• Offered by Centre for the Public Awareness of Science
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject Science Communication
  • Areas of interest Science Communication
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Graham Walker
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2021
    Second Semester 2021
    See Future Offerings

Students in this course develop their science communication skills while training for and touring with the Science Circus. The course includes experience in the development of science presentations and workshops, the presentation of science shows to audiences of all ages (with an emphasis on school-age audiences), the presentation of teacher development workshops, explaining science and exhibits to members of the public, promotion of a science outreach program, the operation of a traveling science exhibition, and the coordination of activities while on tour.

SCOM8004 must be taken in two consecutive semesters encompassing a single placement.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Explain science and technology concepts to audiences of varied ages and backgrounds, including school students, teachers, general public, remote communities and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders.
  2. Design and deliver science shows, resource materials and workshops on science and technology topics, including considering their relevance and tailoring to diverse audiences based on aspects such as age, geography, context and culture – including Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander cultures.
  3. Efficiently and effectively function as a team, as well as have an understanding of group dynamics and some experience in small team management.
  4. Operate an outreach education program (including a traveling science exhibition).

Indicative Assessment

  1. Science presentations analysis - written critique (15) [LO 1,2,4]
  2. Science presentations development - written report (15) [LO 1,2]
  3. Science presentations - video recordings (25) [LO 1,2]
  4. Documentation of new equipment and demonstration creation process (design and manufacture of equipment, concept note, risk management worksheet, written report and video) (20) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  5. Workshop facilitation including cross-cultural and indigenous communication (written plan - 10%, diary - 10% and oral debrief - 5%). (25) [LO 1,2,3,4]

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The expected workload will consist of approximately 260 hours in Semester 1 and 260 hours in Semester 2 including (per semester):

  • Face-to face component which may consist of show instruction, development and safety training, workshop/exhibit facilitation, cultural awareness training, teacher Professional Learning (PL) and touring to a total of approximately 160 hours.
  • Approximately 100 hours of self-study which will include preparation for workshops, demonstrations, tour activity and other assessment tasks.

Inherent Requirements

During this course, which is a requirement to complete the Master of Science Communication Outreach, students learn skills associated with science outreach activities. This includes: 

  • Presenting interactive science shows, exhibitions and workshops for schools and the public
  • Safely demonstrating hands-on science experiments and activities
  • Monitoring activities for potential hazards and to identify participants’ needs

Students who cannot meet these requirements will not be able to pass compulsory assessment tasks and therefore will not be able to pass the course.

During this course, students must participate in work-integrated learning in the form of science outreach tours organised by our partner Questacon. In order to participate in the tours, students must be able to:

  • Travel to, and stay in, regional and remote locations for outreach trips supported by teaching staff and Questacon, each approximately 3-4 weeks in duration
  • Obtain ACT Working with Vulnerable People registration and pass additional checks for other States and Territories as deemed appropriate by the Program Convenor

Students who cannot complete these requirements will not be able to participate in the work-integrated learning tours and therefore cannot pass the course.

Students are also typically expected to contribute to the practical operation of the outreach tours by: 

  • Assisting to set-up and pack down equipment
  • Driving vehicles, which requires a current full or P2 driver's licence

Students who cannot meet these requirements will need to have an exemption approved by the program convenor. As this cannot be guaranteed in all circumstances, students are strongly encouraged to discuss their circumstances with the program convenor before submitting an application to the Master of Science Communication Outreach. 

Please see the trip information page for more information.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be enrolled in the Master of Science Communication Outreach or Master of Science Communication programs.

You will need to contact the Centre for the Public Awareness of Science to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
12 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

12.00 0.25000
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $8220
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $11760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3570 22 Feb 2021 01 Mar 2021 31 Mar 2021 28 May 2021 In Person View

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7239 26 Jul 2021 02 Aug 2021 14 Sep 2021 29 Oct 2021 In Person N/A

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