Interpretive theatre techniques have been used in interactive Science and Technology Centres (ISTCs) since the early 1970s, yet little research into the effectiveness of theatre techniques in an ISTC setting has been conducted. Much of the existing knowledge is a result of what has been described by Stephenson (1991) as "professional view" and is highly anecdotal in nature. Scitech Discovery Centre, Western Australia's only ISTC, uses a 150 seat theatre as the setting for demonstrations to both school and public visitors. Two distinct styles of demonstrations, those classed as "affective demonstrations", which have the primary entertainment function and "effective demonstrations", which serve a primary educational function, have evolved at Scitech in its eight year history. This paper will discuss the educational outcomes of science demonstrations as an interpretive theatre technique in ISTCs.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Interpretive theatre techniques in science and technology centres

Katrina O'Mara  

Interpretive theatre techniques have been used in interactive Science and Technology Centres (ISTCs) since the early 1970s, yet little research into the effectiveness of theatre techniques in an ISTC setting has been conducted. Much of the existing knowledge is a result of what has been described by Stephenson (1991) as "professional view" and is highly anecdotal in nature. Scitech Discovery Centre, Western Australia's only ISTC, uses a 150 seat theatre as the setting for demonstrations to both school and public visitors. Two distinct styles of demonstrations, those classed as "affective demonstrations", which have the primary entertainment function and "effective demonstrations", which serve a primary educational function, have evolved at Scitech in its eight year history. This paper will discuss the educational outcomes of science demonstrations as an interpretive theatre technique in ISTCs.

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