South Australia Museum’s Ruby Award-winning science roadshow Out of the Glass Case has been taking science to the regions of South Australia since 2003, which includes the APY Lands as well as rural areas closer to the city.
“We build a program, take it to a school, set it up in a classroom and we’ll have classes coming through and they’ll get rotated over a day,” the museum’s community engagement officer Leeanne Bloomfield says of the outreach program. “Ordinarily when we’re out in, in particular in the remote communities, we’ll spend a whole day at the school and adapt our programs to reach all the kids in the school.”
Aside from the work with school children, museum scientists will hold lectures and community events at places such as Leigh Creek. This year a Sprigg Lecture was held at Leigh Creek’s Cinema Complex by Professor James G Gehling about the Ediacaran fossils found in the area, titled: Famous Flinders Ranges Fossils.
“We booked out the theatre and got the community to see how we were progressing with the dig site. It’s about educating the public as well as informing them of the different things that are happening.”
The outreach program relies on sponsorship, and will visit around 12 schools a year, depending on how much they receive.
“Those visits might entail a remote trip, we did two this year: the APY Lands and the Oodnadatta track.”
What was the theme?
“It was a mixed theme, when we went to the Oodnadatta track we had a mix of people. We had a taxidermist, a seal expert, a marine biologist, someone from the Discovery Centre and myself. I do fossil-making programs. We try and do a bit of making as well because the kids get overloaded with all the scientists; I try and do something creative with them.”
In April 2018, one of the destinations for Out of the Glass Case is the South-East, as the roadshow of community events will coincide with a research project focussing on the Naracoorte Caves’ fossils.
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