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11 People You Get to Be When You Run Away With the Circus

Thoughts from Science Circus 2017 alumni Kendal Fairweather and Sophie Bobilier.

Ever thought of running away with the circus?

In 2017 we did. But not just any circus - the Questacon Science Circus. We toured Australia, learning and practising science communication, earning a Masters at the same time. If that sounds like something you wanna do, these are 11 people you might just get to be.

1. The Early Bird

To reach as many people as the Circus does, you've gotta go far. Like really far. Sometimes that means being ready for a 6am interstate flight. It does result in some spectacular sunrises and hilarious moments with tired pals.

Sunrises from various locations

2. The Karaoke Star

Driving to and from schools gives you lots of opportunities for passenger seat DJing and a healthy dose of belting out tunes with your teammates. Figuring out Bluetooth settings in the car becomes a necessity.

Science Circus members driving cars

3. The Tetris Master

Science requires a lot of gear, and that sometimes means fitting four boxes and a duffel bag, table cloths, banners, a Dewar (vacuum flask) of liquid nitrogen, a microphone and PA system, and bags of personal items into a sedan. Your Tetris skills will be on point by the end of the year.

A Science Circus member with equipment

4. The Cheerleader

It's not always easy being a public performer on a daily basis. Lucky enough, you're in a team of 16, and there's always a buddy there to step in and give you all the encouragement you need. Goooooo circus!

Science Circus members performing shows

5. The Scientist

Everyone in the Science Circus has some background in science, tech, engineering, maths or teaching. This means you have a whole new group of crazy cool knowledgeable people to learn new stuff from.

Science Circus members posing on the steps of Questacon

6. The Tourist

Travelling regional and remote Australia brings a wealth of opportunities to explore new states and territories, have new experiences and see totally unexpected things like a cassowary crossing a road, a giant mango, or even hugging baby wombats.

Science Circus members exploring tourist attractions

7. The Media Personality

Television, radio, newspaper, Facebook live, blogs, twitter. You name it, the Science Circus is there, so you get plenty of time in front of an audience.

Newspaper clippings, television reports and interviews for Science Circus shows

8. The Gourmet Chef

Feeding up to 20 people on the road with a range of dietary requirements and preferences adds an extra challenge to any day. But also extra joy when everyone sits down to a squad meal.

Science Circus members enjoying meals together

9. The Road Crew

You may or may not become emotionally attached to the 22m truck full of science that accompanies you on tour, but without a doubt you WILL get to unpack it. And repack it. And unpack it again, and again...

The Science Circus truck being loaded, or unloaded, or loaded

10. The Innovator

You will get to present science in some wild and wonderful places, with some wild and wonderful props. You might have 20 minutes to fix, replace or modify something before you present it to the world! You'd be surprised how much you can do with a straw and a piece of gaff tape.

Science Circus members demonstrating various props

11. Boss

There are a heap of opportunities to try out leadership roles within the team such as planning team movements and activities. There is also the chance to manage projects and pursue your passions, whatever they might be.

A Science Circus member holding a 'Boss' brand milk carton


Ever wanted to travel the country, talk about science and maybe even hold fire in your hands? As part of the ANU Master of Science Communication Outreach you get to tour around Australia with the Questacon Science Circus. There's a stipend and some really amazing experiences.