Celebrating earth science

‘Discover science in action’ was the theme of the inaugural Just Add Science day presented by the Central Tablelands Science Hub led by the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum in Bathurst on Saturday 18 October. Demonstrators from twenty-six organisations joined the fun to celebrate Earth Science Week.

Supported with funding from Inspiring Australia and the NSW Government, the Central Tablelands dynamic science fair featured many displays of science in everyday life in the region, with something for everyone. It was a day of geology, ecology, chemistry, palaeontology, physics, astronomy and more.

Among those presenting displays and demonstrations were Charles Sturt University’s paramedic and education students, Bathurst Observatory, Age of Fishes Museum, Rahamin Ecological Centre, Bathurst Lapidary Club, Geological Survey of NSW and Bathurst Regional Council.

Fizzics Education’s Liquid Nitrogen Shows captivated all with cool stuff including frozen bubbles, a banana hammer, a flying glove and a liquid nitrogen sprinkler. Other science demonstrations and stalls that ran all day included gem fossicking, a display of meteorites from Bathurst Observatory, face painting and a variety of fun. hands-on science activities. Prizes were even given to kids who dressed as ‘crazy scientists’!

The Museum’s courtyard area welcomed hundreds of locals who participated in free activities throughout the day, learning about the region’s contributions to scientific knowledge at the same time. All school-aged children received free entry to the museum that is home to the prestigious Sommerville collection of fossils and minerals, a unique Australin educational resource.

The Somerville Collection is the lifetime work of Warren Somerville and features some of the finest and rarest examples of minerals and fossils in the world. The specimens on display in the Museum represent about one quarter of the total Collection.

Highlights from the mineral collection include crystals from over 100 Australian mine sites, 2,000 million years old garnets, as well as diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds and other gems from around the world. Other highlights include a T.rex skeleton, Australia’s largest collection of fossils in amber, fossil dinosaur eggs, some of the oldest fossils of early forms of life, and a large collection of Australia’s unique opalised fossils. The current temporary exhibition on display is Upstream Downstream – exhibition of Australian palaeontology by Prof Patricia Vickers-Rich and Dr Tom Rich and images by artist Peter Trusler.

Many thanks to the many organisations and individuals who helped make Just add science a successful and inspiring outreach event including:

About the author
Penny Packam is the Public Programs Officer at the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum.