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Kids Dig Science is a weekend activity aimed at younger children, who can attend with their parents. Different scientific concepts can be described using innovative methods, in this example, we will focus on a puppet show format that can be followed up with a workshop where a number of small experiments about the chosen topic are carried out. While the exact nature and sequence of events can be adapted to your needs, we will focus here on the version currently being run in Malta under this name. This event takes up to two hours on a Saturday afternoon. Maximum attendance, counting parents and children, is capped at 50 to ensure manageable group sizes for the workshops (although this currently also depends on covid restrictions).

After the puppet show, the children are generally split into 4 groups of 8 children, that rotate through the activities, so that the workshop leader can keep track of each child individually.

Target Audience
  • Children 3-6
  • Children 7-12

You can do it with all those groups, but we did it with professionals from different fields like public engagement or the cultural and creative sector.



The main aim of Kids Dig Science is to engage children with science outside of their school work, demonstrating its relevance to everyday life and employing novel, entertaining methods to do so. This event is also interactive at every stage, as the puppeteers can involve the audience and children carry out their own experiments under the guidance of a volunteer in the workshop section. Reinforcing key concepts in multiple, and very diverse, ways are the main pedagogical strength of this activity.

Using puppet shows or other types of performance arts in science education has been used in many forms and contexts. An early study showed the effectiveness of using puppet shows and street theatre in AIDS education, which was found to modulate behaviour. (1) The authors suggest that integration with other community-based programmes would have made this more effective, creating synergies in the process.

A large meta-analysis of 225 different studies concluded that “active learning”, defined as anything that differs from traditional lectures, can boost understanding of scientific concepts and thus lead to improved exam results in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects.(2) The interactivity of Kids Dig Science is an early attempt to integrate such approaches into education. More generally, the case for the inclusion of arts into STEM has been made repeatedly, allowing for the generation of innovative ideas rather than a focus on knowledge and technical execution.(3)

For the volunteers, carrying out the workshops can improve their communication skills and they gain experience outside of their current studies or work. By interacting with the children, reflecting on the puppet show and explaining the experiments, they have to present information in different ways and adapt their communication on the spot.

1)Skinner, D. et al. An evaluation of an education programme on HIV infection using puppetry and street theatre. AIDS Care 3(3), 317–329 (1991).

2)Freeman, S. et al. Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 111(23), 8410–8415 (2014).

3)Land, M. Full STEAM Ahead: The Benefits of Integrating the Arts Into STEM. Procedia Computer Science. 20, 547–552 (2013).


Time Activity

Months in advance

Find puppeteers / other performance artists for the creative element of the Kids Dig Science show

Approach venues to host the event (two rooms are needed)

Weeks in advance

Decide on a scientific topic and outline how it will be done on the night: find relevant experiments, prepare puppeteers, you may want to consult an expert or researcher in your chosen subject.

Marketing: poster design and distribution, social media

On the day

Bring workshop materials and ensure venue is set up

Train volunteers on the experiments and moderate event

Time Activity

30 – 60 mins

Set up workshops and train volunteers in how to conduct workshops

15 – 30 mins

Puppet show, with interactive parts for the audince

60 mins

Rotating workshops, e.g. with four groups of children at 15 minutes for each workshop

Personnel roles

Core Team

Organise the workshops and arrive one hour early to train volunteers / set up everything

Take charge of people flow, bring children from puppet show to workshop room and split into group, then take care of timekeeping


Arrive in time to set up and run puppet show


Read up on topic in advance and receive on the day training



The room for the puppet show will ideally have a small stage that allows everyone to see, as well as chairs for the children and their parents. Other materials that are required should be supplied by the puppeteers if possible, but the organising team can offer help with this.

For the chosen experiments, any materials will vary for each event. As the connection to real life is a major discussion point, using everyday materials over specialised chemicals is encouraged if this is possible within the theme. Basic facilities (chairs, tables) are also needed in the workshop room.


All Kids Dig Science events in Malta are held at the same venue, Spazju Kreattiv. Their website is used for ticket sales and an event overview, see the below to check out current events and their wide range of scientific topics:


The marketing can be aimed at two key groups: the children themselves, or their parents. Putting up posters in local schools, or talking to teachers and getting them to mention Kids Dig Science in class, would be one way to reach the children. Any online strategy should focus on attracting the parents, highlighting the educational benefits of this fun activity. Once the event is established, returning kids and families can be a frequent occurrence, which might mean limiting the numbers and establishing a booking system to manage the orderly conduct of the event.

Finding a group of talented performers/puppeteers will present a challenge, while the design of workshops and experiments can be in the hands of the organiser, although for both aspects of the event, it is recommended that you consult an expert in your chosen topic.

To run parallel workshops, volunteers need to be recruited

To recruit volunteers, social media or asking around university circles have proven reliable methods. Talking to student organisations and other individuals for their cooperation can also be an effective method, ensuring there is a sufficiently large volunteer pool for each event.