Senior scientists: Engaging the elderly in National Science Week activities
Keywords:Science, Technology, Elderly, Seniors, Engagement, Outreach, Accessibility
Science and technology outreach events often focus on children and teenagers, intending to incentivise their interest in STEM to the detriment of other age groups. Other populations, including our seniors are afforded few opportunities to interact with technological developments in a positive way, making their encounters with this technology on hospital visits even more distressful. Through a series of outreach activities for National Science Week, we aimed to highlight an approach for interaction with the elderly in a safe and adaptive environment. These events are taken directly to elderly facilities and community spaces in the Perth metropolitan area, using an LED screen truck to display the activities and make the sensory experience accessible to the elderly community. We demonstrate how glass can allow us to capture more than meets the eye with health-integrated examples (e.g. lenses, microscopy and cameras). The event series aimed to stimulate an enhanced sense of agency and comfortability around new technology. Here, we will share the event’s logistical considerations, interest and outcomes of delivering this event to encourage future activities with our elderly population.