Keywords: outreach, science centres, science communication, public awareness of science, public understanding of science, Australia
What makes a successful outreach program? An outline of the Shell Questacon Science Circus
Australia's rural population has little access to science centres. Furthermore, science teachers in remote regions often lack opportunities for professional development. Ahead of world calls for increased popularisation of science and technology as well as more relevant classroom teaching, an outreach programme of Questacon, Australia's National Science and Technology Centre, has been in place for 15 years, reaching out to disadvantaged populations. The programme is unique in that it combines outreach with an academic programme at the Australian National University. Evaluations indicate that this programme, on a number of measures, is highly successful.