SCI-FUN: The Scottish Science and Technology Roadshow

Information for Assistants

Firstly, thank you for supporting our scheme. It is clear from the feedback we receive from teachers and S1/S2 pupils that your role is vital to the success of our visit. The early secondary school pupils can have a go at looking at the activities, but they get far more from their experience if they have an enthusiastic senior pupil or University student to help them understand what they should be doing.

The position of responsibility that you are taking should also provide a positive experience for you too. We really hope that you enjoy being part of our scheme.

Preparation is the key

There are two main areas of concern for many assistants, so if you have these too, then be assured that you are not alone:

  1. Will I know enough science?
  2. How should I lead my group?

Trust us, you have nothing to worry about!

A senior pupil demonstrating the Viscosity Tubes for a group of boys
The training of senior pupils at the start of a school visit

Knowing the science

To help you prepare we have a booklet that explains the background science behind all of the exhibits. (It is very unlikely, however, that you will need to know everything in this much detail!) Please bear in mind that all the activities have explainer boards with them, so these will help to explain the science, as well as to guide how the exhibits should be approached.

There are also some general health and safety reminders in the booklet.

Leading your group

Depending on your personality and preferences, there are different ways of leading your group. Here are some general tips:

  1. It is a good idea to get the names of everyone at the beginning: you can then get the attention of anybody in your group easily.
  2. You can choose whether you will guide the S1/S2 pupils (you lead them to the next exhibit), or assist the pupils (you follow and advise when required). Sometimes, you can vary your approach.
  3. If an exhibit seems broken, let us know immediately. Everything works at the start of the session, and despite our best efforts, some breakdowns are inevitable. Most issues can be swiftly repaired.
  4. In the rare circumstance that someone isn’t following your direction, then feel free to let one of us – or a member of school staff – know. You should never feel that you have to deal with problems on your own. If someone needs to be removed from the group – even for just a short time – this will usually settle them (and the others) and allow everyone to get the most from the time available.

We provide instructions to the younger pupils at the start of the session, so they should all know what is expected. If you have any questions at any point, then just ask: we will always be around to help.

A senior pupil assists a group of girls with the Coanda Effect exhibit