Sea Country, science on silos, daleks and drones, and Alzheimer’s takes centre stage

National Science Week

Dozens of Science Week stories around South Australia

More on these highlights below.

Scientists, experts and event organisers are available for interview throughout National Science Week.

Read on for contact details for each event, or call:

  • Tanya Ha – tanya@scienceinpublic.com.au, 0404 083 863 or 03 9398 1416
  • Jane Watkins – jane@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0425 803 204

Visit ScienceWeek.net.au/events to find stories in your area using the event listing.

Media centre here. Images for media here.

SA’s National Science Week launch with governor, a wildlife warrior, and awesome animals – 10am, Friday 5 August, Adelaide Showground

National Science Week kicks off with STEM Footy, daleks, rocket scientists and more at Science Alive!

Launch event with:

  • Her Excellency the Honorable Frances Adamson AC, Governor of South Australia
  • Suburban wildlife warrior Bluegum Bill
  • The team from Animals Anonymous and their furry and scaly friends.

Where: Adelaide Showground, Goodwood Road, Wayville. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/launch-of-national-science-week-in-south-australia/wayville/

Media enquiries: Rona Sakko, rona.sakko@gmail.com or 0419 827 723.

National Science Week in SA: event highlights

Daleks, racing drones, and dinosaur droppings: Science Alive! is back – Wayville Showgrounds

  • Meet actual rocket scientists from Southern Launch and find out about Australia’s growing space industry.
  • Nitro Nat presents the Phantastic Physics Show.
  • See the science in sport with Adelaide Crows STEM Footy.
  • The singing palaeontologist Professor Flint explores the science of dinosaur droppings and the origin of faeces.
  • Plus, dinosaur digs, robot building, live animal encounters, army drone racing, daleks, and bugs and slugs, top female scientists, and the scientific bubble show: more than different 80 science sessions, displays and activities, all under one roof.

These are just some of the speakers, activities and displays at a bigger than ever Science Alive!

Friday 5 August: National Science Week SA state launch & STEM Day Out (secondary schools)

Saturday 6 – Sunday 7 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/science-alive-3/wayville

Media enquiries: Kelly Coyner, kelly@eventcrowd.com.au or 0423 814 011; or Dan Lindsay, dan@sciencealive.net.au or 0403 794 000.

South Australian landmarks set alight with science story projections – Barmera, Karoonda, Port Pirie, Quorn and Wallaroo

‘Constellation’ takes audiences on a tour of regional South Australia to see five science stories as large-scale projections onto five iconic landmarks.

  • Port Pirie Constellation at City Park uncovers the secret depths and abundant species of the Spencer Gulf.
  • Quorn Constellation at the silo goes on a bush tucker trail to arid lands, gorges, and peaks, exploring the evolution of edible and useful plants that can survive in extreme conditions.
  • Wallaroo Constellation at the silo explores the history and future of copper, the third most consumed industrial metal in the world, pivotal to industrialisation in South Australia.
  • Karoonda Constellation at the silo reveals the story of the Karoonda meteorite as told through the eyes of a local mallee fowl.
  • Barmera Constellation at the Bonney Theatre tells the story of Lake Bonney and the carp wars through the eyes of a Murray cod.

These science-art-community collaborations show how each region’s challenges and future were shaped by science and innovation. The landmarks star as a constellation of science-informed storytelling.

Nightly projects throughout the month of August.

Companion events on multiple dates and locations.

Media enquiries: Michael Mills, michael@heapsgood.com.au or 0411 287 381; Samantha Ray, sam@illuminart.com.au or 0431 987 349

Local VIPs and illuminart® producers are available for media interviews.

Alzheimer’s takes centre stage in acclaimed play – Adelaide

The real-life stories of a care worker and residents of a local memory unit have inspired this award-winning play about Alzheimer’s.

Care worker Matthew Barker stars in ‘The Fish Bowl’, which won the Best Theatre and Physical Theatre Award and Holden Street Theatre’s Adelaide Fringe Award.

An audience discussion will follow the play, led by neurobiologist Dr Tim Sargeant who works with Alzheimer’s and the other dementias.

Currently more than 436,000 Australians live with Dementia. ‘The Fish Bowl’ speaks straight to the heart of how we can all better value and connect with some of the most vulnerable people within our society through telling their version of their story.

Date: Friday 19 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/inside-the-fish-bowl/adelaide

Media enquiries: Pete McDonald, Pete.McDonald@sahmri.com or 0402 293 078

Matthew Barker and Dr Tim Sargeant available for media interviews. Media can also attend a rehersal of this performance at SAHMRI, with performers available for interview.

Insect corn chips and roasted seaweed: what will you be eating in 2050? – online via Adelaide

Aussies in the future will eat corn chips made of edible insects and roasted seaweed, according to dietician Hannah Rohrlach.

