This paper discusses the effectiveness of using drama as a medium for communicating science.

It details the development of an innovative formula that has proved very successful in bringing together scientists, drama teachers, science teachers and school students who then work together to produce dramatic performance pieces that address a wide range of scientific issues.

A key feature of the initiative is the training/motivating workshop at the start of the project in which a variety of strategies are employed to address the very different needs and expectations of the participants. A game-show format is used as an icebreaker to encourage scientists, teachers and drama professionals to share knowledge and to explore ways in which they might work together. Drama teachers and students are given an insight into the research process and how they might use physical theatre to illustrate scientific principles. Science teachers are introduced to the use of specific dramatic techniques such as Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed to address moral and ethical implications of science. School students are given the opportunity to devise and perform short pieces.

The paper presents an evaluation of the initiative drawing on experiences from scientists, teachers and students who have participated in workshops and performances.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Using drama to communicate science

Gillian Pearson   The Oxford Trust

Bridget Holligan   The Oxford Trust

This paper discusses the effectiveness of using drama as a medium for communicating science.

It details the development of an innovative formula that has proved very successful in bringing together scientists, drama teachers, science teachers and school students who then work together to produce dramatic performance pieces that address a wide range of scientific issues.

A key feature of the initiative is the training/motivating workshop at the start of the project in which a variety of strategies are employed to address the very different needs and expectations of the participants. A game-show format is used as an icebreaker to encourage scientists, teachers and drama professionals to share knowledge and to explore ways in which they might work together. Drama teachers and students are given an insight into the research process and how they might use physical theatre to illustrate scientific principles. Science teachers are introduced to the use of specific dramatic techniques such as Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed to address moral and ethical implications of science. School students are given the opportunity to devise and perform short pieces.

The paper presents an evaluation of the initiative drawing on experiences from scientists, teachers and students who have participated in workshops and performances.

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