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10 simple tips on what to think about when planning an activity for SciFest

Published: 25 May 2023
Man opens a coffin.

You have decided to participate in SciFest – great! But how should you proceed now? How do you create a good activity that communicates what you're working on? Here are ten pieces of advice from Leif Hallsén and Cecilia Ödman at the Gustavianum Museum. They are part of the project team working on SciFest 2023. Don´t miss the last piece of advice – you are the most important at SciFest!

SciFets takes place September 21-23. Sign up no later than June 12 at 

Decide the purpose of your workshop

What do you want the students to learn? You probably have a lot you want to convey and explain, but the students cannot learn or do everything during a workshop. Choose first, and then focus on your choice!

Determine your target audience

Think about which target group your workshop would be most suitable for – younger or older students? If you are unsure, you could test run the activity with some children before you decide.

Think simple

Create a relatively "simple" workshop with few steps. This makes it easier for the students but also for you. If it’s not too complicated, then there is less that can go wrong.

Don't talk too much

It can be difficult for students to stay focused at Fyrishov, with everything that is going on around them. So try not to talk for too long!

Activate the participants

Try to activate the students as early and as much as possible. This does not have to mean that the students are always doing something purely physical or practical. You can, for example, give the students short questions or tasks they must solve through discussion/collaboration.

Use simple language

Don't assume students know a lot about your topic, but don't try to explain everything either. It's better that it is a little too easy than way too hard. Before Scifest, feel free to test your ideas on someone you know who is not familiar with your subject.

Make sure you finish in time

A workshop is 45-60 minutes, but you never know what will happen. The class could arrive 10 minutes late. In addition, there can be a lot of variation between classes in how long they take to complete an activity or task. Make sure they can finish the workshop in the time available: it is better to finish too soon than to finish before the activity/task has been completed. If the class finishes early, you can add a short extra activity that is not time-sensitive, or you can just let the group leave a little early.

Do not work alone

SciFest is great fun, but the days are long and intense, so you need to take breaks. It is also much more fun if there are several of you working together.

Be flexible

Things rarely turn out exactly as planned and that's OK. It can also be good to have a plan B in case something doesn't work.

You are the greatest asset in your activity

Do not forget that you and your colleagues are the most important asset in your activity. It is to interact with you that the visitors come to SciFest.



What is SciFest 

SciFest is a science festival where the meeting between researchers and young people is at the center. The participants will learn more about our research with the help of games, experiments, quizzes or other activities where visitors can touch, smell, listen and experience. At most SciFest has had 8500 visitors. 

Target group? 

The first two days of the festival are dedicated to school pupils and teachers. On the final day, SciFest opens its doors to the general public. 

Who can participate? 

You and your colleagues of course! SciFest is an opportunity to communicate both research and Environmental analysis. All you need is an interesting and fun activity - and judging from earlier years researchers in Uppsala are creative! You will get help from the SciFest team to develop you activity. It is important, especially for the younger kids, that someone in the activity can speak and understand Swedish.

Two types of activities 

  • Unbookable non-stop activity, surface2x3m, furnishing one table and two chairs, at least one wall
  • Bookable workshop, surface 5x6m, furnishing two tables and 16 chairs, two or three walls

Contact Anna Lundmark if you have questions or want to discuss ideas. SciFest is fun and a good way for researchers to contribute to the society!