Science Week 2014

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

National Science Week

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 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, Centennial Park, Education Precinct off Dickens Drive, free
Science Festival
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
Mini Maker Faire  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, Powerhouse Museum, free with museum entry

 Hack the collection 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

FabLab  FabLab
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
Dany Lions 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, Royal Botanic Gardens, $15 per family

 Museum at night 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.

6:00-9:00pm, Thursday 21 August, Powerhouse Museum, $18 adults, $15 child and members
 Indigenous Science Experience The Indigenous Science Experience @ Redfern
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.

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

ANMM  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. Discover why cannons explode, learn about diseases at sea and botanic lore and marvel at how science techniques have changed over the last 200 years onboard the replica of James Cook’s HMB Endeavour. Explore 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-4:30 pm, Saturday 23 August 2014, on board HMB Endeavour at Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour, Sydney

 PlantBank 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.

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

Interface 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

Australian Hearing Hub Australian Hearing Hub Open House
Come to our Open House Day and learn from some of the country's best researchers and service providers in hearing, psychology, reading, speech and language.

12 noon-3:00pm, Saturday 23 August, 16 University Avenue, Macquarie University, free
My Geeks Rule Wipeout! A musical celebrating science, sustainability and food!
Wipeout! is an educational musical that celebrates National Science Week and te 2014 Schools Theme 'Food for our future: Science feeding the world' by inspiring students, their teachers and families with the limitless fun and possibilities offered by science and the value of understanding the relationship between science, sustainability and food security.

11:00am, Saturday August 16, Australian Museum, free
My Geeks Rule 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.

7:00pm-8:30pm (doors open at 6:30pm), Wednesday 13 August, Sydney Town Hall, free
X-Ray 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? 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 young Sydney scientists. With a welcome from NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, Professor Mary O'Kane, this event is the launch of a regular Inspiring Science talks series that will showcase Sydney's up and coming 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  Forward Momentum: How physics is revolutionising medicine
Join Associate Professor Zdenka Kuncic from 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? 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
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
Dark matter  The Hunt for Dark Matter
Professor Juan Collar from the Kavil Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago discusses the many challenges faced by these dark matter hunters, and the progress made over the past few decades. Infused by a good dose of optimism, it can be claimed that the discovery of these new particles may be near.

6:00-7:30pm, Tuesday 19 August, Slade Lecture Theatre, School of Physics, Building A28, University of Sydney, free, registration required.
Cosmic Chemistry Cosmic Chemistry: Do science and God mix?
Do you wonder about the fusion of science and Christianity? Don't miss Oxford University Professor of Mathematics John Lennox as he distills the often turbulent debate about science and faith in God. This national tour is for the skeptically minded, the scientifically curious and the believer who likes to wrestle with questions of science and belief.

7:00pm, Monday August 25, Sydney Town Hall, $30, groups of 5 or more $28 each, student/concession $22

Future Technologies Explore future technologies
Join local Manly science and technology lecturer and founder of TechScience Australia Mr. Armnon Carmel and embrace your future. The presentation will include videos and explanations of the latest ground-breaking technologies including virtual reality, 3D printing, nanotechnology, robotics and artificial intelligence.

Registration is required and places are limited, call (02) 9976 1747 3:30-5:00pm, Wednesday August 20, Manly Council Library, free

Material Matters Material Matters
Students explore the importance of being active participants in recovering, recycling and reusing precious resources. Suitable for 0-5 years, bookings not required.

11:00am-12 noon, Tuesday August 19, Constitution Library, Parramatta, free
11:00am-12 noon, Wednesday August 20, Ermington Library, Parramatta, free
Crystallography exhibition Presentations of Matter in Real and Reciprocal Space: Images and Objects from Crystallography
In this International Year of Crystallography (IYCr) 2014 the School of Chemistry and the School of Architecture, University of Sydney present an exhibition of images and models related to crystals and the different ways scientists see and use them.

August 15-22, Verge Gallery, University of Sydney, free


Neural Knitworks 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 10:00am-5:00pm from 22 August until 16 September 2014, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, 782 Kingsway, Gymea, free

Brain Break
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 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
 Climate watch 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

Get a taste of life as a scientist
The university of Wollongong will wilcome more than 700 high school students from Builli to Kiama on campus this month as part of National Science Week celebrations. Students will be able to get an insight into what it's really like to be a scientist through lectures and laboratory experiments.

10:30am-12:30pm, Thursday August 14, Building 41.157, University of Wollongong

Little things Armidale
Little Things that Run the World
Discover the fascinating world of ants and 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
Hunter Science Festival Newcastle
Hunter Science Festival
All are invited to attend the Hunter region's first family-friendly science festival that brings together dozens of organisations interested in communicating their science. With dozens of events to be held in the Newcastle CBD, the Festival coincides with the hugely popular Hunter Electric Vehicle Festival where you can learn about the latest technologies in electric cars. Discover how innovation paves the way for a vibrant future and how an informed community is better equipped to respond to global challenges. Highlights listed below, check links for more information.
Hunter Science Hub  Planetarium, 4:00-5:00pm, 18-24 August, Newcastle Museum, $2 per person]]
How to Read a Landscape
, Hunter Exploration Discussion Group, 6:00-7:30pm, Tuesday 19 August, Newcastle Museum, free
STEM breakfast (Lily Serna guest speaker), 7:00-8:30am, Thursday 21 August, Newcastle Museum, free
University of Newcastle Open Day, 10:00am-4:00pm, 23 August, Callaghan Campus, free

Presented by the Hunter Science Hub, led by the Science and Engineering Challenge
Hunter Electric Hunter Electric Vehicle Festival
The Hunter Valley Electric Vehicle Festival is delivered each year by the Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment at the University of Newcastle in partnership with a range of Hunter organisations and businesses. Electric vehicles of all shapes and sizes from bicycles to trains are a key technology in improving our cities and towns. We want electric vehicles here, we want them here fast and we want to  Australian businesses in on the action!

