It’s been a while since I have blogged properly. I have been busy with work lately and organising myself to get back into science outreach again. Science outreach is something that is close to my heart because I think that there is immeasurable value for people to see scientists enthusiastic about their work and science. The job of showing the benefits of science is a task that has fallen largely to teachers, journalists and science shows and museums. They don’t do a bad job but it makes me wonder, “Where have all the scientists gone?”.
I have signed up for two volunteer science outreach programmes and will be based in Perth, Murdoch University’s STAR Peer Tutoring Programme and CSIRO’s Scientist in Schools Programme. They are flexible enough to fit in nicely with my FIFO roster which has been at times a barrier in getting involved with volunteer programmes. Dates of meetings or events aren’t quite right or the lack of flexibility for someone like me to come and go. It’s been frustrating and feel very lucky that something has been worked out.
Between the two programs I will be working with students in primary school and high school across different classes in two schools. One is in the southern suburbs of Perth and the other one in the northern suburbs. The exact details are yet to be ironed out as I am being flexible with the teaching teams in both of the schools. I’m looking forward to it because the teachers sound terrific. They’re even running things I’ve never heard of and one of the schools has a science fair!
I have never been involved in a school science fair. They just didn’t exist when I went through school. There were various science events outside of school but nothing that was part of school. And definitely nothing like a fair where everyone showed off their projects in a large gymnasium. To say that I am looking forward to the science fair would be putting it mildly. I have also been told by Twitter sources that some schools in Australia do have science fairs. Perhaps one day there will be enough to have a national science school fair.
I’m getting ahead of myself and dreaming. I’m looking forward to showing the students just some of the things that a science degree can lead to. I also want to show students that science isn’t something that happens in a laboratory or something that adults argue about. More importantly, I want to be able to demonstrate that science can be fun even when it isn’t being looked at by the Mythbusters team.