Perth Science Festival shines a light on the NXplorers programme
To promote the programme, the NXplorers team designed and delivered a dedicated NXplorers booth at the Perth Science Festival and invited students from Lynwood Senior High School and Warwick Senior High School to present their projects over the weekend. Students spoke with attendees about what they had learnt throughout the NXplorers programme, and how their project will bring about positive change within their school or community.
Students gain more than just programme knowledge
The exposure to such a varied audience enabled students to gain invaluable insight into their projects, helping them build confidence in their work. For example, one student from Lynwood Senior High School presented his groups’ project through a Minecraft video. The video attracted many people who were familiar with the game.
He took the opportunity to talk with them about his project and after the event, his teacher said the following:
“Since then, even other teachers who weren’t involved in the NXplorers programme have noticed a change in him. He volunteers for things, he’s more creative and he encourages his group of friends to work. This would not have happened if he hadn’t participated in the NXplorers programme.”
An interactive exhibit was on display in the booth to help viewers understand the food, water and energy nexus. This exhibit showed the simple connection that energy can be used to irrigate food with water, and the food can then be used as energy. This helped to attract people to the NXplorers booth, and enabled the facilitators the opportunity to introduce them to the NXplorers programme.
Image: students interacting with the food, water and energy exhibit
What is the Perth Science Festival?
The Perth Science Festival is an annual event organised and delivered by Scitech, the NXplorers delivery partner in Australia, and supported by the Australian Government. Run during National Science Week, the festival is held at the Claremont Showgrounds in Perth, Western Australia, and features more than 50 stallholders, from various STEM organisations including tertiary institutions, government departments, small businesses, not-for-profits and charities. The festival showcases interactive activities across the entire weekend that target a range of ages, from a little scientists corner for young children, to gaming technology, resource management and sustainability for teens and adults.
A blackboard gave people the opportunity to write suggestions for helping to solve the food, water and energy nexus problems, which generated some great discussions and ideas. These included practical ideas like solar-powered phone chargers, and some less practical, like building a skyscraper to be really high and scrape the sky to clean it!
Image: student writing ideas on the blackboard at the NXplorers exhibit
Reflecting on a successful event
This event’s success was really down to the involvement of the passionate teachers at both schools. The NXplorers team worked with teachers to ensure that students understood what they needed to do, and how participating could benefit them.
There was no competitive process to decide which students presented at the Perth Science Festival, all students were encouraged to attend. This meant all students had the same opportunity to build their communication skills and show off their talents. In this case, the Minecraft video may not have qualified in a competition, however, the student who attended was seen by his teacher as being one of the those that benefited most from being there.
The NXplorers activity from the event was featured on the Perth Science Festival Facebook channel and was also promoted via the Scitech website, flyers and radio advertising. This story, in particular, may even be used to promote the Perth Science Festival 2020 event – so, watch this space.