Science Fair on the border

Once again the Astronomical Society of Albury Wodonga will present a Science Fair to mark National Science Week 2015. Running from 18-20 August, this year’s Fair will commence on Monday 17 August with a free showing of films in the portable IMAX theatre for special needs students from Wewak School hosted by Albury City Council in the Lauren Jackson Stadium.

From Tuesday 18 August until Thursday 20 August, a range of science activities for students in years 3 – 8 will be conducted at various locations, including on the Charles Sturt University campus. Among events on offer will be the IMAX theatre, health and physiotherapy activities, a forensic science presentation and a chance to get hands on with animal tracking.

Workshops will include the physics of sound delivered by the Murray Conservatorium, a practical workshop on vision including the use of braille, and an investigation into sustainable forms of energy and energy conservation run by the Wirraminna Environmental Education Centre. Final details of the program will be released in coming months.

Students will also have the opportunity to participate in 2 hours of hands-on science activities and take away materials to allow extension activities to be done later either at their school or at home with parents and siblings. From past years, we expect more than 800 students to participate in this part of the Science Fair.

For senior students there will be an afternoon lecture on Thursday 20 August by Dr Brad Tucker, an Astrophysicist/Cosmologist. Brad is currently a Research Fellow at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Mt. Stromlo Observatory at the Australian National University, and also in the Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley. Brad received Bachelor’s degrees in Physics, Philosophy, and Theology from the University of Notre Dame. He then undertook a PhD at Mt. Stromlo Observatory at the Australian National University, working with Nobel Laureate Brian Schmidt. He is currently working on projects trying to discover the true nature of Dark Energy, the mysterious substance causing the accelerating expansion of the Universe, which makes up 70% of the Universe. Brad is also one of the leads on a project using the Kepler Space Telescope to understand why and how stars explode.

More than 200 students are expected to attend the lecture after which six nominated students will have the opportunity to have a private afternoon tea with Dr Tucker and chat with him for an hour. In the evening he will give a public lecture at the Albury Entertainment Centre, a free event that is open to the public. We encourage community members from all walk of life to join us at the Science Fair and look forward to inspiring the region’s school kids and their teachers with this exciting program.

About the author
David Thurley is President of the Astronomical Society of Albury Wodonga and a founding member of the Murray Science Hub.