The Shell Questacon Science Circus has recently completed a very successful four-week tour of Central and North Coast New South Wales, taking hands-on science to schools and communities between Taree and Byron Bay.
The tour saw the 12 Science Circus presenters visiting over 100 primary and secondary schools to perform their engaging and inspiring science shows.
Over 90 teachers also enjoyed professional development sessions run by the Science Circus team to assist them in taking interactive science activities to their classrooms.
The Science Circus aims to reach as many schools communities as possible along the tour route, travelling to schools up to an hour from their base location. It is these schools that are often the most appreciative of the opportunity, as evidenced by feedback received from the Principal of Wyrallah Public School, located around 15 km from Lismore.
“Recently our students had the joyful learning experience of the Shell Questacon Science Circus in our lovely little school.
Could you please pass on my sincere thanks and appreciation to all of those involved in making such a wonderful investment in the future of Australia by supporting the positive engagement of the minds and hearts of our young students…
The students were not only informed about scientific principles they were also valued as learners.
Students in rural communities simply do not have the same opportunities as their city counterparts…Additionally, very small schools such as our fabulous, 147 year old school with a total enrolment of 17 Kinder to Year 6 students, is often further disadvantaged by (lack of) economy of scale and cannot afford to pay for or meet the criteria required to access extra-curricular opportunities.
By bringing a 'taste of science' to the bush, and by making it accessible financially, the Science Circus is an excellent example of inclusion, of recognition, of foresight and yes, education.
The scientists representing your organisation who presented at our school…were positive, energetic and a credit to themselves, Questacon and science education.”
The tour reached over 23 000 people in total, including over 8000 people who attended public exhibitions in seven locations. These offer their host communities a taste of Questacon, presenting over 40 portable, interactive science exhibits plus a full programme of science shows. Many students who experience the Science Circus school incursions come along with their families for further science discovery and fun.
The Science Circus is a long-standing partnership between Questacon, Shell and The Australian National University and is staffed by post-graduate students studying a Master of Science Communication Outreach at the ANU.