Science Together 2023-2024
Science Together 2023-24 is underway! Find out more about the seven new community led projects.
Launched in 2021, Science Together is a community-first engagement programme, coordinated by staff at the University of Oxford in partnership with Oxford Brookes University. It aims to harness the power of collaborations between university-based researchers and community organisations to overcome challenges and seize opportunities for people who live and work in Oxfordshire.
This year's programme kicked off in October with a project development workshop led by Wyn Griffiths (SMASHfestUK) at The Old Fire Station. Participants engaged in collaborative brainstorming and blue sky thinking to explore project ideas. Seven new project groups were formed with community partners from across Oxfordshire, involving researchers and public engagement facilitators from both universities. As part of the session, the project groups each came up with some wording around their project idea which you can read below.
Meet this year's community partners
Co-creating evaluation designs to amplify community voices
Community hubs support people often struggling to maintain their health and wellbeing. These hubs provide collective community, creative outlets and positive impact on people’s everyday lives, by strengthening community agency. They help to reduce the burden of everyday life through improved cultural services and reduced exposure to economic, social and environmental stresses. However, their specific impact on individual and community health and wellbeing is often unknown. To work towards individual and collective wellbeing in line with social, environmental, and economic sustainability, it is crucial to know to what extent community measures and interventions are impactful. This project will therefore look at the Ark-T’s Hub Day in Oxford to assess the extent to which Ark T is meeting the needs of the OX4 community and the individual participants of the Hub days. For macro- and population-wide issues such as health and wellbeing, it is hard to hold one activity as causal to an outcome. We will therefore focus on the intervention in a state of probability and risk.
MES Graffiti Club
MES Graffiti Crew, with support from Oxford University's Science Together programme present an engaging and accessible artistic initiative; a Graffiti Club conducted daily throughout the Easter Holidays
Dedicated to fostering positive transformation and making a meaningful impact on communities, families, and youth through the medium of graffiti and street art, MES Graffiti Club provides a unique platform where participants are encouraged to unleash their creativity, paint walls, and express themselves within a supportive and nurturing environment. This endeavour aims to empower individuals to enhance their surroundings positively, breathe life into transitional spaces, and promote representation within their living environments.
Our mission is not only to facilitate artistic expression but also to explore measurable ways in which our engagement can contribute to community development and individual growth. MES Graffiti Club is committed to providing an enriching experience that goes beyond mere creativity – aiming to leave a lasting imprint on both the community and the participants involved.
Under RAPresented Youth
Unlocking the voice of our youth through music and metrics
By adding nuance to numbers; recognising that there are millions of untold stories, millions of individual lives. Combining creative story telling with quantitative research to centre unheard youth voices in our community. The project aims to exam the importance of creativity and youth engagement through a societal lens and economic jam as well as exploring the personal benefits of these practices. It will also assess essential mental tools to help navigate through life giving birth to positive interaction and social impact. Case studies arising from the workshops will be captured in a report, documentary, and performance.
The destination doesn’t matter, but the journey does
A case study to explore social resilience in communication through the culturally inclusive Parasol Projects pedagogy project that empowers non-verbal young people and those interested in a career in care work to plan and facilitate a voyage.
Measuring the effect of using an alternative provision to support disadvantaged children in being able to self-regulate and improve wellbeing and involvement
Within the local community there is a high number of children who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), English as additional language (EAL), autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), complex trauma, safeguarding/vulnerable home lives, and Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP). So, the nursery school has created an area for a directed intervention to develop children’s emotional literacy. The project's aim is to measure the direct impact of this intervention and evaluate the long-term effects on the children’s performance. The measures will be standardised using WellComm and involve teachers’ judgements based around the work of Ferre Laevers.
Healthy Food. Healthy community. Healthy planet.
To build a digital platform that promotes sustainable, healthy eating habits for community groups within Oxfordshire.
The cost-of-living crisis exacerbates access to healthy diets and hits vulnerable communities the hardest. Through co-designing a digital community platform that is responsive to the unique needs of Oxfordshire communities, we aim to improve access to healthier and more sustainable diets in a community-led fashion.
Everyone can dance… yes, even you!
We will teach you to dance – even if you’ve never danced before! Dancing has shown to improve physical and mental wellbeing. Learning to dance can help you to be more creative and can help develop social and improvisational skills. Join a global community of dancers and help us research the benefits of learning to dance. dance on physical and mental wellbeing.