Esplora launches 2017-2018 Education Programme
Esplora has launched the second edition of its Education Programme for 20172018, with the science centre now close to celebrating its first anniversary.
The programme is a handbook that is to be used as a guide for the carefully designed activities in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics being offered at Esplora. Building on the past year’s experience, the Esplora team, led by the Executive Chairman of the Malta Council for Science and Technology Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, aims to deliver memorable learning experiences for all its visitors.
They began in spectacular fashion with Esplora presenters demonstrating flames, bubbles, fire tornados, and the famous Van der Graaf generator making participants’ hair stand on end.
These are examples of how visitors are enthused, made to be curious and encouraged to ask questions.
Esplora’s mission and vision, through its exhibits, workshops, demos and shows, aspires to cultivate a culture of scientific curiosity and creativity by igniting a passion for questioning, investigation and discovery by encouraging visitors to explore, think, imagine, appreciate and create.
Esplora uses such demonstrations in the form of hands-on activities to make visitors aware that science is all around them and that they already use scientific reasoning and skills in their daily activities, including making science-based choices all the time.
Esplora Director Rachael Blackburn went through the highlights of the programme for the year. She said that Esplora offers 200 interactive exhibits, 23 hands-on workshops, six live science shows, six artistic performances and workshops, and seven planetarium films. “Visitors will definitely be spoilt for choice when organising their visits.” She also explained that new to this year’s programme is the inclusion of pre-set combos, where visitors can choose to do multiple activities in one visit.
Dr Pullicino Orlando said that further to the success of the inclusion of the STEAM approach in last year’s programme, it was only natural for this year to present a rich programme bring- ing STEAM, a 21st century approach to learning, to the core of Esplora’s offer. He said that “this approach to learning is undoubtedly not easy, but the benefits to people and the whole of society are incredible. Visitors who engage in STEAM activities make more real-life connections so that Esplora is not a place where you visit to learn but becomes the whole experience of learning itself.”
The collaborations with experts in various fields have allowed Esplora to present such a rich programme. Events include thematic events, some of which extend over the weekend; exclusive Toi Toi packages on Sundays; seasonal activities, and evening events reserved for adults only.
Esplora’s signature team building event Science Quest and eight Continu- ing Professional Development programmes are now available for students, educators, science communicators and corporate organisations who wish to further their knowledge in the field of science communication or take up a team building with a science twist.
This year’s programme will start with a bang with ‘World Space Week’. This will be the first thematic event in the coming week between 3 and 8 October. The event is being held in collaboration with the National Coordinator for World Space Week, The Astronomical Society of Malta and The Institute of Space Sciences and Astronomy. There will be activities for all age groups including ‘meet the astronomer’, solar observation sessions, interactive talks on ‘Earth & the Universe’, and space-themed hands-on workshops.