What is happening in the regions for National Science Week?

line drawing of a yellow and blue bird

Delve into the science of ornithology, Antarctic ecosystems, post-bushfire recovery of local ecosystems, eDNA, careers in aviation or scientific instruments of colonial Australia in regional NSW this year for National Science Week.

(Image: Angus Fisher Kingfisher)

West of Sydney

Ornithology, animation and scientific illustration all come together for another special and unique art + science collaboration hosted by the Corridor Project – #HABITATFORSPECIES – walk, talk, explore. It is an opportunity to not only learn about sub migratory woodland bird and animal species, as well as find out about healthy habitats for endangered endemic flora, fauna, and invertebrates, but to also get creative by contributing to a stop motion video bringing awareness to conservation biology.
You can travel to the stunning heritage location at Wyangala, in the Central West, the weekend of 13 and 14 August, for field walks and talks by Birdlife Australia’s Jayden Gunn. After instruction from renowned artists Todd Fuller, and Angus Fisher, your artwork is used for a collaborative stop motion video, produced with online workshops.

Springwood’s Science at the Local hosts researchers Dr Carolyn Hogg and Professor Richard Payne on the topic of Australian Animals Saving us and Saving Them. Could the wide array of Australian animal species hold any clues for human health? What can we do to save them?

SCINEMA is the largest science film festival in the southern hemisphere. They are passionate about showcasing the best in science cinema from around the world. This year screenings will be held at the Yass Valley Library and the Paterson Allyn Williams Science Ideas Hub.

Illawarra and South Coast

Antarctic Futures is an inventive exhibition, public seminar series and set of participatory workshops engaging the Illawarra community in Antarctic science and the future of the Antarctic continent at the University of Wollongong Early Start Discovery Space. The event aims to equip everyone with knowledge of Antarctic ecosystems, how Antarctica affects the global climate and how climate change is affecting Antarctica.

The University of Wollongong hosts an IPRI Open Day during National Science Week. The Intelligent Polymer Research Institute (IPRI) is shaping the next generation of smart materials for health and energy solutions to improve people’s lives. UOW also Professor Jonathan Clark, reconstructive surgeon at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse in a feature presentation for the The Bill Wheeler Symposium and Award.

The Jervis Bay Maritime Museum and Gallery at Huskisson has a busy program of talks, tours and exhibitions for National Science Week this year, supporting the education theme of Glass, more than meets the eye.

Curator Robyn Dalleywater will guide you through the fascinating Halloran Collection, one of the most significant collections of scientific instruments to be found anywhere in the southern hemisphere in the tour Beyond the Looking Glass: Science and the Sea, The Halloran Collection. It is an opportunity to delve into the history and science behind some of the historic scientific and navigation objects featuring glass contained in this valuable collection.

On Saturday 20 August there is a full day program of talks at the Museum: in See the Light: Looking at Lighthouse Lenses, Ian Clifford, President of Lighthouses Australia, will share how lighthouse lenses work; Glass Houses: Turning Glass into Concrete looks at current research and practice into finding ways to use waste glass as a productive ingredient in building materials such as lightweight concrete; in Mind-Blowing Glass: How Glassblowing has Captivated Art & Science, contemporary art and design curator, Holly Williams will discuss the role glass has played in our philosophical and conceptual understanding of ourselves and the world around us; and the talk Bottlenecked: Recycling Bottles into Local Roads will discuss how Shoalhaven City Council developed a solution to clean and recycle the “un-recyclable” fine glass left over from the sorting/separating of material from the kerbside recycling bin.

There are kids activity and in the evening you can join the Shoalhaven Astronomers on the Museum grounds for Star Glazing: Using powerful telescopes to see stars and planets.

For those interested in the aviation industry The Sikorsky Australia’s Plane Simple Challenge at the Shoalhaven Indoor Sports Centre aims to enable teamwork, creativity and problem solving whilst being learning a little bit about aviation and potential future career paths. By either using an online template or creating their own designs, students can build their own paper planes and test the prototypes to determine the best ones.

At the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens, speakers from Eurobodalla Council, Batemans Bay Local Aboriginal Land Council, NSW Forestry and University of Wollongong will present at Surprises in the Regrowth, an important discussion on the monitoring of the recovery of local ecosystems in Eurobodalla the since the Black Summer fires.

North of Sydney

Head to the Hunter and Newcastle region for a packed program of events. See this article.

eDNA is a powerful means of biodiversity monitoring and is increasingly being used to engage and empower community environmental awareness and action through well-designed citizen science programs. The Inspiring MidCoast schools and community with eDNA science project engages primary schools and targeted community organisations to identify a variety of animal species present in local rivers and creeks in the Manning River catchment. The project concludes with an interactive webinar and Q&A during National Science Week, where the participants will discuss the results of their surveys with university researchers and environmental practitioners.

The traveling science show the National Quantum & Dark Matter Road Trip includes a stop at Byron Bay on 9 August for demos and workshops.

In Lismore Innovation in Agriculture and Glass Workshops, hosted by the Australian School of Entrepreneurship, teach young people aged 8 to 24 about innovation and entrepreneurship with a special focus on the agriculture and glass sector. Participants will have the opportunity to present their agriculture solutions to the wider community at the end of the workshop.