Author: Shanii Phillips – University of Western Australia, Australia
Miriam Sullivan – University of Western Australia
Science performances, or science shows, combine scientific content with theatrical techniques to engage audiences with science. Despite the fragmented nature of the evidence of their effectiveness, science shows are commonly used in informal science learning, particularly in science centres, schools and museums. Existing research shows strong evidence to support performing science shows for informal science learning and as part of the school curriculum. Most of the literature investigating science shows has been focused on the audience, but what about the presenters who perform these shows? Semi-structured interviews were conducted with science presenters at Scitech, the Western Australian science centre, to explore how science presenters value their shows and reflect on their performance strategies. We discovered that presenters from different departments within the same organisation had different views on certain aspects of their shows. Most presenters had specific strategies for engaging high school audiences and kept the audience at the forefront of their mind, but they normally didn’t consciously think about the types of demonstrations they used. While this research provides a glimpse into the mind of the science presenter, further investigation is required to understand how well this matches with the opinions of their audiences.
The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.
Presentation type: Visual talk
Area of interest: Investigating science communication practices