Scitech aims to make science open, understandable and accessible to everyone. One of the best and most essential ways we do this is through our Science Communicators.
Our staff in the distinguishable blue shirts are an essential part of Scitech’s ability to inspire and engage Western Australians. They play a crucial role in being part of the Scitech experience, disseminating scientific knowledge and understanding to visitors and promoting science literacy. They are also our best ambassadors and advocacy leaders to build trust in the community and ensure everyone has a positive feeling towards science.
Scitech chooses to invest heavily in this role across the organisation with Science Communicators found not only in the Discovery Centre, but as an integral part of our Statewide delivery teams that take science on the road throughout the metropolitan area with shows and activations, as well as touring to regional and remote areas across the whole state.
A Science Communicator’s schedule varies week-to-week, from delivering smaller-scale intensive programs in schools to presenting Planetarium shows to large school holiday audiences. They are adept individuals that undergo extensive and ongoing training in performing shows and imparting knowledge and information to audiences that not only educates but inspires.
It is this inspiration and the changing of people’s perception that “STEM is not for me”, that Scitech Science Communicators Rob, Julian and Beth agree make a Scitech experience in the Scitech Discovery Centre or out in the community truly unique.
“The one-on-one interactions we have get people inspired, excited and shows them that science isn’t just in a laboratory. We are doing science every day and we can do it in a fun way and sometimes without even thinking about it.” Rob says.
Scitech Science Communicators come from a variety of backgrounds and tertiary degrees, however, it is their ability to tailor scientific messages and information to different audiences that is their foremost skill. Julian suggests that this is one of the biggest ways to influence people in their STEM behaviour, understanding, and attitude, especially in the longer-term.
“It’s about knowing how to talk to various people such as a toddler, a teenager, a young adult or senior. Getting them to understand and communicate the science at various levels is a great part of our job. We add an understanding that we can all be scientists and there is a little bit of something in there for everyone which they can keep long after they have gone home.”
Beth suggests that the highlight of being a Scitech Science Communicator is anytime visitors have experiences that go beyond their expectations, which can be incredibly rewarding and have the most impact.
“Sometimes that wow moment is mid-Planetarium show when you show them something they haven’t seen and you hear the audience go … ooohhhh. Or sometimes it’s the end of the conversation and they go “ah okay”. It’s that feeling when you know that you have played a part in their discovery that is so amazing.”
Rob adds, “It’s the joy you get when something with someone finally clicks and they get it, and those general conversations you have with people and they realise …wow… this is actually quite amazing.”
“The one-on-one interactions we have get people inspired, excited and shows them that science isn’t just in a laboratory. We are doing science every day and we can do it in a fun way and sometimes without even thinking about it.”