A methodology based on performing of multitudinary social games, designed from universal concepts and phenomena shared by different scientific disciplines, is being essayed in the University of Cadiz in Spain since 2007. A key aspect of the methodology is that rather than using experiments to demonstrate a concept to participants, we use the participants as the experiment. The name of the inititiative, ES4FUN, comes from the seminal activity which was devoted to highlight the universal focus of the research performed in different disciplines to both understand and control the structures (EStructuras in Spanish) in order to use their functionalities (FUNcionalidades in Spanish).
The events so far organized have been devoted to highlight the universal character of: the structures and their functionalities, feedback, symmetries, synchronization and randomness. So, participants were atoms in matter structures that were photographed in zenithal view, in the same way that micrographs taken by transmission electron microscopes; they tried different types of symmetries dancing in symmetric choreographies; and they were photons crossing matter networks, in the same way as scattering is produced in optical materials; as few examples essayed.
We consider that the following are advantages/benefits of the methodology:
- Students of different educational level (from secondary to higher education) participate in the design of the events and their organization.
- The games are designed from the collaboration of professionals of different disciplines, and each one uses the project to cover specific educational objectives.
- Research technology is highlighted as it is systematically used in the events.
- Multimedia and design-based products (t-shirts) are elaborated, as well as catchy images for media.
- Specific software is also implemented.
- The atmosphere is enthusiastic.
Results from the methodology have been disseminated both in national and international conferences (NanoteC08, Brighton, UK, for instance), reputed journals (Physics Education, Elsevier) and general media. International collaborations have been performed with science communicators as Mr. Steve Mesure (Creative Science Ltd.). Collaborations has also been performed with the "Parque de las Ciencias de Granada" regional Science museum and other institutions dealing with Science communication ("Fundacion Descubre" and "Fundacion Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnologia" (FECYT)). The methodology has got funding from both local (University and Regional Government) and national agencies, and good appraisals from the corresponding pannels for the events so far organized.