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Sparkling Science 2.0.


The project aims to spark a sense of curiosity and passion to discover science and conduct research at an early age by encouraging young people to regard themselves as a proactive force, actively capable of making changes and making a difference.

As part of the Citizen Science (CS) initiative, this project identifies the potential to sustainably shape education and drive the advancement of innovative methods forward by means of active involvement and bringing art, science and education together. As part of the Artistic Research program at participating schools, 980 students help to prototypically test transdisciplinary research formats.

Accompanied by mentors (professionals in the arts, science, academia, and education), the school students (Citizen Artists) embark on a journey of discovery and research to explore scientific/academic topics using the medium of art. The research journey includes tranforming scientific/academic topics into theater performances, dance productions, or musical interpretations that can be created and experienced together.


Funding provided by

BMBWF / Procesing OeAD Center for Citizen Science

Project Duration

Sept.1, 2022 - Aug. 31, 2025

When it comes to scientifically monitoring Artistic Research formats, our scientific research actively involves over 60 school students. Is it possible to spark more interest in science and STEM-centered topics? From a scholastic perspective, can we identify the impact to general learning behavior? Can Artistic Research formats help us avoid/compensate for socio-economic and gender-specific disadvantages? Students and educators will be actively involved in developing research criteria, the theoretical structuring to scientifically evaluate the project, along with collecting and analyzing data. The idea is to facilitate extensive CS involvement throughout the entire research process and apply qualitative and quantitative research methods. The selected partner schools are primarily peripheral schools.

The "Training of Trainers" program (workshops for educators together with artists), the Youth Advisory Board, publicly presenting artistic and scientific research, international networking, and a scheduled conference not only include more CS involvement, but also guarantees CS involvement beyond the project duration timeline as well as strengthening the topic in a more sustainable way.

Costs & Fees

Schools and students are not subject to any costs or fees. Project funding is available to cover any travel/excursion costs and performance tickets.

Artistic Research

Artistic Research workshops take place twice a week during the Summer Semester (for a seven-week period). The workshops are a part of the schools' regular lesson plans. Week 8 of the workshop is Project Week giving participants an opportunity to focus more extensively on finalizing presentations about the project outcomes.

Scientific Research

The year-long Scientific Research program was created for students in the 7th class at AHS schools. There are three workshop 'block sessions' where students learn more about conducting scientific/academic work and learn more about the philosophy of science along with qualitative/quantitative research methods. The students are then more actively involved in developing the research topic along with the theoretical parameters regarding scientific/academic evaluation and by collecting data.

Sparkling Science 2.0 Circus of Knowledge - "Can I Ask a Questions?"

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Our Team

Name Position
Airan Berg, B.A. Managing Director; Lead Artistic Research
Univ. Prof. Dr. Christoph Helm Head of the Department of Education Research; Lead Scientific Research

Dipl. Ing. Christopher Lindinger, MAS

Vice-Rector for Innovation and Researchers
Mag. Kerstin Pell, BA Team member of ART & SCIENCE
Mag. Patricia Stark Team member of CITIZEN SCIENCE
Julia Lauss, MEd Scientific project assistant, project coordinator
Nora Dirisamer, B.A. Theater educator project member


Our Team Univ. Prof. Dr. Ch.Helm, Airan Berg, B.A., Julia Lauss, MEd, Nora Dirisamer, B.A.

Ongoing Project Status

Here is an overview of the team's ongoing work.


After reviewing all of the information, including verbal and written feedback by all of the participants, the concept for the coming cycle is expected to be drafted before the start of the new school year.
The mentor teams will be updated and new student teachers will be introduced to the world of theater pedagogy. As part of some courses scheduled for Winter Semester 2023/2024, the student teachers will be able to collaborate on the content and take didactic consideration into account in support of the Artistic Research Workshops, benefitting from the artists' and teachers' experiences, particularly regarding their future eductional activities in the classroom.

Artistic Research:

During the first year, a total of 419 talented young researchers from 7 different schools and between the ages 8 and 14 were able to explore topics through artistic means covering subject areas such as science, social learning, biology, physics, mathematics, and handicrafts. After the eight-week project phase, the findings and experiences from the shared research journey were consolidated in the form of artistic presentations and shared with a diverse audience.

