Find and share information about NSW events on Science Ignite, our Inspiring Australia (NSW) Facebook page.

National Science Week 2014

Below are just some of dozens of events to be held in Sydney and regional New South Wales over National Science Week. You can search a complete list of events by area and postcode on National Science Week's events database.

For media enquiries please contact Jackie Randles on 0481 006 158

Hands on

Science in the Swamp
Astronomy, live animals, gardening, crystals, snow science and a talking tree are just some of the wonders to be enjoyed at this year's Science in the Swamp. A free, family fun day at Centennial Park. Presented by the Eastern Sydney Science Hub.

11:00am-3:00pm, Saturday 16 August, free

Australian Museum Science Festival
Australia's biggest science festival brings together the scientific community to educate, entertain and excite the next generation with demonstration, interactive activities and talks.

9:30am-5:00pm, Saturday 16 August, Australian Museum, $29/$24/$12. Families (2 adults, 2 kids) $64

Sydney Mini Maker Faire
Showcasing more than 60 makers demonstrating the various ways they are harnessing new technologies for innovative design practice. Founded by Make magazine, the maker movement is a DIY phenomenon sweeping the world which embraces invention and imagination. From the most basic of backyard tinkerers to tech-obsessed geeks, the Mini Maker Faire will be a family-friendly celebration of innovations taking place in kitchens, garages and workshops across Australia. On the back of its first-year success in 2014, the Faire has been expanded to a two-day showcase of all things innovation and invention.

10:00am-5:00pm, Saturday 16 August and Sunday 17 Aug, free with museum entry

Hack the Collection
The Powerhouse Museum brings together the creativity of a group of designers and the unlimited design possibilities of digital fabrication. Ten local designers will hack a selection of 3D scanned objects from the Museum's collection, re-imagining and re-interpreting these in new and innovative ways, and display alongside the original.

10:00am-4:00pm, Saturday 16 August and Sunday 17 August, Powerhouse Museum, free with museum entry

An evolving working space that will showcase contemporary and cutting edge applications of digital fabrication and design practice. Featuring a range of technology including Makerbot 3D printers, scanners and lasercutters, this hub for making in the Museum will provide the public with the opportunity to see how digital fabrication processes work.

10:00am-12:30pm and 1:30-4:00pm, 16-24 August, Powerhouse Museum, free with museum entry

Dandy lions - smelly plants
Come to the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney, for a delightful morning of fun and exploration with smelly plants. Hands on fun for children under five years and their carers.

10:30am-12 noon, Tuesday 19 August and Thursday 21 August, $15 per family

Museum late night
Join performance artist Michaela Davies who will demonstrate how bodies can act as a technology interface. Try your hand at laser tagging or take part in the Augmented Reality Mobile Treasure Hunt, using your own Android phone to discover objects throughout the Museum. Interact with the light installation Orkhēstra or have your portrait drawn by Oscar the drawing machine.

Thursday 21 August, 6:00-9:00pm, Powerhouse Museum, $18 adults, $15 child and members

Indigenous Science Fun Day
Get hands on with a range of science, technology and Indigenous cultural activities including chemistry, biology, earth and environment, engineering, astronomy and mathematics while you try a cup of bush medicine tea, get up close and personal with native animals, have a yarn with Aboriginal Elders from all across the country and try your hand at throwing a boomerang or building a tool or weapon using traditional methods.

Saturday 23 August, Redfern Community Centre, 10:30am-2:30pm, free

Endeavouring Science
The Australian National Maritime Museum - in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust - will again present Endeavouring Science, a unique series of events for under-fives to adults taking place on land and sea. Discovering why cannons explode, diseases at sea, botanic lore and how science techniques have changed over the last 200 years onboard the replica of James Cook’s HMB Endeavour. Learn about the science of native foods with an elder and join a science treasure hunt via your mobile. Some events are free, others fee applies.

10:00am to 4:30 pm, Saturday 23 August 2014, on board HMB Endeavour at Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour, Sydney

Australian PlantBank Open Day
We’re saving the world ... one seed at a time! Millions of precious living seeds from wild plants are safely stored in the seed vault. Sub-zero vacuum packs, tissue-culture and cutting-edge cryogenic storage techniques. Visit our labs to see just how we do it. Delve into the secret lives of plants - survival strategies, amazing adaptations, reproductive feats and more.

Sunday, 24 August 11:00am - 4:00pm, Australian PlantBank, The Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan, Narellan Road, Mount Annan

Interface: people, machines, design
An exhibition that explores how the vision of a handful of astute designers internationally have transformed information technology. The functional and clunky machines from just over a century ago have become sleek and ubercool, must-have accessories that most of us cannot do without today. Drawing on the Powerhouse Museum’s collection, the exhibition will feature products designed and manufactured by Olivetti, Braun and Apple among others and include iconic examples of radios, typewriters, calculators, computers, digital media players, smart phones and tablet computers.

