READY-TO-SERVE GEOLOGY! PORTABLE KITS FOR SCIENTIFIC DIVULGATION TO PEOPLE WITH FUNCTIONAL DIVERSITY

A. García-Frank1, M. Gomez-Heras2, L. Gonzalo Parra3, M.L. Canales Fernández1, M.B. Muñoz García1, R. García Hernández1, D. Hontecillas1, N. Iglesias Álvarez1, R.W. Salazar Ramírez1, O. Fesharaki1, T. Navalpotro1, M. Reviejo1, A. Rodrigo Sanz4, L. González-Acebrón1, B. del Moral4, G.N. Sarmiento1, S. Ureta1

1Universidad Complutense de Madrid (SPAIN)
2Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
3Fundación Once para la Atención de Personas con Sordoceguera (SPAIN)
4Instituto Geológico y Minero de España (SPAIN)
Educational perspectives are usually low when designing curricula for people with functional diversity and there are few attempts to promote scientific divulgation among these collectives. Geodivulgar is a pioneer project for the divulgation of geology among people with functional diversity in Spain. The working group of Geodivulgar is formed by different partners, and includes university lecturers, graduate and postgraduate students, and technical staff from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) and other universities and research institutions as Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) or Instituto Geológico y Minero de España (IGME) and also some foundations (FOAPS: Fundación Once para la Atención de Personas con Sordoceguera) and non-profit associations (CSB: Ciencia sin Barreras).

Multisensory material by itself helps people with functional diversity to enhance their communication skills. Nevertheless, Geodivulgar’s perspective goes beyond the usual divulgation model adding a social interaction perspective and the integration of several society groups (lecturers, researchers, students and end-users).

The first programmed workshops were carried out in a university (UCM) in a big city with a relatively wide cultural offer for disabled people, but since then, there was a demand from areas with low population for this kind of workshops. Therefore, portable kits were prepared so they could allow combining indoor and outdoor geology divulgation activities in areas with a limited cultural offer for people with functional diversity. These kits are an optimum solution for small groups outside areas with widespread cultural offer and create new alternatives for scientific divulgation. The use of portable kits makes possible a faster assemblage of divulgation activities compared to conventional stationary workshops as they are ready-made. They provide a wider diffusion since the end user do not need to inhabit nearby a university or research center and there is the possibility of combining them with field experiences, which in turn result in a much better understanding of geological concepts.

The interest of these traveling experiences is also evident from a social perspective, as they promote interactions with scientists who are normally not available to these groups. These experiences have also an educational purpose for the students who are involved as divulgators as they improve transferable skills, such as their communicative skills, and increase their awareness to diversity that will be of use in their future professional life.