An internship in science communication at the Australian Museum has provided an exciting twist on science.

After years of working in academia I felt roguish watching science being transformed from an intimidating topic only discussed in the fluorescently lit world of research labs to an accessible topic being discussed by animated 9 year olds in Sydney parks.

Joining the Australian Museum as a science communication intern I discovered an entirely new perspective on science. Science wasn’t just about who can discuss the intricacies of snail reproductive organ morphology in the most detail (although it is that too), but about skills in investigation, problem solving and sharing knowledge at a level everyone can appreciate. I was hooked on science communication.

Bugwise in Schools was in its initial stages when I began the internship and the concept was fascinating. Scientists had created a tool to survey biodiversity and now the tool was going to be used by both the public and schools to collect data in their own areas. Not only was this a great way of collecting data on biodiversity, but engaged non-scientists in scientific method and made science fun and engaging. Science was not a topic forced on students but a topic the students wanted to be involved in.

Since beginning the internship I have worked on Bugwise, helping implement the Web2spider program in schools and helped deliver the program successfully to children as part of Scientist for Day and Science in the Suburbs. In an exciting new extension of Bugwise we have just completed Plant2Pollinator which was successfully launched last week and gained much interest from schools and learning centres around NSW. Plant2pollinator will be trialed in schools this term and delivered as part of Science in the Suburbs in May and Scientist for a Day in July, 2010.

Plant2pollinator is available on the Australian Museum website for you to use and we would love to hear any feedback!