Robot battles, nature’s superpowers, coffee in space, and more

Media bulletins, National Science Week

Sunday 11 August 2019

Highlights from day two of National Science Week

106 events and exhibitions, 10 online activities, and dozens of great stories and talent.

National and international talent, researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview around the country. Plenty of photo opportunities.

Melbourne

Ground Control to Major Tom: what does it take to turn an astronaut into a barista? 

Frogs, water bugs, birds, koalas… and a NASA exobiologist: science in the part at Coolart Wetlands. 

Hobart

What does environmental change mean for landscape painting? Hear from scientists, artists and curators.

Mt Annan (near Sydney)

Super sight, super hearing, super strength and camouflage: hear about nature’s superpowers.

Adelaide

RoboRoos student teams battle it out in a robot scrimmage. 

Why does food taste different when you have a cold? Meet your brain and find out. 

Perth

Girls network with women in science mentors at an Innovators’ Tea Party.

Read on for more on these, including event contact details.

Also today:

▪ Sydney: go on an Indigenous science harbour cruise and learn from the Mari Nawi‘s Aboriginal crew.

▪ Alice Springs: Costa Georgiadis gets dirty with soil science and growing healthy gardens.

▪ Canberra: explore butterflies, bugs and beetles through hands-on scientific drawing.

▪ Brisbane: National Science Week visits the Firebirds Queensland netball match.

National Science Week 2019 will run from 10 to 18 August.

Media kit at www.scienceinpublic.com.au. Or visit the National Science Week website for the details of events in your area: www.scienceweek.net.au.

For general Science Week media enquiries:

Tanya Ha: tanya@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0404 083 863
Niall Byrne: niall@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0417 131 977

More about the event highlights

Coffee in Space—Arts Centre Melbourne, VIC

The year is 2025, in Melbourne, Coffee Capital of the World. The Space Agency managing Australia’s new international space station assembles a panel of scientists and coffee to design a coffee-making process for space-travelling coffee connoisseurs.

Coffee-making in space, however, is a challenging proposition. How do you grind the coffee without coffee grounds flying everywhere? How does an astronaut drink a floating ball of hot coffee? What to do with dead coffee grounds? Is space-made coffee even drinkable?

In a fishbowl-style public forum, research scientists will roleplay how they would roast, grind and extract quality coffee in the extremes of space.

Sunday 11 August Event details

Media enquiries: David Hoxley, d.hoxley@latrobe.edu.au or 0408 496 625

Science in the Park—Coolart Wetlands and Homestead, Somers, VIC

Want NASA exobiologist Darlene Lim to to tell you all about life in extreme Earth habitats and beyond?

Care for a spot of frog calling, water bug identification, bird watching, or koala spotting?

The Science in the Park event at the Coolart Wetlands and Homestead Reserve in Somers, will be the focus of free science activities on the Mornington Peninsula catering for all ages.

PrimeSCI!, along with universities, state and local organisations and volunteer groups, will host a day of science presentations, eco-tours, science displays and hands-on activities, wildlife monitoring, and education on sustainable practices in the unique wetland environments of the Coolart Reserve.

Sunday 11 August Event details

Media enquiries: Annika Priest, annika@zillaandbrook.com.au, 03 9690 7000 or 0413 058 509

Event enquiries: Megan Hough, mhough@swin.edu.au, 03 9210 1956 or 0400 603 909

Painting a changing world: how art and science can speak together in a time of environmental change—Hobart, TAS

Why do palaeoecologists look at art? What is the role of art in conservation? And how might art and science come together to help us respond to environmental change? Come and hear scientists, artists and curators reflect at a special Hadley’s Art Prize event.

Panellists Penny Jones, James Hattam, Amy Jackett and Megan Walch will discuss ways that art, science, and their intersection can connect us to landscape and landscape change, moderated by Jamie Kirkpatrick.

Sunday 11 August Event details

Media enquiries: Penny Jones, Penelope.Jones@utas.edu.au or 0490 389 415.

Science in the Wild – Dinosaurs vs Superpowers—Mt Annan, NSW

Batman, Spiderman, Wonder Woman, and Cat Woman have their own sets of superpowers. How do they compare with those of nature’s superheroes in our own backyards? Super sight, super hearing, super strength and camouflage are just some of the superpowers in nature.

Science in the Wild is a free, outdoor family and community event at The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan. Join into the activities the scientists have prepped for you and find out about those amazing superpowers.

The incredible roving dinosaur will be coming back as well and show you a bit of pre-historic fauna.

Sunday 11 August Event details

Media enquiries: media@bgcp.nsw.gov.au or 02 9231 8122

RoboRoos Robot Scrimmage—Banksia Park, SA

Want a chance to see FIRST Tech Challenge Robots in action? FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), and the Student Robotics Club of SA Inc. (the RoboRoos) are holding a scrimmage with teams from around the state competing.

Dubbed Rover Ruckus, the game will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing, while simultaneously demonstrating STEM education in action.

Competitors will be working in the pits from 8.30am and qualification matches are scheduled to begin at 11.30am. Best times for spectators to drop in will be between 11.30am and 3pm.

Sunday 11 August Event details

Event enquiries: Fiona Mansfield, roboroos@roboroos.org.au or 0416 511 202

Kids Navigate Neuroscience—Adelaide, SA

Why doesn’t food taste as good when we have a cold? How do neurons communicate? What does the brain look like up close? In this fun and interactive children’s event, kids aged 6 to 11 will explore how the brain and nervous system work by participating in a series of neuroscience exhibits, created by faculty and students at the Adelaide Medical School at the University of Adelaide.

Examine how information moves between neurons by playing a game of Synaptic Ping Pong, build layers (meninges) around an egg to see what types of protection are best for the brain, explore how optical illusions work, look at human brains up close, and more. At each station, children can collect a stamp in their ‘Passport to the Brain’, and work towards earning an official ‘Brain in Training’ certificate. At the end of the event, all children will come together to compete in a quiz for prizes.

Sunday 11 August Event details

Media enquiries: Rene Turner, renee.turner@adelaide.edu.au or 0402 033 630

Networking women and girls in science: The Innovators’ Tea Party—Perth, WA

The Innovators’ Tea Party links successful women working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with high school students in speed-networking events. The events are once-off mentoring opportunities that connect passionate and diverse women working in STEM with high-school students looking for more information about career opportunities, career pathways and positive STEM role models. Any student in Years 10 to 12 can register to attend one or more of eight free speed-networking events held on Sunday 11 or Saturday 17 August in the Perth city.

Saturday 10 and Saturday 17 August Event details

Media enquiries: Tara Broadhurst, tara.broadhurst@innovatorsteaparty.org or 0420 980 647

More about National Science Week

National Science Week has become one of Australia’s largest festivals. Last year saw 1.2 million people participate in more than 2100 events and activities.

In 2019, National Science Week events will be held right throughout Australia—from world’s first global Indigenous hackathon ‘INDIGI HACK’ to ‘Dr Dolphin’ and his bottlenose friends in Adelaide, and from marking the Moon landing in Sydney to the science queens of Kings Park in Perth—with science festivals, music and comedy shows, expert panel discussions, interactive hands-on displays, open days and online activities.

National Science Week 2019 will run from 10 to 18 August. Media kit at www.scienceinpublic.com.au. Or visit the National Science Week website for the details of events in your area: www.scienceweek.net.au.