EV show: 10:00am-4:00pm, Saturday 16 August, Cameron Park Kart Raceway, Cameron Park, Newcastle, free
EV prize competition race day, 9:00am-4:00pm, Sunday 17 August, Cameron Park Kart Raceway, Cameron Park, Newcastle, free

Lismore  Lismore
Arts vs. Science Festival
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
10:00am-4:00pm, Sunday 24 August, Riverside Park, Lismore, free

Dubbo Dubbo
Science Cafe@Dubbo Sustainable City Expo
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 the Dubbo City Council website.

Presented by the Central West Science Hub.
9:00am-2:00pm, Saturday 23 August, Dubbo Regional Botanic Garden, Elizabeth Park off Coronation Drive, Dubbo, free

Broken Hill Pick Your Poison: a potted history of the role of plants in medicine
A dose of death, triumph and disaster will be administered in equal measures during this virtual rample through a medicinal garden. Listen to stories about some of history's most famous and infamous medicinal plants

10:00am, Sunday 17 August, School of Rural Health, 11 Moran Drive, Dubbo, gold coin donation entry
Broken Hill Broken Hill
Outback Astronomy
Communities in Far West NSW are invited to 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

Bathurst Bathurst
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 Trust Shoalhaven
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

Sapphire Coast 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. Activities include a launch event at the Bournda Environmental Education Centre, night sky talk with telescopes presented by a visiting expert, and a Science Cafe at Oaklands. Other talks and demonstrations will explore the richness of Aboriginal science in the region, tours of local industries like chocolate, cheese and wine making, chilli, oyster and mussel farming. Visit the Davidson whaling station and discover community-supported nature reserves such as Panboola. There's also a trivia night and a range of 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, Saturday 16 August, Bournda Environmental Education Centre, Bournda National Park, Kalaru. Running 16-24 August, free.

Coffs Harbour Coffs Harbour
Science Under the Sea
Held over three days at two major shopping areas in Coffs Harbour, Science Under the Sea will pique interest and understanding of the marine environment through a series of 'hands-on' activities, displays and presentations. Check the National Science Week events page for more information.

Presented by the Southern Cross University's National Marine Science Centre
Exhibition stand 10:00am-4:00pm at Coffs Central Shopping Centre on Thursday 14 August and at Park Beach Plaza Shopping Centre on Friday 15 August
National Marine Science Centre Open Day, 10:00am-4:00pm, Saturday 16 August, free

Wagga Wagga Wagga Wagga
Hands On Science
Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga City Library and local schools are working together to present a number of fun and engaging science activities during National Science Week. Students can learn about the invisible world around us in 'Closer', a free, family friendly activity run by microscopist Dr John Harper at the library. Scientific investigations get edible and delicious with the 'Sweet Science' activity, where students will learn about air pressure and viscosity. Also on offer are the Science Investigation Awards, where high school students get the chance to show off their scientific skills and present their investigations to a team of judges from industry and academia. They will also have the chance to undertake experiements in a CSU lab.

Presented by the Eastern Riverina Science Hub, led by Charles Sturt University
'Closer' Saturday 16 August, 10:30am-12:30pm. No bookings required
'Sweet Science' 18-22 August, 9:00am. Bookings essential, call (02) 6926 9700 or email
Science Investigation Awards presentation Saturday 16 August, Charles Sturt University

Science on Toast  Guildford
Science on Toast
Discover the science in cooking at Guilford Library. Learn about the states of matter, respiration, expansion of gasses, surface tension, oxidation and more, all in the preparation of a toasted crumpet…then eat the crumpets! Bookings are essential as places are limited.

4:00-5:00pm, Friday August 22, Guildford Library, free.

Science after school Science after school
Guildford library is running a hands on science experiment workshop for kids to explore science. They will learn how to use ordinary everyday materials to create fun and exciting science experiments.

4:00-5:00pm, Monday August 18, Guildford Library, free.
 Walcha Central School Kentucky
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.
 Walcha Central School Walcha
Walcha Central School Science Fair
Walcha Central School will hold a school science fair to encourage young students to pursue science. Students from years 5-10 will present posters about their individual projects, and get involved in hands on activities.

Open night for parents and community members: 5:00pm, Tuesday 19 August, Walcha Central School
 Little things Hillston
Science Challenge Day
Students from primary and secondary years work collaboratively in mixed year groups to conduct a number of science investigations and solve problem based activities. Senior students will assist in planning the activities and organising them on the day.

Community members from science based enterprises will be invited to participate.
9:00am, Thursday August 21, Hillston Central School, free

 Little things Griffith
Griffith High School Science Expo
Primary schools from the surrounding area will have the opportunity to bring their year 5 and 6 students to participate in a range of science activities presented by Griffith High School students.

The expo aims to expose primary school students to more science, and to develop communication skills in high school students.
9:30am-3:00pm, Wednesday August 20, Griffith High School, free