3 Minute Thesis
by Adam Goodwin | 2016 | Last Updated: April 3, 2016
I recently participated in the University of Windsor’s 3 Minute Thesis. The 3 Minute Thesis was started in Australia to help graduate students learn how to communicate their research to a general audience (pretty difficult!). In this blog post, I have included a copy of my presentation’s speech, and a copy of the winner’s speech.
Copy of my Presentation’s Speech
Check against delivery
Imagine this scenario.
We all entered through that door to come here this afternoon.
But, picture this. As you were entering, there was a guard at the door.
For every three people that tried to enter, he let 2 in.
But for that one, they were not allowed to participate today based purely on the income of their parents.
And that’s part of the analogy for my Master’s thesis.
Depending on the exact country or city in the world you look at, what we know is that approximately two-thirds of kids are able to participate in basically any physical activity program or sport they are interested in but that leaves the one-third, or the 1 child left outside of the room, that could not participate because of his or her family’s socioeconomic circumstances.
And this is where most of the research in this area has focused so far.
Researchers understand how program’s registration fees, equipment costs, and transportation, or lack thereof, act as some of the barriers preventing lower income kids from joining the programs they have an interest in.
Only recently, have researchers started to look at initiatives that are trying to tackle this issue. For example, you may have heard of Ontario’s decision to get rid of its Children’s Activity Tax Credit; in part because researchers found it had no impact in this population.
And so what I wanted to know is what type of impact are other initiatives having?
Across Canada, we counted over 500 organizations that provide financial grants aimed directly at removing some of the financial barriers faced by these families when registering their children in activities. You may have heard of two of them: KidSport and Jumpstart.
But from a research perspective, we don’t know if these grants actually work.
Following one such organization for nearly 10 months, we have collected nearly 500 pages of interview transcripts, field notes, and organizational records.
And from these data, here is the amazing thing. In essence, these 500+ organizations are making a difference with certain segments of families.
Through interviews with families who have received financial grants I believe that these organizations are in fact tackling part of this issue.
And that is the study’s main finding. It is one part of the solution.
From here, we believe that organizations such as KidSport and Jumpstart that provide these financial grants need to work with sport apparel manufacturers, mass transit providers, and other similar organizations to really create a solution that tackles all the barriers these families face.
So as you leave here this afternoon, notice, there was no security guard that stopped you from participating; just, as I hope through my Master’s and then PhD research projects, there will be no barriers stopping lower income kids from participating in the sports they are interested in.
I finished as a finalist in the UWindsor’s competition (making it through the heats).
The winner of the UWindsor competition recently had his speech broadcast with the CBC. A copy is available by clicking here.