Talking Turkey and world domination: SLQ partners with Griffith Uni to explore science, communication and play

Staff at State Library of Queensland and Griffith University joined forces recently to explore new ways to engage with and communicate research.

At Fun Palace, SLQ Creative-in-Residence Matt Finch teamed up with Griffith Uni’s Professor Darryl Jones to create The Scrub Turkey Sessions. Professor Jones’ research into the life of Brisbane’s urban wildlife was turned into a high-energy role playing game.

The game allows players of all ages to take on the role of a male scrub turkey and learn about its life cycle. Players become a male scrub turkey building a mound for his hen’s eggs.

A male scrub turkey

A male scrub turkey. SLQ Image number: 7032-0001-0090

The game is designed to teach communities about the scrub turkey’s life cycle. It was also a chance for Professor Jones and his team at Griffith Uni to test activities which urban ecology students can use to develop their science communication and community outreach skills. You can download a simple play-at-home version of the game using stationery and household items at: https://booksadventures.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/scrub-turkey-sessions-instruction-kit.pdf

Building a scrub turkey mound

Building a scrub turkey mound at Fun Palace 2016. Image by SLQ staff.

Matt also recently worked with third-year Occupational Therapy students at Griffith Uni’s Gold Coast campus. Students were challenged to think about the future of their profession and to learn how to tell the general public about the work they do, to communicate the value of their work and their expertise. Using a range of techniques including a dice version of State Library’s online Comic Maker, students developed strategies to help achieve their aim of “total world domination by Occupational Therapy!”

Cardboard creations from the Occupational Therapy student workshop

Cardboard creations from the Occupational Therapy student workshop. Image by SLQ staff

Watch this space for more collaboration between Griffith University and State Library of Queensland in 2017.