Innovations in food technology and threats to food security are changing the way Aussies source, buy and eat their food.  Hannah will explain why some of current favourite foods will still be around in 2050 and why some of them won’t be.

Hannah is hosting an interactive online event, where a box of futuristic food is delivered to the home of registered audience members.

Wednesday 17 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/what-will-you-be-eating-in-2050

Media enquiries: Hannah Rohrlach hello@post-dining.com or 0438 186 375

Images available.

Stingrays in the stars: Indigenous knowledge of the sea – Port Adelaide

What can traditional knowledge from the lower Murray River and Coorong teach us about fishing, water and land management?

Cultural icon and Ngarrindjeri elder Major ‘Moogy’ Sumner shares the experience of being on Yarlawa Ruwi, Sea Country as he demonstrates how to make the kaiki, the freshwater reed spears, harvested from Lake Alexandrina and yarns about what story and Sea Country mean to him.

Hear stories about fishing with the pelicans, spearing flounder at night, and how to find a stingray in the stars. Then join the kuti fishers and artists at Goolwa, who shuffle for cockles in the sand, sharing how they practice sustainable fishing using traditional techniques to protect the kuti, pipi cockles, for the future.

The South Australia Maritime Museum launches a new installation and virtual platform on Sea Country Stories from Ngarrindjeri Country on Friday 19 August with Uncle Major Moogy.

Launch: Friday 19 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/sea-country-stories-launch/port-adelaide

Media enquiries: Alexis Farr, alexis@greenislandcreative.com.au or 0490 064 529

Tree scientist encourages gardeners to grow the urban forest – Adelaide

Trees reduce pollution, create shade and encourage biodiversity, according to plant scientist Dr Kathryn Hill.

Kathryn studies how well trees are growing and how much carbon they’re storing by measuring their scientific values.  She even compares how plants grew 65 million years ago to how the same species grow today. 

Amateur plant scientists can help her grow and study more trees in Adelaide by attending her National Science Week workshops.

Saturday 20 August and Saturday 28 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/what-is-the-value-of-urban-forest

Media enquiries: Kathryn Hill, kathryn@debillenvironmental.com.au or 0423 693 733 

Smaller, lighter, faster X-rays – Tonsley

How does X-ray imaging work? How is it different to photography? And how will it change in the future? Find out about X-rays and see the high-tech equipment involved, without breaking an arm or leg.

This series of events will give people the opportunity to see inside Adelaide’s Micro-X factory, which develops and produces new generation X-ray imaging equipment incorporating innovative design and carbon nanotube technology. There will also be a family day with science-based workshops, high-voltage demonstrations, an augmented reailty treasure hunt, and walking tours of the surrounding Tonsley Innovation Precinct.

Friday 19 August (schools) and Saturday 20 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/seeing-things-differently-2/tonsley

Media enquiries: Rebecca Puddy, rpuddy@micro-x.com

My Science Rulz, Your Science Droolz! – Hindmarsh, SA

Chemistry, marine biology, maths, or biomed: which field of science is the best?

A cheeky debate where four teams representing different fields make their case as to why their science is the best while making digs at the other teams’ science.

Who will come away the champion? Who will be able to confidently say they their science RULZ?! The audience will decide.

Tuesday 23 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/my-science-rulz-your-science-droolz-2/hindmarsh

Media enquiries: Rona Sakko, rona.sakko@gmail.com or 0419 827 723

Team leaders are available for media interviews.

Wattle vs woollybutt: what is Australia’s favourite tree? – online

Do you love the water-bulging boab or the towering mountain ash, the world’s tallest flowering tree? Are you intrigued by the carbon capturing power of grey mangroves or the ‘living fossil’ story of the Wollemi pine?

The search is on to find Australia’s favourite tree. This National Science Week, ABC Science wants people to go online to explore the wonder and science of the plant kingdom, and vote for their favourite tree.

33 different tree species have been long-listed by ABC’s resident tree-lovers in consultation with horticulturalists so that people can get to know our natives and vote for their favourites.

Monday 1 – Friday 26 August. Visit: www.abc.net.au/trees.

Media enquiries: Laura Boland, laura@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0408 166 426

Experts available for media interviews. Media kit at: www.scienceinpublic.com.au/abc/trees.

About National Science Week

National Science Week is Australia’s annual opportunity to meet scientists, discuss hot topics, do science and celebrate its cultural and economic impact on society—from art to astrophysics, chemistry to climate change, and forensics to future food.

First held in 1997, National Science Week has become one of Australia’s largest festivals. Last year—despite a global pandemic—1.3 million people participated in more than 1,750 events and activities.

National Science Week is proudly supported by the Australian Government, CSIRO, the Australian Science Teachers Association, the ABC, and Cosmos magazine.

National Science Week 2022 will run from Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 August. Event details can be found at www.scienceweek.net.au.