Big Science Competition
In 2014, the Big Science Competition, which had been running for over 10 years in pen & paper format, was made available to schools online for the first time, using the Janison CLS. This flexibility resulted in double the number of international schools competing, compared to 2013, with more schools from Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand joining.
Smaller schools, who had previously paid a minimum fee to cover courier costs, were now able to enter a small number of students at a significantly reduced cost, enabling more equity of access. Over 50k students in total took part, 15k of those online, and the overall market increased by 8%.
Upon completion, students were asked a series of survey questions about their views of how science is taught in schools. This data has been made available to policy makers, including Australia’s Office of the Chief Scientist, who can use the views of over 10 thousand students to help shape science education policy.
Ruth Carr of Australian Science Innovations, organisers of the Big Science Competition said, “Working in partnership with Janison has meant we are able to make the Big Science Competition more accessible to students in Australia and Asia and so improve upon engagement levels. It’s helping guide teachers in the learning and teaching of the Science curriculum and it’s a more cost-effective system for us, and for schools.”
“The bigger picture means we also now have the flexibility to gain data outside of the competition itself, providing information that can be used by policy makers responsible for Science education in Australia.”