My role: Program design, project management, evaluation
Organization: Canada Science and Technology Museum
The goal of Curiosity on Stage is to connect real scientists and researchers with museum visitors. In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the Museum welcomed 508,512 visitors through their front doors. That's a lot of people to share science with! The team spent a lot of time in conference rooms brainstorming ideas for this new program.
We tested a proof-of-concept event one Saturday afternoon with the Museum's Science Advisor as our special guest. She presented her PhD research and I interviewed her. The event was a hit, and the informal interview feedback we got was really well-received.

Brainstorming program ideas

Dr. Dawn Hall & I at our proof-of-concept event

We went through countless names - Science on Stage, Science and You, Curious Connections, etc. - before landing on Curiosity on Stage. It seemed to encompass the wide variety of guests (who aren't all scientists, technically) while still sounding good. Not to mention it sounds good in French too: Curiosité en scène!
Family Edition
Our proof-of-concept event became a recurring program on Saturday afternoons. We welcomed a wide variety of guests to share their work with our visitors. Many of them brought incredible demonstrations, including a nuclear cell, a live blood type test, a handmade video game and even a robotic bobsled.
Selected guests
Dana Devine - Chief Scientist, Canadian Blood Services
Jill Heinerth - Explorer-In-Residence, The Royal Canadian Geographical Society
Larkin Mosscrop Kee - Project Manager, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories
Isar Nejadgholi - Head of Machine Learning Research, IMRSV Data Labs
Andrea Reid - Principal Investigator, Centre for Indigenous Fisheries
Sebastian Hadjiantoniou - CEO, Incuvers

Once a month, medical students from the University of Ottawa would teach about the human body on stage.

We even had a group of high school students share their amazing robot!

Canadian Blood Services
One of my favourite Curiosity on Stage: Family Edition events took place in partnership with Canadian Blood Services. Their Chief Scientist, Dr. Dana Devine, presented about the science of blood - and most importantly, the importance of blood and organ donation. The audience was captivated by her presentation, and most of the audience flocked over afterward to our 'blood clinic' we had set up for visitors to learn their blood type in real time. Visitors got to watch a tiny pinprick of their blood mix with a solution that turned different colours based on your blood type. I'm A+!
One of the primary reasons this event was one of my favourites was because they had bone marrow donation applications on site at the blood type table. Many visitors and staff, myself included, submitted a sample for bone marrow donation right then and there. I hope that one day one of us gets the call that we've been matched with someone in need.

Blood type testing!

Evening Edition - Genomics & You with Genome Canada
Our daytime (Family Edition) program was such a success that we wanted to take Curiosity on Stage further. Certain complex or controversial topics aren't quite suitable for a general museum audience. We partnered with Genome Canada to host or our first Curiosity on Stage: Evening Edition on genomics. Adult visitors attended a lecture series on genetics, bioethics, and the science of CRISPR with experts from across Canada. Following the series, guests gathered for a cocktail hour with networking.

Marc Lepage
President and CEO of Genome Canada

Vardit Ravitsky
Full Professor at the Bioethics Program, University of Montreal

Evening Edition - The AI Revolution with Google
Following the success of our event with Genome Canada, Google AI sponsored a Curiosity on Stage: Evening Edition on artificial intelligence. The event sold out nearly instantly and was a massive hit. Experts discussed the future of AI, the ethics of AI-driven technologies, and even how to write a hit song using AI. Renowned musician David Usher moderated the discussion!

David Usher and Dr. Pablo Samuel Castro, Software Developer at Google Brain performing the song they wrote with the help of AI

The music was a fan favourite!

David Usher and Dr. Joelle Pineau, Managing Director of Facebook AI Research and Professor at McGill University's School of Computer Science

Dr. Castro discussing his passions

An audience member live-sketched the whole event!

In the news
Impact: Curiosity on Stage has continued to run for the last several years - even remotely during COVID. They have covered fascinating topics including ocean exploration, fake news, and assistive technology.
What I learned: This was the first major project I was a lead in creating. I credit developing, running, and evaluating Curiosity on Stage as how I first learned about project management, leadership and event planning.
Next steps:
• Continue to build recurring partnerships to minimize the recruitment needed.
• Source more French presenters.
• Build the evening program with a nominal fee to ensure audience attendance.
back it up