The Educational Opportunity of a Modern Science Show

By Joseph Roche, Ronan J. Cullen and Sarah-Louise Ball.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society, Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Science shows can be treated as an opportunity to engage an audience with science in an informal learning environment. Traditionally science shows cater to young people but do not provide them with a clear idea of life as a scientist. These shows often fail to take advantage of technology that could provide an interactive learning experience for the audience. To investigate the educational opportunities provided by a more modern science show, a show was designed that could be used to explore those opportunities. The shows were produced and performed by scientists and were staged on multiple occasions at a science exhibition in Ireland for an audience of several thousand people. It was designed to be inspirational and entertaining but with greater importance placed on the learning experience. A key component of the show was the interactivity achieved by taking advantage of the near ubiquity of smart devices to use live polling throughout the show. A critical assessment of the show yielded insights into some of the educational opportunities of a modern science show.

Keywords: Science, Education, Communication, Science Shows, Performance

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 8, Issue 3, September 2016, pp.21-30. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 929.971KB).

Dr. Joseph Roche

Astrophysicist, Assistant Professor, School of Education, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Leinster, Ireland

Ronan J. Cullen

Chemist, School of Chemistry, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

Sarah-Louise Ball

Physicist, TV Presenter, Producer, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland