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Circus aims to make learning about science extraordinary

A "circus" is travelling around to schools across Samoa this month in the name of whetting students' appetites for learning about science. 

Science Circus Pacific (S.C.P.) in collaboration with Imagine, the local Science and Technology Centre, has been performing interactive science shows in schools this year.

Director of the S.C.P., Joe Duggan, and Emily Standen (a PhD student at the Australian National University) were both on island last week, performing science shows at Vaiala Beach School. 

“Joe as well as Emily will return during the last week of this month to work with the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture (M.E.S.C.), to visit selected schools in [the] outer districts of Samoa,” said Ruth Moghbelpour a Director of the Education and Science Trust Foundation. 

With the use of local materials, Mr. Duggan and Ms. Standen constructed 18 transportable, "pop-up" science exhibits for the events which gave students the opportunity to put their skills to the test.

The programme, Mrs. Moghbelpour said, was all about having fun with science and instilling in the young ones, a desire to understand more about how and why things work.

Students participate in collaborative displays about the  science behind natural phenomena such as pressure, forces and energy using hands-on demonstrations.

The Science Circus Pacific is a partnership between the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (C.P.A.S.) at the Australian National University in Canberra and Imagine Samoa.

It is being displayed with support from the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with the expectation of local partners joining. 

"Learning impacts the best when it is amusingly fun and actively hands on as many of these activities can be used directly with students as class activities, or used as demonstrations by teachers," Mrs. Moghbelpour said.

"To them daily living is intensely meaningful, engaging and pleasurable.

"The aim of these activities is to provide an enjoyable, interactive way for students to discover and enjoy science. Rather than just remembering things out of a book, the activities allow students to experience science themselves. We all learn and remember best when we actually do things on our own, rather than just reading or being told about them."

The team behind the Circus has met with officials from the M.E.S.C. to discuss future collaboration such as with science and literacy week, they said in a media release. 

 Imagine The Science and Technology Centre in Samoa aims to establish an interactive science centre in Samoa.

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