Australia’s National Science Week is back from 15-23 August, and thanks to everything that’s happening, most events are now online. So now you don’t need to be worried about missing out on any of Australia’s biggest celebration of all things science – you can do check it all out from your own home.
Here are some of the top picks for 2020:
SCINEMA International Science Film Festival
1 – 31 August
The southern hemisphere’s biggest science film festival comes to you! Showcasing the best science films from filmmakers around the world, this year’s festival is completely online and free to watch.
Over 60 films made this year’s official selection to choose from, ranging from experimental animations, shorts, and TV shows, to feature documentaries. But SCINEMA has also made it easy – there are a range of playlists that do the selections for you depending on your mood.
It’s sure to inspire the young, satisfy the curious, explain the baffling and ask the impossible.
All you need to do is sign up and make the popcorn. SCINEMA runs all month, so don’t miss out!
Sex Ed., Part 2 [The Remix] (Over 18’s only)
15 – 23 August
Sex Ed was awkward… Especially if you were a young Queer kid who wasn’t necessarily being catered to.
But top drag scientist Toni Kola is here to save the day! Sex Ed., Part 2 – The Remix will answer all those questions you were too afraid to ask (or didn’t know about). Toni and friends will deep dive into the science of sex, and how it relates to LGBTQIA+ humans – discussing everything from basic biology, to the best lubes for you, in indomitable Toni Kola style.
Exploring Habitable Worlds – Online workshop
15 – 23 August
It’s the question everyone wants to know – is there life on other planets? Researchers around the world are still searching, and now you can join them. In this self-led workshop designed by UNSW’s Australian Centre for Astrobiology, you’ll learn just how scientists search for those elusive signatures of life.
During the workshop, best suited for Year 9 and 10 students, you can explore the tools used by groups like NASA JPL, and the scientific data and skills used by astrobiologists and astronomers to search for life in the universe. Best of all, you’ll work on real data yourself, and come up with your own scientific conclusions.
National Science Week Virtual Quiz
Join the biggest science quiz of this year’s National Science Week. From the small to the big, the weird to the wonderful, 5 science identities battle it out…. against you.
You can play along online and test your knowledge and win some great prize packs while you’re at it! So get ready for a fun hour of great scientific discovery and see how much you really do know about science. It’s super easy to join in the fun – simply register to receive the Zoom link.
A guided tour of the Universe in VR
21 – 22 August
The Universe is waiting to be discovered – SciVR will take you on the hunt for things that go boom!
Dr Rebecca Allen and Prof Alan Duffy will host a livestream with a difference – they’ll be your guides while you explore the Universe using a virtual reality app in your home. As you scoot around the Universe you’ll also find out the latest in Australian research from facilities like the CSIRO Parkes telescope, to reveal more about the nature of extreme and transiting objects.
There will be Auslan interpreting, as well as a separate talk for families and children.
Tasmania’s First Scientists – Investigations into Tasmanian Aboriginal canoe-making
15 – 23 Aug
Can you guess how many years Indigenous canoe-making existed before colonisation?
From the deep history of Indigenous culture to its resilience in surviving the impact of British invasion, this web resource will look deeper into the rich knowledge that survives today. Investigating Tasmanian Aboriginal canoe-making with a focus on Naval architecture and cultural use of plants, this event blends thousands of years of cultural and scientific information.
There are even instructions on how to make your own canoe using found materials and things from around the home.
DIY Lactofermentation workshop
Join microbiologist Dr Erin McKenney on this DIY online workshop and ferment your favourite veggies, from your own kitchen.
You’ll find out everything about home fermentation from A to Z (there’s more than Kimchi to Kombucha). Starting with a brief history and the science behind lactic acid fermentation, you’ll find yourself in a pickle in no time. Tasty, healthy and informative – why would you not?
The Deep Blue Innovation for the Future of our Oceans
1 – 31 August
The legends over at Cool Australia have also developed a range of activities and projects for students all about ocean science and the amazing ecosystem beneath the waves.
There are projects for all year levels from understanding our impact on the ocean, the marine life and its importance in the eco-system and citizen science projects to get students active and engaged in our environment through science.
Prehistoric Bake Off
15 – 20 August
No it’s not a joke about Paul Hollywood. Dust off your apron and get your whisk at the ready. It’s a baking competition with a difference – everything is palaeontology themed.
This online event will blend two fields of science – the chemistry of baking and palaeontology – into one tasty morsel. Bake anything you want at home, submit the photos on social media, and you could take home the prize in the all ages or junior categories.
Ben Lewis is a science communicator with the Royal Institution of Australia.
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