Australia’s IMAX Melbourne, home to the world's largest cinema screen and located in the Melbourne
Museum Precinct, understands not only the power of the giant screen to educate
and inspire but its own responsibility in providing that experience to students
as well. “As part of Museums Victoria and as an exhibitor of groundbreaking,
STEAM-facing documentary films,” says IMAX Melbourne Museum General Manager
Richard Morrison, “it’s our duty to speak to those young people with an
interest in pursuing a career in the STEAM fields. Our aim is to inspire the students ahead of their exams.” To do
that, IMAX Melbourne created the Bright Young Minds program.
Held twice a year, the Bright Young Minds program provides
students in years 11 and 12 with an educational and entertaining afternoon out
in the Melbourne Museum precinct. The program includes a screening of a STEM
and STEAM-facing documentary film with an emphasis on environmentalism,
biology, conservation, and space exploration, followed by a Q&A with a
related expert. The events are free to ensure accessibility.
The Bright Young Minds
Program launched in 2016 with a screening of the IMAX/NASA documentary A Beautiful Planet, followed by Q&A
with astronaut Marsha Ivins. Famed astronomer Dr. Alan Duffy was on hand for
questions following a screening of December Media’s The Search For Life in Space 3D. The IMAX film Pandas was followed by Q&A with biologist and panda specialist Dr.
Jake Owens, who is featured in film.
can register for the program themselves and teachers can register groups of
students via the registration tool Eventbrite. Teachers, parents, and guardians are welcome to attend with the students.
During the registration
process, students can submit questions for the expert to answer. The Facebook
page also encourages people to send questions in advance and to join the
conversation online using #IMAXBrightYoungMinds.
“Questions drive us in science, and the best questions
are from young minds still brave enough to ask anything, which is why I can’t
wait to see what the Bright Young Minds bring to our Q&A,” said Dr. Alan
Duffy before his presentation.
To market the program, IMAX
Melbourne uses social and promotional assets; partnerships with Australia’s Science
Channel, Ultimate Careers, MV Teachers, Scienceworks, Melbourne Museum, and
Swinburne University; a Facebook event page; e-News features;
marketing to schools.
“We are keen to provide senior students with the
opportunity to meet an aspirational individual and watch a related
documentary film in the very best format available,” says Morrison. “Our aim is
to inspire the students to really consider a career in the STEM fields. Our
organization as a whole is pushing young people to study the STEM fields and so
Bright Young Minds is our way of participating in this push.”