[ASC-list] Evaluating 'pop up' science experiences

Rob Morrison rob.morrison at flinders.edu.au
Mon Mar 7 23:39:16 UTC 2016

When the Investigator Science and Technology Centre closed in Adelaide ten years ago, three of us bought the assets and created SciWorld, a mobile science education not-for-profit that now takes interactive science to more than 80,000 children each year and presents pop up science at numerous venues such as AFL games, Royal Shows, Country fairs and more.

As part of this, I have trained what I call "science buskers", who carry in their pockets a few things like rubber bands, bits of paper, string etc, and who can use these tho do small science "tricks" and demos at a moment's notice. I originally intended for them to keep queues amused in our big Science Alive event each year, but the busking has proved more versatile.

The focus of our work in this regard is our pop-up science cart - rather like an old-fashioned ice cream cart, which can be wheeled around and which contains apparatus and materials for other quick science demos. This gets hired by people like the AFL, City Council, Showgrounds and more to bring "instant science" to lots of events.

If you go to our website  sciworld.com.au   and click the "Pop Up Science" tag you can see the cart and a few photos there.

Brian Haddy, our CEO, evaluates most of our activities. I am not sure whether there are specific evaluations of the pop-up work, but i know there was some evaluation of a session on science busking. I will try to ferret it out.


Dr Rob Morrison
rob.morrison at flinders.edu.au
Phone: (08) 8339 3790

From: ASC-list <asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au> on behalf of Pete Wheeler <pete.wheeler at uwa.edu.au>
Sent: Monday, 7 March 2016 6:14 PM
To: Aus Sci Com - Discussions Discussions
Subject: [ASC-list] Evaluating 'pop up' science experiences

Dear ASC Brains Trust,
I'm looking for a little help when it comes to evaluating the impact of 'pop up' science events. We do a form of sidewalk astronomy that we call 'Guerrilla Astronomy', where we take telescopes out and put them down in places where 'normal' folk happen to be. Places like beach car parks, jogging hotspots, the Perth foreshore, other non-astro events etc.

I'd like to evaluate this particular activity in the context of what it does (if anything) for public attitudes towards science, and whether it's meely a short term 'science sugar' hit or something that actually helps contribute to something more.

If you've read an interesting paper in this area or know of someone that's done or doing some work relating to pop up science events, please let me know!


Pete Wheeler
Outreach, Education & Communications Manager

Ph: +61 8 6488 7758
Ph: +61 423 98 2018
ICRAR: Discovering the hidden Universe through radio astronomy
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