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The project "YouMaker: this is how science is done" exceeds 50,000 impacts in its first year

Key aspects of the project to achieve high impact include collaboration with professional communicators and with a digital newspaper, as well as a high quality of the design and production of the videos. 
Anna May
15 September 2022
Anna Morales, Ignacio Crespo, Guillermo Orduña, Dani Jiménez and Andrea Stephany in YouMaker | ICMAB-CSIC
The initiative, designed by the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), based its strategy on the virtual format thanks to the creation and dissemination in the press and social networks of ten popular science videos. The program of actions developed is based on three lines of action: creation of innovative audiovisual content for YouTube, writing and publication of articles for the digital press, and social communication at events. Up to five professional communicators have collaborated with ICMAB researchers to explain and promote the different research lines of the institute.

"YouMaker: this is how science is made" is coming to an end... But with the peace of mind that it has achieved a remarkable success that no one could possibly imagined when it was launched.

This project, designed by the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), has achieved more than 50,000 impacts between in-person, virtual and audiovisual formats since it began in July 2021. A very relevant figure in its first year of trajectory, based mainly on the creation and dissemination of a total of ten videos through digital press and social networks.

Creating attractive and innovative informative content for YouTube, writing and publishing articles to disseminate this content for the digital press (El Periódico de Catalunya), as well as social communication at fairs, activities and events, have been the lines of action on which the project's program of actions has been based. In this sense, the collaboration between researchers and professional disseminators has been key to bring the different research areas of ICMAB closer to any type of public, without the need for them to be specialized.

The videos (recorded in Catalan and Spanish) explain how some of the materials being researched at the institute are made and what they are used for, such as hydrogels for cancer treatment or calcium-based batteries. They have been created with an informal, dynamic and current narrative, precisely to facilitate their adaptation and dissemination both on YouTube and social media. They have also been subtitled to facilitate accessibility to people with hearing disabilities in order to bring the initiative closer to disadvantaged groups.

Each of the audiovisual pieces has been structured in two parts. In one part, a more explanatory part detailing the scientific work in mini-documentary format and recorded in laboratories with staff and researchers of the institute. In a second part, a more informative section, recorded with professional communicators, who have been in charge of proposing challenges and launching open questions, thus encouraging interaction with the public and followers.

As regards the dissemination in the digital press, ten articles have been published in El Periódico de Catalunya, one per video, in Catalan and Spanish, with scientific content in a monographic format. All of them have been written in a didactic format. In addition, each thematic article has been accompanied by the related video and links to the rest of the videos in the playlist.

Additional element: photo booth

In order to achieve a greater visual impact in face-to-face events, an eye-catching photo booth structure was designed. Interactive in nature, it allows the participants of the activities to be part of the action. When they enter, they are offered several options for action: record themselves creating content to broadcast on social networks; choose to view the videos created; answer general questions about materials science or even ask questions to satisfy their curiosity and resolve doubts, generating new content proposals.

This booth has been installed in several communication events and informative initiatives. For example, in the Researchers’ Night 2021 (CosmoCaixa Barcelona), in the VI Nanodivulgation Meeting (Institute of Materials Science of Sevilla), during the International Day of Women and Girls in Science (Centro Comercial Los Porches del Audiorama de Zaragoza) and at the Educational Fair (Espai Ciència de Barcelona). In addition, the YouMaker project will also be presented on September 19 at the Campus Gutenberg-CosmoCaixa science communication conference, as well as on September 30 during the Researchers’ Night in Barcelona (CosmoCaixa) and Zaragoza (CaixaForum).

Impacts generated

In summary, "YouMaker: this is how science is made" has generated a total of 6,750 impacts in events, 14,789 in audiovisual format and 22,156 in virtual format on El Periódico's website, without counting the impacts on social media of the professional communicators who have participated in the project and of El Periódico itself, which are more than 79,000 followers, reflecting the enormous relevance of the latter in the project. Within the audiovisual field, 7,203 views have been on the ICMAB YouTube channel, 2,416 on its Twitter account, 4,021 on its Instagram, 34 on Facebook and 1,115 on the CSIC YouTube channel.

One of the project objectives, in addition to disseminating the science done at ICMAB to the general public, was to promote its Youtube channel. Throughout this Youmaker year, the channel has increased by 79 % the number of subscribers and views: it now has 467 subscribers and more than 51,133 views. Moreover, if we compare July 2021 (without YouMaker videos) and July 2022 (with half of the YouMaker videos published), the number of views increased by 108 % (4,000 instead of 1,922), 279 % more subscribers (53 in one month), 352 % more impressions (28,700 in 2022), 84 % more hours viewed (more than 205 hours per month) and 17 % higher click rate.

“YouMaker: this is how science is made” project is a project of the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) with the collaboration of the Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología (FECYT). It also counts with the collaboration of the Severo Ochoa excellence project of the center.

Do you want to visit ICMAB?

What do you think about the project? We would really appreciate your feedback! If you have 2 minutes, you can answer this short survey to evaluate the project. You can win an ICMAB hoodie and a visit to ICMAB labs if you answer it before 30 September 2022. If you are a school teacher, you can also win a visit to ICMAB for all the class. Stay tuned!

Download the press release in CAT, ESP and ENG

Con la colaboración de la Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología - Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación.

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