ANU science programs rated among the world's best

Two Australian National University (ANU) science programs have been rated among the best in the world, with the Shell Questacon Science Circus named one of the top 20 educational innovations.

The Science Circus and science awareness program Science for Mums were selected in the global Telefonica Fundación Education Challenge, which highlights the world’s top 100 projects to promote scientific and technological careers.

“We are delighted to see the Science Circus included in the top 20,” said Professor Susan Stocklmayer, Director of the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science which runs both the programs.

“It is good to know that these programs are recognised around the world as being examples of great innovation.”

The ANU was the only organisation to have two programs selected, from the 26 countries represented in the list.

Established in 1985, the Science Circus is a partnership between Shell, ANU and Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre.

In its 30-year history, more than 350 graduates have completed the Master of Science Communication (Outreach) course with the Science Circus. They perform lively presentations on science in towns and schools throughout rural, regional and remote Australia.

Science for Mums offers training workshops for mothers on the scientific content that their children are learning in school.

It aims to give mothers confidence and allow them to help their children at home by making science an approachable activity.

“Science for Mums was a very small pilot program which took off beyond our expectations. We are hoping to develop it further this year,” Professor Stocklmayer said.