Scientific Research:

What began in the fall with the status quo survey was concluded in June by conducting final surveys covering the first year. The qualitative data provided strong insight into the obstacles, challenges, and school realities to take into consideration. The quantitative data provided a way to measure student progress on both a personal and scholastic level. The data will be analyzed over the summer of 2023 to ensure as smooth a start to the new year as possible.

Additional Developments:

Thanks to extensive feedback by educators, artists, student teachers, and students, the concept will be enhanced to include a number of facets.
The following aspects, among others, are being focused on to ensure quality during the second year:

  • A supporting course for student teachers to help them reflect on what they have learned and apply that understanding to their work
  • Presentations will be held as part of a scheduled project week in order to facilitate the exchange of ideas and interaction between the participating schools
  • Workshop planning will be more narrowly themed to better address curriculum content at each grade level

Following the eight-week workshop phase - and after presenting the results at the schools and at JKU's Circus of Knowledge - the results from the collected data will be evaluated over the summer.
In order to be able to identify changes, both positive and negative, across a wide range of personality traits, we collected both qualitative and quantitative data on group processes and class dynamics. The information will be analyzed over the summer in order to directly incorporate the results into preparations for the new cycle.

Following a successful start to developing the Artistic Research topics in class, we can now finally present the results.
What we have learned will be presented to the audience using a wide variety of art forms and thereby strengthened over the long term.

We held our official kick-off with educators from participating schools and the entire Sparkling Science 2.0 team at the Circus of Knowledge on November 8, 2022. In addition to getting to know each other, the primary focus was on presenting the project in detail and clarifying any open questions. For their part, the educators provided insight into the schools' working methods and introduced particular features about their classes. Potential topics for the Artistic Research Workshops were taken into consideration and we collected and clarified the organizational details.

We are all looking forward to a very exciting research journey together, marked by close interaction between art, science, and education.

Let's learn from each other, be inspired, and enable others to experience research!

Film Projects about the Forest Ecosystem

A project by the BRG Landwiedstraße in collaboration with the artist collective "Familie Scheidl".
Created as part of the first Sparkling Science 2.0 project cycle at the "Circus of Knowledge".


Classes: 2 G "The Climate Rap" and 2F "Time in Images"

Topic: Forest ecosystem

Artistic medium: Film

Educators: Mag. Katharina Grafinger and Mag. Florian Nimmervoll


We would like to point out that when playing the video, data may be transmitted to external parties. Learn more by reading our data privacy policy


We would like to point out that when playing the video, data may be transmitted to external parties. Learn more by reading our data privacy policy

The First Year in Images

This section provides insight into the artists' work at our partner schools during the first project cycle during 2022/2023.
The work involved dance, movement, shadow theater, and film.

The Youth Advisory Board

Only those who actively take part can play a key role in shaping the future - here the Circus, we have created a Youth Advisory Board, designed to make a difference!

Throughout the Sparkling Science project and well beyond, we plan to create and actively maintain a YOUTH ADVISORY BOARD.


What is it?

The Youth Advisory Board is a group of young people who take part in workshops and meeting to actively introduce corresponding and current themes they feel are important to them. Their input will be integrated into the Circus of Knowledge's content and programming.


Who is involved?

If you are age 13 or up and a student at one of the Sparkling Science 2.0 project participating schools, or you attend a different school/educational institution and want to become more involved to help define the future of this play & research location, then contact us! We want to hear from you!


Why have a Youth Advisory Board?

Make your voice heard! We not only want to learn more about what kinds of topics young people are interested in, we also want to give young people themselves a voice to help shape our theater and research. In essence, young people are the true professionals! We want to bring their indispensable voices, ideas, opinions, etc. into what we do at the Circus of Knowledge. Those in the YAB bridge the gap between schools and the Circus, peer groups and theater, young people and research.

Interested? Or do you have any questions?  Then get in touch with us!


 The Kick-Off Meeting