SciScouts: Building enquiring minds through STEM
Scouting is a non-formal educational movement that provides young Australians, aged 6 to 25, with fun and challenging opportunities to grow through adventure. The movement has a strong philosophy of learning by doing. The SciScouts project, led by Scouts ACT, aims to build enquiring minds through exploration of the natural world. The project is helping our youth members, both girls and boys, learn about STEM through creative, fun, hands-on activities.
A key feature of SciScouts is building linkages with local science institutions to deliver a centralised National Science Week event each year on behalf of Scouts ACT. These events are supplemented by curriculum materials for Scout and Guide Leaders to incorporate STEM into their weekly programming.
SciScouts has resulted in broader STEM engagement across Scouts ACT, extending across Australia virtually. Other Scout Branches from across Australia have access to and can readily utilise the pilot projects and materials to run their own events with local partners. By facilitating direct interaction with STEM researchers in real research settings, our youth members are seeing potential science careers differently, a future within the realms of their real experience. We're making those light bulb moments of 'Hey, science thing is fun! I really can do this when I grow up!"
Highlights for SciScouts so far include the Scouts ACT: Reach for the Stars astronomy night held at Mt Stromlo Observatory in 2015, and SciScouts: Chemistry of Scouting co-hosted Scouts ACT and the ANU School of Chemistry in 2016.
We have now received a 2017 National Science Week grant to deliver SciScouts: Environment - Trees, Bees and Seeds. Save the weekend of 19/20 August 2017 for a weekend of environmental fun at Camp Cottermouth, just outside of Canberra. This theme was decided considering feedback following our 2016 event, and also aligns with 2017 National Science Week schools theme - Future Earth - sustainability science. Watch this space!
For further information:
Kate Lehane, Branch Activity Leader - Special Projects, Scouts ACT
M: 0413 482 123