10:00am-4:00pm, Saturday 16-24 August, Powerhouse Museum, free with museum entry

Talks and shows

My Geeks Rule
The University of Sydney and The City of Sydney invite you to celebrate National Science Week 2014 with everyone's favourite Sleek Geeks, Adam Spencer and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki. This massive night of science and comedy will have you laughing so much you won't realise how much you've learnt.

Wednesday 13 August, Sydney Town Hall, 7:00pm-8:30pm (doors open at 6:30pm), free

X-ray crystallography: a new view of the world
Just over a hundred years ago a narrow beam of X-rays was fired at a crystal for the very first time. The experiment – an early attempt to investigate the nature of this recently discovered radiation – showed that it was wavelike and so constituted a new type of light. Join Professor Stephen Curry, Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College, UK, to celebrate the International Year of Crystallography and discover how crystals have transformed our world.

6.00pm - 7.30pm, Monday 18 August, Law School LT 101, Level 1, Sydney Law School, Eastern Avenue, the University of Sydney, free

What keeps scientists up at night?
As the recent #hugaclimatescientistday campaign shows, there's a growing interest in the work undertaken by scientists. Join John Connor, CEO of the Climate Institute, in conversation with a panel of Sydney scientists. The first event in a regular Inspiring Science series featurong Sydney's Early Career Researchers, presented by Inspiring Australia (NSW) in partnership with City of Sydney.

6:00-7:00pm, Wednesday 20 August, Customs House Library, L2 Reading Room. Book online or call 9265 9333

Forward Momentum: How physics is revolutionising medicine
Join Associate Professor Zdenka Kuncic form the School of Physics, the University of Sydney, to discover how physics has transformed the quality of human life and driven groundbreaking advances in medicine and biology, from imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) to treatments such as cancer radiation therapy.

5:45- 7:00pm, Wednesday 20 August, Eastern Avenue Auditorium, University of Sydney, free

Fact or Fiction?
Lightsabres, invisibility, teleportation. Can you tell the difference between fascinating science and science fiction? ANSTO (Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation) presents its popular, interactive, family friendly show at the University of Sydney.

7:00 – 8:30pm, Thursday 21 August, Eastern Avenue Auditorium, University of Sydney, free

Space Oddity
Space Oddity presents a super science session with astronaut Chris Hadfield, biologist Carin Bondar (both from Canada) Destin from the SmarterEveryDay youtube channel (US), Nerd comedian Dr Justine Rogers and Australia's youtube science star Derek Muller from Catalyst and Veritasium.

5:00pm for all ages, 7:30pm for over 18s, Saturday 23 August, Powerhouse Museum, 57 Adult, $45 Powerhouse Member, $25 Under 18s


Neural Knitworks
Neural Knitworks is a collaborative project about mind and brain health that invites your contributions of handmade neurons to a travelling brain exhibition that will kick off during National Science Week at the Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre in August. Come and create a giant textile brain with artists Pat Pillai and Rita Pearce and learn about neuroscience at the same time!
Watch the video

Opening night 7:00pm 21 August and exhibition on show 10:00-5:00pm from 22 August until 16 September 2014, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, 782 Kingsway, Gymea, free

Brain Break Morning Tea
Celebrate science and give your brain a break this National Science Week by holding a morning tea for friends or colleagues. Brain Breaks can be a quiz, group activities or a few quick science demonstrations – anything you want them to be.

Citizen Science

Weather Detective
Help uncover important weather records from the log books of ships that sailed the seas around Australia in the 1890s and 1900s – the weather observations you find will be added to a global database of weather over the ages, and will help us forecast long-range weather trends for the future. Weather Detective is the Australian arm of the US project Old Weather.

Visit National Science Week for more information

ClimateWatch Trail Walk
ClimateWatch was developed to understand the effects climate change is having on our earth's natural processes. It is the first project of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney trail was the first developed on the east coast of Australia. ClimateWatch will allow every Australian to be involved in collecting and recording data that will help shape the country’s scientific response to climate change.

10:00 am – 12 noon, Wednesday 20 August and Friday 22 August, Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney, free.
Bookings essential ph: 02 9231 8304

Out of town

Little Things that Run the World
The Armidale community will discover the fascinating world of ants and have the opportunity to work with local artists and scientists to create a giant termite mound from recyclable materials at the New England Regional Art Museum. Visitors will be able to marvel over the complexity and magnificence of the tunnels and chambers inside the nest, manoeuvre radio-controlled ants, and play a Pacman-inspired video game called Antman. The event finale will be an 'antblitz', in which young and old alike will be able to catch ants and view them under microscopes.

Presented by the North Western Science Hub, led by the University of New England

Exhibition opens 2pm Saturday 16 August and runs to 19 October, New England Regional Art Museum, Kentucky Street, Armidale, free

Sustainability Fair
Kentucky Public School will join forces with a number of small primary schools in the area to showcase its sustainability program, which involves worm farms, chicken breeding, organic gardening and native bird nesting.

Presented by Kentucky Public School in partnership with the North Western Science Hub.

