Inspiring Africa

Shell Questacon Science Circus. Source: Questacon

Press Release, Government of Mauritius (Port Louis), Mauritius: Science Circus (Africa 2015) Inspiring Form 3 Students to Opt for Science Subjects, allAfrica, 5 May 2015

Some 6,000 Form 3 students of Mauritius will be the main target audience of Science Circus (Africa 2015), an Australian travelling science programme rolled out in collaboration with African countries and comprising, among others, hands-on exhibitions and science demonstrations which aims at making Science and Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) more appealing to students and inspiring future careers in science …

Initiated by the Australian National University, the National Science and Technology Centre of Australia (Questacon) and the Dūcere Foundation and in collaboration with partners in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Mauritius, Namibia and Malawi, the Science Circus (Africa 2015) endeavours to make STEM amazing for students, teachers and the community while inspiring future careers and making learning fun by bringing science and technology to life using a Do-It-Yourself low-cost ‘pop-up’ hands-on exhibitions, exciting science demonstrations and teacher workshops using everyday materials.

“Form 3 students are at a crossroads in their academic life having to make crucial decisions in respect of choosing the courses of study”, said Dr Maulloo, “and it is hoped that the Science Circus (Africa 2015), being rolled out with the collaboration of the RGSC, will encourage many students to opt for science subjects” …

(T)he touring of Science Circus (Africa 2015) in Mauritius is in line with the mandate of the RGSC to promote science among the population and is the outcome of the collaborative venture established with Questacon, the Australian National Science and Technology Centre, last year when its Director, Prof Graham Durant, was invited to deliver the 6th Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Lecture and conduct workshops for secondary schools students and educators.

The Science Circus will also include a teacher workshop on 12 May to empower educators to use simple materials to make science classes more engaging. The workshop will be delivered by Dr Stuart Kohlhagen, Deputy Director at Questacon on the theme: Shedding Light on learning: a hands on professional learning workshop on light. Dr Kohlhagen will also, on the same day, give a lecture on Supporting a learning culture: how science centres are assisting teachers and education systems through inquiry for secondary school science educators. A national policy workshop on science and technology with the objective of formulating a series of policies on the way to promote science for Mauritius is scheduled on 13 May.

It is to be noted that the sets of exhibits mounted as part of the Science Circus Tour by the Australian team in the respective partner countries using everyday items are to be donated to the African partners for ongoing use.