Scitech

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Scitech Discovery Centre
ScitechWALogo.jpg
Exterior of Scitech Discovery Centre November 2016.jpg
Exterior of Scitech Discovery Centre
Scitech is located in Western Australia
Scitech
Location within Western Australia
Established 13 August 1988 (1988-08-13)
Location 20 Sutherland Street
Perth
6005
Australia
Coordinates 31°56′40″S 115°50′47″E / 31.944344°S 115.846523°E / -31.944344; 115.846523
Type Science museum
Visitors 350,000 per year
Public transit access City West
Website www.scitech.org.au

Scitech is a world renowned and multi award winning not-for-profit organisation that operates the Scitech Discovery Centre, a permanent, interactive science museum which includes a planetarium, and is located in West Perth, Western Australia.[1] It first opened on 13 August 1988.[1]

The organisation's published mission is, "To increase awareness, interest, capability and participation by all Western Australians in science, technology, engineering and mathematics." Scitech generally aims its programs at children aged up to 12, but it does provide activities for children and adults of all ages. Four times a year it also runs "Scitech After Dark" evenings to allow visitors older than to enjoy its attractions in an adult-oriented atmosphere.[2]

Scitech Discovery Centre[edit]

The Scitech Discovery Centre features a number of regularly changing, interactive exhibitions designed to inform and educate visitors on subjects concerning science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). It also offers live science, puppet and planetarium shows presented by enthusiastic science communications staff.

Large feature exhibitions are rotated every six months, with STEM exhibits pertaining to a particular theme, storyline or concept, most of which are built in-house by Scitech's design, graphics, and workshop departments. Scitech was the first Australian science centre to build large-scale interactive exhibitions.[citation needed] In addition, the exhibitions Scitech creates have toured nationally to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Darwin. Internationally, exhibitions have toured to Singapore, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Finland,[3] France, England, Portugal, Estonia, Norway, Kuwait, and North American venues.[4]

Approximately 3 million people have visited Scitech since its opening in 1988.[citation needed] 300,000 general public visitors and 42,000 primary and secondary school children visit the Scitech Discovery Centre annually at its West Perth base, with another 200,000 people experiencing Scitech via its travelling roadshow known as Statewide.[5]

Scitech areas[edit]

  • Discoverland (For 3–7 year olds)
  • Discovery Shop
  • CSIRO Lab
  • Scitech Planetarium
  • Foyer
  • Puppet Theatre
  • Lotterywest Science Theatre
  • RioTinto Innovation Central
  • Bionic Me-Up until 14 May 2017
  • Tastebud

Staff[edit]

The floor staff that most visitors will interact with at Scitech in West Perth fall into two categories.

  • 'Science Squad' staff who are responsible for general operational duties, running theatre shows, and helping visitors interact with exhibits.
  • 'SciGuides', unpaid volunteers, who are on the floor to interact with visitors.[6]

There is also an extensive "behind-the-scenes" operations and support team. This team comprises creative design, electronics, mechanical workshop, operations and maintenance, logistics and purchasing, IT services, graphic and multimedia design, communications and marketing and travelling exhibition support.[7]

Funding[edit]

Funding for Scitech's programs and services comes from grants from government, corporate sponsorship, rental of travelling exhibitions, admission and membership fees, and other supporting services. Roughly 50% of funding comes from the Western Australian state government.[8] Sponsors include Lotterywest, BHP Billiton Iron Ore, Rio Tinto, Woodside, Chevron and CSIRO.[9][10]

Scitech Planetarium[edit]

Outside Scitech Planetarium 2016
Inside Scitech Planetarium 2016

In 2004, Scitech leased the empty Omni Max Theatre and rebranded it as "Horizon – The Planetarium" with a substantial refit. Entrance to the planetarium was not included in the ticket price for Scitech and separate tickets were needed. This was dropped a few years later.

The 70mm IMAX projector, platter system and associated Spitz spherical star map system were removed in 2004, and kept in storage. Sky-Skan were chosen to carry out the upgrades to the Planetarium by installing 6 Barco 909 projectors for high quality astronomy, full-dome shows and also for the live element of each presentation. The presenter would be based at the front of the planetarium and have full control over real-time astronomy visualisations.

In September 2013, the planetarium was closed for a $1.4m renovation that was funded by a grant from LotteryWest. New projectors, servers, lighting, wiring and various communications devices were included in the upgrade.

