Newcastle and the Hunter embrace National Science Week

Mechanical brain with lightss

There are plenty of opportunities to get into National Science Week in the Hunter and Newcastle region this year, including a visit to a Poo Palace! The Hunter Science and Innovation Hub, Hunter Region Botanic Gardens, Hunter Medical Research Institute, Newcastle Museum, University of Newcastle and local libraries have pulled together a fun and accessible program of exhibitions, talks, expos, workshops and online webinars.

Hunter Science Festival on Sunday 21 August at Newcastle Museum will present a a diverse range of workshops, stalls and interactive exhibitions and activities for all ages. You can build and race a solar car with Hunter Valley Electric Vehicles; climb into a Council garbage truck and talk to the driver; explore interactive science tables from all the Hunter Science Hub members; and win prizes at fun family science trivia competitions.

The loss of biodiversity will be explored in a panel Conservation and Development: Orangutan, Tiger, Invasive & Endangered Birds with University of Newcastle researchers Professor Matt Hayward on tigers, Dr Andrea Griffin on birds and Emeritus Professor Tim Roberts on Borneo palm oil and orangutans.

University of Newcastle lecturer Martin Koszolko will discuss the functional side of remote music collaboration software and the available technologies, as well as challenges and best practices concerning finding and engaging new music collaborators in Music Collaboration on the Internet: The World is your Oyster/Orchestra.

At the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music Looking Ahead with Dr Karl will explore the wonderful world of science as well as answer any of your curly science questions – as we solve the mysteries of the world, with science.

Explore how brain health changes through the life span at ‘Brain’ and ‘Biomes, two interactive art science exhibitions that showcase innovative collaborations with artists, technologists, industry and community at the Newcastle Museum. The exhibition is hosted by STREAM a collaborative of researchers and practitioners at the University of Newcastle, as well as community advisors, dedicated to engaging with our community to tackle the big issues facing the world today.

What is a Poo Palace ? It is a giant inflatable with tunnels and slides that re-creates the human digestive system. Children and adults will be able to experience the journey food takes along the digestive tract. Presented by the Hunter Medical Research Institute at the Newcastle Museum.

The Hunter Region Botanic Gardens celebrates the return of its interactive exhibition How Plants Work, a fun opportunity for hand learning about plants, fungi, insects seeds and soil. Glass from Nature is an exhibition and display of natural forms of glass, curated by lapidarist and Gardens volunteer, Gillian Stewart.

University of Newcastle celebrates the week with its own National Science Week Expo. The College of Engineering, Science and Environment hosts researchers from its school running interactive activities. Try out a lie detector, glass investigation, science experiments, and more.

The College also hosts some webinars on a range of glass-related topics including Glass in Food Science, What’s in your Glass? Why your drink choices matter in nutrition science, Good Glass: The science of photography and visual perception, as well as a virtual laboratory tour of its Centre for Organic Electronics.

The Lake Mac Libraries network present Lake Mac STEAM, a week-long program of inspiring learning experiences centered around science, technology, engineering, art and maths. This year’s highlights include a talk by leading expert in the field of recycling science, Professor Veena Sahajwalla from UNSW Sydney, coding workshops, and A Flying Photon, a science and comedy award-winning show.

Marine ecologists from Operation Posidonia and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science invite you to learn about Lake Macquarie’s seagrass meadows and participate in practical scientific activities to understand how they function at Gardening below the surface with Operation Posidonia: Lake Macquarie. Participants will have the opportunity to share their knowledge with their community, friends and family by taking part in a hands-on science-meets-art activity led by local artist Liss Finney.

Be inspired to continue your Science and STEM journey beyond National Science Week and participate in competitions such as the National Schools Poster Competition , with entries due 10 November, and events by the School of Earth Australia and others connected with the Hunter Innovation and Science Hub in September.