Probing plants, pets and pests

9 November 2011

High school students from the Macarthur District will probe plants, pets and pests as they take part in a range of science-based activities at the University of Sydney's Camden Open Day on Friday 18 November 2011.

Held at the University of Sydney's Camden campus, the activities will give 230 high school students in Years 9 and 10 from the local area, plus their teachers, the unique opportunity to try their hand at veterinary, agricultural and biological sciences.

Students will start with a fun science talk from Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, popular media personality and the Julius Sumner Miller Fellow in the Faculty of Science at the University of Sydney.

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki
Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

They will then move on to a variety of hands-on science activities run by the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, the Faculty of Veterinary Science and the Faculty of Science's School of Biological Sciences.

The day ends with an inspirational talk by Professor John Crawford, who holds the Judith and David Coffey Chair in Sustainable Agriculture, where he will speak about the interconnected nature of our living world from crawling critters to climate change.

"The Camden Open Day is an on-site day for students to explore a research and teaching campus, and really have some fun doing hands-on activities," said Professor Mark Adams, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Sydney;

Local school students experiencing hands-on activities
Local school students experiencing hands-on activities

"It's their chance to experience agriculture, environment and veterinary sciences at the University of Sydney and see what people working in these areas really do," said Professor Adams.

"The University of Sydney is very pleased to continue its engagement with the community through the Camden Open Day. We hope to highlight the diversity of opportunities in studying agricultural, environmental and veterinary science and give students and their teachers an exciting and interactive day."

The fully booked out workshops include meeting the patients in the Avian, Reptile and Exotic Pet Hospital and examining x-rays and looking at tissues through the microscope in the hospital; handling animal skulls; exploring photosynthesis in plants; learning how to make an emergency nest for hurt birds; and assessing pain in calves by observing their behaviour.

Students will also visit the state of the art Plant Breeding Institute facilities where horticulture and agriculture experiments are conducted; learn about aquaculture and explore the unique biological features and adaptations of fish; and use special lighting and real-live locusts to examine the behaviour and flight of one of the world's greatest agricultural pest species.

A truly unique experience for high school students, the Camden Open Day will open up the worlds of agricultural, environmental and veterinary sciences for students in a fun day of discovery.

Contact: Jeremy Platt

Phone: 02 8627 1093

Email: 29221b08033a7435282d2d2c033b3215211315601c0e07574e42