Curiosity Live

Curiosity Live 2019

The SLDO Team were delighted to return to Glasgow Science Centre’s Curiosity Live event for families and schools, held on 14th March 2019. The event brought together researchers in Science, Technology Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) to share the exciting research happening in Glasgow across universities and industry. Observatory team members Rhiann McLean and Gillian Smith headed to the Science Centre to introduce the important work being undertaken at the Observatory to school pupils and the public.

The Keys to life board game, which was developed in collaboration with People First Scotland, allows people to journey through important aspects of a person’s life, such as education, socialising in the community or in healthcare, and encourages the player to see how people with learning disabilities experience challenges and opportunities across their life journeys. The game was designed to be a fun, learning tool to support public engagement and to facilitate conversations about the lives of people with learning disabilities. We hoped to inspire children and families about the importance of communities, inclusivity and how to think creatively about solutions to the barriers which people with learning disabilities face in their health and social lives. The event attracted many primary schools from across Glasgow. Lots of excited young pupils interacted with our game enthusiastically, and we received some very positive feedback.

“It was fun and interesting… Very educating! I loved it.”

We believe that engaging with children and young people is extremely valuable in building healthy communities, improving lives and challenging negative attitudes toward people with learning disabilities. The event was a great chance for young people, teachers and parents to learn about the daily lived experiences of people with learning disabilities. We also had discussions with pupils about our ongoing research and why it is so important.

We were very proud represent the diverse world-leading research that is being done at Glasgow University. To those of you who we met on the day– thank you for coming along and learning with us. We look forward to seeing you at the next Curiosity Live event! Follow us on twitter at @ScotLDO, to keep up to date.

Curiosity Live 2018

Curiosity Live was held on the 9-11th of November 2018 at the Glasgow Science Centre. This was a weekend dedicated to celebrating research, innovation and creativity going on in Glasgow and across Scotland, involving external Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professionals from universities and industry delivering engaging and educational activities to family audiences.

The Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory and People First attended this fabulous and interactive venue for their first collaboration on a co-designed public engagement activity about the health and lives of people with learning disabilities in Scotland. We developed a game that involved players progressing round a board that represents the key aspects of a person’s life: going through education, going to work, making friends, for example. We started to think how these things can be made harder for people with learning disabilities, so we came up with The keys to life game!

Players progress around the board encountering some of the positive and negative things that people with learning disabilities may experience at key points in their life. Depending on where the player lands or card selected, players could either progress through the game or go backwards. The cards and the ‘life encounters’ on the game were based on research from the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory or drawn from real life experiences of people with learning disabilities. For example, a player could pick up an education card which says:

You are getting to the end of your time at school but you are not supported to go to college or university, move back 2 spaces

OR a money and work card which says:

You apply for a job in a coffee shop and you were supported to fill in the form, move forward 3 spaces

The first of three days was launched by Maureen from People First who spoke about her experiences of having learning disabilities and how this can influence a range of factors including health, money and work, social life, family and friends and education. Maureen explained how these experiences were translated into the game and invited people to take part. Members of the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory were able to provide further links to research about the health of people with learning disabilities in Scotland.

The event attracted a wide range of people, and there was an abundance of excited children, parents and teachers who were primed to enthusiastically take part in activities. Children engaged with the game throughout the three days and gave positive feedback and shared drawings of their experiences of playing the game.

The collaboration between the Observatory and People First was extremely valuable and we believe the opportunity to hear first hand from people with learning disabilities greatly enriched the experience for all the young people and adults who took part.

With a range of activities at the event across different fields including health, social science, technology, engineering, art and mathematicians, this was a fantastic chance for the public and ourselves to find out more about the amazing work going on across Glasgow and Scotland. 

Opened my eyes to the potential difficulties faced by people with learning disabilities

We will see you at Curiosity Live 2019!