The Scitech Planetarium has a diameter of 18 m (59 ft) and still remains the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.[citation needed] It has two Sony TX–T420 projectors using ultra-wide angle lenses designed specifically for Scitech. These projectors fill the full 180 degrees of the night sky in 4K 60fps detail. The Scitech Planetarium is one of only a few remaining planetaria still using an azimuth speaker channel for ceiling effects and has an 8.4KW sound system using 6.1 surround sound.[citation needed]

The planetarium is popular with passing tourists, members of the public, private events and school groups ranging from pre-primary up to grade 12. It has approximately 135,000 visitors a year.[citation needed]

Scitech Statewide[edit]

Scitech's Statewide department is the travelling arm of the organisation that takes Scitech's educational early childhood, science, technology and careers programs to over 200,000 people across Western Australia. In the 2015-2016 fiscal year, Scitech Statewide visited 154 communities across Western Australia [5][11]

Scitech professional development[edit]

Scitech’s professional learning team are experienced teachers in STEM fields who model the latest in pedagogy and provide support to teachers with interactive workshops and classroom collaboration. Working across Western Australia they also host events that feature teaching practices and exemplary teachers. The team offers a range of interactive workshops in science, design technology, coding, robotics, maths, and the integrated curriculum. Their workshops are flexible to suit the needs of any group, and may be recognised as professional learning with the Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia.

Awards[edit]

Received[edit]

  • Creative Industries Export Award, WA Industry Export Awards, 2015 and 2016[12][13]
  • Creative Exhibit Award for its Rio Tinto Innovation Central exhibit, Asia Pacific Network of Science and Technology Centres conference, 2016[14]
  • Creative Science Exhibit Award, Asia Pacific Network of Science and Technology Centres conference, South Korea, 2013 and 2014.[15]
  • ASTC Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Awards in the Visitor Experience category for its Aboriginal Educational Program, 2012.[16]
  • Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Science, 2009.[17]
  • Scitech was the inaugural inductee into the Western Australian Science Hall of Fame, 2007.[18]

[edit]

  • Woodside Scitech Science Award, presented to graduating primary school students who "demonstrate passion and enthusiasm for science".[19]

Tourism[edit]

  • Scitech has been inducted into the Western Australian Tourism Awards Hall of Fame as a major tourist attraction (1998).[1]
  • Scitech is ranked on Trip Advisor as 10th-most popular attraction in Perth (November 2016).[20]

Memberships[edit]

Scitech is a member of these associations of science centers:[5][21]

Expansion and Relocation[edit]

The Scitech Discovery Centre has remained in its current location of City West for 29 years. The centre is currently[when?] undergoing a major expansion with the majority of the administration staff moving to another building 400 metres away. The now-vacant areas are undergoing a redevelopment with a larger floor space area for exhibits, a new ‘rest and reflect’ area with a direct view of the Perth CBD skyline, a new CSIRO Lab, new exhibit area and a new Science Theatre.[citation needed]

An announcement was made in August 2016 confirming that Scitech will be moving to the Perth Cultural Centre in 2021, along with a newly-built Perth Museum.[22][23]

See also[edit]

List of science museums

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "History | Our story". www.scitech.org.au. Scitech. 
  2. ^ Lee, Simone. "Adults Only Scitech After Dark (2012)". weekendnotes. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "Speed Science in Motion" (PDF). Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "Alien mission to explore the secrets of human body". www.lcsd.gov.hk. Leisure and Cultural Services Department (Hong Kong). December 2006. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c "Company History Scitech". www.feastresearch.com.au/. Forum for European-Australian Science and Technology cooperation (FEAST). Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "Volunteer at Scitech". www.scitech.org.au. Scitech. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Annual Report 2011 - 2012" (PDF). Scitech. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  8. ^ Wheeler, Cherie (23 May 2013). "Scitech move an exciting time for science buffs" (PDF). Business News (WA), Perth. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "CSIRO Lab, Western Australia". www.csiro.au. CSIRO. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "Western Power: Scitech discovery centre". www.westernpower.com.au. Western Power. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "Department joins with Scitech at Dowerin". www.agric.wa.gov.au. Government of Western Australia. 17 August 2009. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "Creative Industries Awards". www.exportawards.gov.au/. exportawards.gov.au. Retrieved 22 November 2016. 
  13. ^ "Creative Industries Awards". www.exportawards.gov.au/. exportawards.gov.au. Retrieved 22 November 2016. 
  14. ^ "ASPAC Creative Awards". www.scitech.org.au/. scitech.org.au. Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  15. ^ "ASPAC Creative Awards". aspacnet.org/. aspacnet.org. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  16. ^ "Award-winning AEP gains new partner". www.scitech.org.au. Scitech. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  17. ^ "Taking Science to Aboriginal Kids in Outback Australia". eureka.australianmuseum.net.au/. Australian Museum. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  18. ^ "WA Science Hall of Fame". www.commerce.wa.gov.au/. Government of Western Australia. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  19. ^ "Woodside Scitech Science Awards". www.scitech.org.au. Scitech. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  20. ^ "Reviews of Scitech". tripadvisor. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  21. ^ "Listing of NAME members". Collections Australia Network. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  22. ^ "Premier Science Awards 2016 Announcement". Government of Western Australia. Retrieved 24 November 2016. 
  23. ^ "Perth Now report on Scitech relocation". Perth Now. Retrieved 24 November 2016. 

External links[edit]