancer survivors.   

Promoting engagement with end-users in disability research
Ildar Farkhatdinov, School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Sciences; Stuart Miller, William Harvey Research Institute & QMUL Cybathlon Team

The QM Cybathlon student team have developed a robotic wheelchair to improve the mobility of individuals with physical impairments. Through engagement with the disability community group AbilityBow, the team will be conducting design focus groups and involving wheelchair users with further development of the robotic wheelchair. The final product will be taken to compete in the Cybathlon 2020 competition, with a collaborative QM Cybathlon and AbilityBow team demonstrating the technology on an international stage.