They discovered radio astronomy whilst dining on delicious slow food in Hobart. They were entertained and enlightened by the giants of medicine in Melbourne. They learned about lasers and were wowed by a spectacular outdoor laser show in Wollongong.
They were all part of the biggest celebration of science this country has ever seen!
Almost 1.6 million people joined in over 1800 events across the country, celebrating the important role that science, technology, mathematics and engineering play in our lives and in the nation’s economy.
Thousands of people tried their hand at being scientists by contributing to the Explore the Seafloor online citizen science project. To date 226 000 images have been processed and forwarded to the research teams to help with their work in using these species as markers for biodiversity and climate change.
Social media was also a hit. There were thousands of tweets about National Science Week that were seen by a million or more people as well as hundreds of stories in the mass media. New media groups such as Science Alert and IFLS coordinated events including a packed house of 700 people in the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.
But it didn’t stop there. Former Australian of the Year Professor Fiona Wood did 21 radio interviews on behalf of Science Week, including with Alan Jones and Red Symonds. Her interviews were syndicated to 156 stations across the country.
One series of events even featured on the ABC’s 7.30 program. This innovative event, iHeart Music,was developed by UNSW’s Museum of Human Disease. Audience members in various locations were rigged up to a cardiac ultrasound and the signal beamed to a jazz band back at the Museum in Randwick. The music was in turn sent back to the venue, where there were also heart health specialists to provide the audience with information about what they were hearing and how to look after their own hearts.
These are just some small snippets of the creative, interesting, bizarre and most importantly engaging activities that occurred across Australia in National Science Week 2013.
Questacon coordinates National Science Week as part of the Inspiring Australia program. For more information, visit the National Science Week website.