Guest Post: Ailsa Wild

I first came to Bendigo Discovery Centre as part of a tiny independent theatre duo, Teacup Tumble. We had a touring show called It’s Not Circus, It’s Science which we’d made in Melbourne, performed in a village festival in NSW and were ready to take on the road. ‘Disco’ took a punt on us and we performed at the centre and toured our show to schools in the region.

Our show was utterly ridiculous. My character made stupid jokes about quarks, wore fake nerd glasses and seriously irritated her onstage colleague. The show also had the “Aha!” factor. We performed circus tricks to demonstrate the rules of physics – and the kids loved it.

Teacup Theatre

Until I had performed this show, I don’t think I understood what science engagement could be. How funny it could be. What a group of 250 cheering children engaging with science could look like.

The CEO of the Bendigo Trust dropped into our show ‘for five minutes’ then stayed for the whole show and congratulated us afterwards. We were thrilled.

After that Disco and Teacup Tumble made friends. Disco supported us to tour regional schools the following year, where we performed for hundreds of kids in tiny country schools. The year after that, Disco partnered with us to write a grant submission, which was successful. The grant enabled us to make another show, working with kids from Bendigo South East College. This was a class of kids with learning issues who struggled with simple maths concepts. They helped us come up with some of they key ideas for the show and then helped with the production elements of our performance.

This new show toured the region, to hundreds of children. I have two main memories of that tour. I remember performing in a small country school, where there were less than 30 kids. The staff were just so grateful to have an affordable, high quality incursion to the school – which (considering that the families split the costs) is usually impossible.

I also remember the endlessly friendly generosity of the Bendigo Discovery Centre. The use of the auditorium for rehearsals meant we had a home base throughout the development and tour (and somewhere to make cups of tea). As an independent artist who makes theatre in rent-by-the-hour rehearsal spaces or even in my loungeroom, I am so grateful for the support the Bendigo Discovery Centre offered us.

I could tell our shows were valued in the Bendigo community, from the gorgeous emails from kids, the thanks from the teachers, and the roars of laughter while we performed.

Partnering with artists is only one of the many ways Bendigo Discovery Centre works with its community, but it’s the one I have seen first-hand. I hope such partnerships can continue for years to come.


Want to help Discovery survive – and thrive! – into the future? You can contribute to our crowdfunding campaign here.

If you have a story about Discovery you’d like to share, please email manager@discovery.asn.au.

Guest Post: Ailsa Wild

Guest Post: Brandon Hocking

Today, Save Discovery is proud to bring you the first of our guest blog posts. Enjoy!


Brandon holding a #saveDiscovery sign

Hi my name is Brandon.  I’m 14 years of age and I’m in year 8 at Bendigo South East College. Last year I was part of a project at Discovery to learn about maths.  We made a show called “Dimensional” that looked at geometry. We learned about shapes and angles and other geometry.  It was really fun and interesting doing all the activities to make the show, and then I got to be part of the show and come on stage and illustrate some stuff about angles.

We did the show to help kids learn about shapes and angles in an interesting way. Because it’s fun and interesting they don’t even realise they’re learning stuff.  I think it was really fun for the audience, but it was just as much fun for me and my friends to be part of the show. I felt happy and proud that I could do that [be part of the show].  My cousin came along, and my aunty, and my Mum and Dad and they all really liked it.

It helped me get into Bendigo and help out and volunteer.  After that project I came and volunteered at Discovery during the school holidays.  One of the activities was making marble runs: you had to try and make a marble run down a wall using pieces that join up and fit together to make a path. My job was to help visitors have a go of the marble runs.  At first people were really shy but then you’d start and they would really get into it and enjoy it and they stayed for an hour or so.

Through being part of Dimensional and volunteering at Discovery I can understand how Discovery can motivate kids to learn about science and technology and how things work.  There’s lots of things at Discovery like this, and since I have been at the Discovery Centre I have learnt heaps of stuff too, not just about maths, but about electricity and how electricity flows and things like that.

My mum was saying we don’t have many things in Bendigo like this, so I hope that Discovery is saved so that younger kids can come and learn about science and technology.  There’s lots of exhibits around the centre.  I like the racing car exhibit.  I like the vertical slide, even though I’ve never been on it!  It’s different to a normal slide – it’s massive and it drops straight down.  All the kids love it.

I hope that the Discovery stays open for the next generation of kids.


Do you have a Discovery story to share? Email manager@discovery.asn.au

Guest Post: Brandon Hocking