Science Picnics are a STEAM event where many teams from NGOs, scientific and cultural institutions, schools, faculties, theatre troupes, research institutions etc, can gather in a public and open space, and invite passers-by and members of the public to engage in hands-on activities that bring together science and arts and to show that they are at their best when they are together.
The event is open to the public, free of charge, and typically last for 2 days, from 10.00 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- 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.
Science Picnic benefits mostly the visitors, most of which are elementary school pupils who arrive in organized visits. This an occasion for them to experience and to be exposed to a wide variety of activities, workshops etc. and better understand science in other contexts and outside of a classroom environment.
The educators/presenters come mostly from NGOs and institutions that promote science, and also from elementary and secondary schools – groups of pupils with their teachers/mentors – who present their science projects and science popularization activities to visitors. The educator groups from schools show to their peers what they do and this boosts their self-confidence, and in the process they understand better how to communicate science.
Main steps are as follows:
- Define date and venue
- Get patronages and sponsorships if necessary and applicable (in order to secure institutional support, venue, equipment etc.)
- Set up cooperation with partners (institutions, NGOs etc.)
- Publish open call to participants/educators’ teams
- Process applications (list of participants, list of equipment and consumables)
- Provide lunch and refreshments for participants/educators/organization team
- Set up the venue with tables, booths, tents and other equipment for all teams’ positions; electricity and internet need to be available to all positions that required them in their applications
- Set up detailed schedule for activities
- Clean up the venue after the event is finished
Science picnic organizers NGO Professor Balthazar, have organised a number of events.
In September 2022, their Science Picnic event included 70 teams of contributors (total number of educators and mentors – 330) which carried out approximately 200 activities. With some activities being performed on stage (plays, science shows etc.)
Professor Balthazar has been organizing these events since 2012 in various places, and since 2021 the event’s home has been the Museum of Peasants’ Revolts in Gornja Stubica (40 minutes from Zagreb).