DIY science communication making an impact
A big part of learning at CPAS is student agency and freedom to communicate areas of science they’re passionate about, choose methods that resonate with them and the audience, and bring theory and practice together to create evidence-based science communication. Many CPAS courses have this ethos, particularly Project Design and Delivery (SCOM3007 undergraduate, SCOM6007 postgraduate).
“Project Design is probably my favourite course to teach as you see student ideas go from lightbulb moment through to public implementation – and many projects live on as social enterprises after the course,” shares Dr Graham Walker.
Using design thinking methodologies, during the one-week intensive students conceive and develop a project considering aspects like inclusion, partnerships, fundraising, project management, ethics and risk assessment, pitching, and evaluation. They also hear from professional science communicators who share methods, inspiration, and networks. Project diversity is limited only by students’ imaginations – ranging from board games to cabaret nights, environmental workshops to science-art fusions. Methods like tinkering and peer-to-peer forums allow students to creatively refine their project concept and get feedback. Following the intensive, progressive assessment and support from convenor Dr Graham Walker assists students to implement their projects for the public.
“The real-world implementation – content design, partnering, authentic audiences, evaluation, and all that stuff – can be challenging, but is such a rich learning environment and gives students exactly the experience they need to land jobs, go freelance or create professional projects.”
Students recently implemented their projects spanning from Perth to Canberra. Amongst the creative outputs were Mind Mingle Bingo, an event run with the Canberra Seniors Centres using bingo gameplay to explore brain health, and Walking With Invasives, an interactive biosecurity installation and walk implemented in partnership with the Dieback Working Group and Kings Park Botanic Garden.
Here are two other past student projects to check out as well:
Shirty Scientist: https://science.anu.edu.au/news-events/news/how-succeed-shirty-scientist
Science meets street art: https://health.anu.edu.au/news-events/news/science-meets-street-art
Got a great idea you’d like to turn into a reality? The 2024 course runs 24-28 June. Contact Dr Graham Walker (email@example.com) for more details, and see: