Science recreation workshops: Establishing communities and developing networks

Science recreation workshops: Establishing communities and developing networks

Author: Miguel Garcia-Guerrero – Autonomous University of Zacatecas, Mexico


  • Jordi Diaz – University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Curt Gabrielson – Community Science Workshops, United States
  • Luz Helena Oviedo – Parque Explora, Colombia

Science recreation workshops (SRW) are widely used as a means for public communication of science and technology (S&T) that promotes a three-level interaction for participants: physical, intellectual and emotional. People experience S&T first-hand as protagonists that explore their interests, discover amazing things, perform experiments, build devices, and discuss their ideas. In this sense, SRW serve as cornerstones for communities of practice around S&T, involving different kinds of fellows that help each other in their learning and understanding processes.

Other than will, commitment and proper training, SRW do not require many resources to develop. The use of cheap (or reusable) materials, versatility on the spaces where they can work (classrooms, museums, parks or even streets) and the ability to include all kinds of publics, help them reach places where other means cannot go.

So far the scholar discussion about SRW has been modest, but this has not stopped the development of networks of institutions working with this means for the public communication of science and technology. Such collaborations provide opportunities for interaction and discussion that foster larger communities of practice, where experienced members help the advancement of newcomers; who, in turn, provide fresh perspectives that help improve workshops. All of this strengthens professional development for SRW.

This roundtable involves experiences from Colombia, Spain, the United States, and Mexico, and explores the possibility of creating larger international collaboration networks for SRW practitioners.

Questions to guide the discussion:

What were the main challenges to start the SRW activities you perform?

What is the role of SRW in the process of building communities in your activities?

How did you achieve collaborations with relevant allies?

Do you feel a need for a theoretical foundation that supports the development of SRW?

Is there a need for international collaboration around SRW? What are the benefits that could be achieved from this?

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Roundtable discussion
Theme: Transformation