Science Drama Awards

The 2004 Science Drama Awards

(Reviewer Rob Brown)

Things were strangely quiet on this Saturday night in Preston for the 2004 Science Drama Awards show was performing to a packed house. Months of preparation and qualifying rounds had come down to this one night, to which many people had travelled hundreds of kilometres across Victoria to attend.

Seven schools came to teach and entertain the audience with science. The host for the evening was Chris Krishna-Pillay who did a fine job and showed much enthusiasm throughout the night. The schools showed various levels of preparation and steady story telling. Unfortunately there were one or two who failed to show much that the audience could hold onto. Overall the schools used various themes for their pieces from growing beans on Mars (illustrating plant germination) to a Shakespearean tale of the love between Sodium and Chlorine (illustrating metallic and non-metallic bonding). There was much music from Devo to Wham, and movement from ribbon twirling to cartwheels.

There were two standout performances: Caulfield Grammar Grade 4 who received the Primary School Award, and MacRobertson Girls’ 7-12 who received the High School Award.

Caulfield demonstrated the principles of electromagnetic waves. They created a strong story with a boy completing a science project, trying to entertain his flighty sister who would rather simply dance through life. They involved a lot of kids, and succeeded strongly in both science communication and entertainment. A xylophone will never sound the same again to those who saw the show.

MacRob translated “Romeo and Juliet” into a story of two chemicals strongly attracted but from different backgrounds. Yes, it did get whimsical, but this was their humour and they milked it often and very well. Many students played music as well as their acting roles in this piece – showoffs!

The personal highlight for me was Chisholm Catholic School, who though they weren’t the best actors, made the air thick with irony as they told of the life and contributions of Galileo Galilei. Definitely a skeptic’s highlight!

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