Trinity Engage: Give Knowledge with Public Engagement
The Public Engagement team of the University support academic staff and students to share their research with the public, to help the wider community access cultural and educational resources, and to develop partnerships between the University and community for mutual benefit. Public Engagement connects students and academic staff to the Cambridge Science Festival and Festival of Ideas. Throughout the year, the Public Engagement team also offer curriculum-linked opportunities for students in public and community contexts, especially through the Community Knowledge Exchange and the Rising Stars training programme. These programmes match students with research problems identified by local charities and NGOs, offering students the opportunity to gain experience in field research, and to prepare for more socially-innovative careers, whether in research or in the public or voluntary sectors.
The Public Engagement Festivals are major annual events on the University and City calendar. The Cambridge Science Festival and Festival of Ideas each offer a fortnight of activities designed to attract a non-specialist public, including school pupils, adults, families and other visitors. Public Engagement aims particularly to reach those who have had little interaction with a higher education institution or academic specialisms.
In addition to programming traditional lectures, Public Engagement offers unusual methods of engagement, such as workshops, discussions, re-enactments and hands on demonstrations. Typical events include lectures featuring Cambridge researchers, museums and departmental activities for children, comedy shows, and one-off cross-disciplinary events highlighting fresh Festival themes. In conjunction with national Heritage Open Days, Open Cambridge invites local visitors to explore the history, heritage and culture of Cambridge through talks and tours of University and City grounds, including the Bridge the Gap scenic charity walk through selected Colleges. Events like these require the cooperation of hundreds of event co-ordinators, as well as the support of about 500 volunteer stewards each year.
Throughout the year, the Public Engagement team also offers curriculum-linked opportunities for students in public and community contexts. The Community Knowledge Exchange matches students with research problems identified by local charities and NGOs, offering students the opportunity to gain experience in field research while making a significant contribution to a local organisation. The Rising Stars training programme helps early career academics to gain communications and multimedia skills to present their research to a non-specialist audience, and to prepare events for the Cambridge Science Festival and Festival of Ideas. These programmes help students prepare for more socially innovative careers, whether in research or in the public or voluntary sector.
Contact the Co-ordinator for Trinity Engage to explore how to give knowledge with Public Engagement.
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