Hunter Science Festival
In the Hunter, all are invited to attend the region's first family-friendly science festival that brings together dozens of organisations interested in communicating their science. The event will be held in the Newcastle CBD and is planned to coincide with the hugely popular Hunter Electric Vehicle Festival where you can learn about the latest technologies in electric cars and discover how innovation in building an informed community and vibrant future that responds to global challenges. Check the National Science Week events database for updated information.

Numerous events at various locations in Newcastle CBD, from 2-28 August.

Hunter Electric Vehicle Festival
The Hunter Valley Electric Vehicle Festival is delivered each year by a range of supportive Hunter organisations and businesses, led by the Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment at the University of Newcastle.

Electric Vehicles in all shapes and sized from bicycles to trains are a key technology in making our cities and towns nicer and more prosperous places to live, so we want electric vehicles here, we want them here fast and we want to get Australian business in on the action!

16-17 August, Cameron Park Kart Raceway, Cameron Park, Newcastle, free

Arts vs. Science Festival
In Lismore, the Arts vs. Science Riverdale Festival will mix up science with tree planting, music, comedy and poetry in an imaginative science festival for the whole community that will include a 3D Science Artwalk along the pathways of Riverside Park.

Presented by the Northern Rivers Science Hub, led by Southern Cross University

10am-4pm Riverside Park, Lismore, free


Science Cafe@Dubbo Sustainable City Expo
In Dubbo, the picturesque Regional Botanic Garden will again present the Science Café@Dubbo Sustainable City Expo with activities designed to highlight the importance of natural resources and agriculture based around the UN International Year theme Food for our Future: Science of feeding the world. For more information check the National Science Week events page or go to Dubbo City Council.

Presented by the Central West Science Hub.

9:00am-2:00pm, Dubbo Regional Botanic Garden, Elizabeth Park off Coronation Drive, Dubbo, free

Broken Hill
Outback Astronomy
Communities in Far West NSW can participate in two events to showcase Western and Aboriginal Astronomy in outback NSW: a workshop in Broken Hill that will culminate in a free public presentation during National Science Week. The pubic presentation will provide workshop participants with the opportunity to demonstrate their newly acquired talents to the community.

Presented by the Far West Science Hub, led by Outback Astronomy

Workshop: 9:00am-2:00pm, Sunday 17 August, Robinson College, Broken Hill, free
Public Presentation: 7:00pm, Sunday 24 August, Robinson College, Broken Hill, free

Science Meets Art
Peter Trusler brings fossils to life in an exhibition of spectacular images and fossils titled Upstream/Downstream – the Flow on effect of Peter Trusler’s Paleoreconstruction Art at the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum - home of the Somerville Collection during Science Week. The exhibition demonstrates the extraordinary work of Monash University’s School of Geosciences’ Emeritus Professor Patricia Vickers-Rich, Dr Tom Rich, and artist Peter Trusler. The exhibition is based on the publication, The Artist and the Scientists: Bringing Prehistory to Life, which follows the development of selected works of art covering the last 600 million years of the geological record.

Presented by the Central Tablelands Science Hub, led by the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum

Throughout August, 10:00am - 4:00pm Monday to Saturday, 10:00am - 2:00pm Sundays, Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum, 224 Howick Street, Bathurst, $10/$7/$5, Family $25

Bundanon Open Days
Community members are invited to explore the richly abundant flora and fauna at Bundanon Trust. This picturesque piece of bush land overlooking the Shoalhaven River was gifted to the Australian people by artist Arthur Boyd and his wife Yvonne, who believed 'you can’t own a landscape'.

Presented by the Shoalhaven Science Hub, led by Bundanon Trust

10:30am - 4:00pm, Sundays in August, $12/$8/Children under 16 free

Merimbula and surrounds
Sapphire Coast Science Festival
This festival, to be held on the beautiful Far South Coast of NSW, will incorporate a variety of events including talks and demonstrations that illustrate a variety of fascinating areas of science knowledge and understanding that will aim to appeal to all, but particularly those who may not be currently engaged in science. Activities include a launch event at the Bournda Environmental Education Centre, night sky talk with telescopes presented by a visiting expert, Science Cafe at Oaklands, talks and demonstrations of the richness of Aboriginal science in the region, tours of local industries eg chocolate, cheese and wine making, chilli, oyster and mussel farming, Davidson whaling station (historical) and community-supported nature reserves such as Panboola, a trivia Quiz and Climate Watch walks.

Presented by the Far South Coast Science Hub, led by Atlas of Life in the Coastal Universe

Launch 1:00pm - 6:30pm, 16 August, Bournda Environmental Education Centre, Bournda National Park, Kalaru. Running 16-24 August, free.

Coffs Harbour
Science Under the Sea

The 'Science under the Sea' 2014 event will be held over three days at two major shopping areas in Coffs Harbour and at Southern Cross University's National Marine Science Centre. In its forth year, 'Science under the Sea - 2014' will pique interest and understanding of the marine environment through a series of 'hands-on' activities, displays and presentations.

Presented by the Southern Cross University's National Marine Science Centre