Science Circus Pacific is a travelling STEM engagement and capacity building program. With support from the Australian Government, Science Circus Pacific will deliver a range of activities spanning the STEM disciplines in schools, universities, communities and beyond.
From 11 - 23 June, the Science Circus Pacific team travelled to Fiji and Samoa to hold meetings with stakeholders, work with partners to codevelop and trial STEM engagement content and to plan for the future.
These hands-on inquiry-based workshops showcase the relevance of Science Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) in everyday life.
Participants work with their hands, tinker, collaborate and share ideas in a group and importantly test things out, learn from failures and innovate.
USP Teacher Assistants exploring the material properties of everyday items, building and refining prototypes.
Thanks to the support of our partners; USP and Graduate Women Fiji, we were able to engage a range of different groups including two different settlements near Suva.
Families in these settlements often do not get the opportunities that families in the cities get. For settlement children, it is not uncommon to miss whole years of schooling due to issues with enrolment and access to schools. It was heartening to see the young people and elders of the settlements thoroughly enjoying the science shows.
A science show at Dilkusha Girls Home
A strength of Science Circus Pacific lies in our ability to build networks and foster strong connections between existing groups within a country. One of our science shows was held at Dilkusha Girls Home, an orphanage for girls and young women. Our colleagues from USP attended the show and were moved by the students passion and interest in STEM, sparking an ongoing relationship.
Exploring science with simple materials
Engaging teachers is a key aspect of Science Circus Pacific. One inspired teacher can have a positive impact on hundreds of children.
Thanks to our strong partnership with USP, we worked with a cohort of their Science Teacher Accelerated Program (STAP) students. They explored a range of simple, hands-on activities that could be used in the classroom to explore a suite of scientific phenomena and other areas of STEM.
Simple activities and demonstrations for teaching STEM in the classroom
Staff from FNU and USP were trained in delivering simple science shows, using materials that were left in country for our partners to continue engaging audiences.
Teachers explore props for science shows
Co-design and establishing the activities within a Pacific context was a key aspect of this pilot. Participants of all activities were invited to provide feedback, and their insights will be key for future engagement.
Science Circus Pacific
The program is an initiative of the Australian National University in partnership with the University of the South Pacific, Fiji National University and other Pacific universities and NGOs.
The Science Circus Pacific team are now preparing their next visits to Samoa and Fiji, scheduled for late 2019. To stay up to date with all the Science Circus Pacific action keep an eye on the CPAS website or follow @ANUScienceCircus on Facebook.