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SYDNEY SCIENCE TRAIL

  • Written by Amber Forrest-Bisley


SYDNEY SCIENCE TRAIL BLASTS OFF TOMORROW 

The Sydney Science Trail (Aug 15 – Sept 15), presented by The Australian Museum and the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, opens virtually tomorrow to audiences across Australia. 

The Trail features more than 50 pit stops to visit along the way and is bubbling over with immersive games, virtual panel discussions with Australia’s pre-eminent scientists, explosive science shows and tours from world-class scientists and researchers.  

Discover the beautiful treasures and deadly threats of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney in The Living Laboratory 360° virtual tour; beam live to the Coral Sea and uncover its mysterious, briny depths with Exploring Unseen Oceans; gain a timely understanding on how bushfires can be both friend and foe in the Australian Fires – Impacts and Opportunities live panel; and become a certified citizen scientist tracking Australia’s Cane Toad population with your smartphone in the Australian Museum’s FrogID.

Kids can also explore natural tucker that has been used by First Nations people for thousands of years with Bush Food Experience, locate real dinosaurs living amongst us with I Spy a Wollemi, go on a local Bush Blitz to discover the native species in their own backyards, and then help protect them from disease and pests in the Biosecurity Warrior interactive video game.

On the Trail, children, and teens, together with their adult friends and teachers, will have access to Australian science’s top minds through talks and panels traversing topics ranging from the ethics of artificial intelligence to overcoming the gender disparity in STEM. University of Sydney’s Dr Karl Kruszelnicki will host an expert panel tackling The Big Questions of Science; conservationist and former Australian of the Year Tim Flannery will provide unique insight on What does Climate Change Means to You?; and future space cadets can join Australia’s very own engineer for a day at the International Space Station in A Day in the Life of ISS Flight Controller Andrea Boyd.

The Sydney Science Trail school program, created in partnership with the NSW Department of Education, will include over 30 school sessions, inviting students and teachers to explore the theme of adaptation through an immersive, curriculum-linked virtual classroom. 

Students can compete against each other in ANSTO’s National Science Week Hackathon and be inspired by an incredible Women in STEM live panel. 

Meanwhile, teachers and home-schooling parents can expand their horizons with professional development courses on topics such as incorporating Indigenous perspectives into lesson plans, harnessing outdoor learning activities and many more. 

This initiative is supported by Inspiring Australia as part of National Science Week, an annual celebration that excites the inner scientists in all of us.

Sydney Science Trail is also supported by media partner, ABC Radio Sydney.

Register for Sydney Science Trail and join the mission to help planet Earth today. Visit www.sydneysciencetrail.net.au

EVENT DETAILS
What: Sydney Science Trail
When: Saturday August 15 to Tuesday September 15 2020
Where: Online at www.sydneysciencetrail.net.au
Tickets: FREE


FULL PROGRAM:

PLANTS

  • The Living Laboratory Presented by the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
    Go for a virtual stroll through the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney to discover its beautiful treasures — and its deadly threats.
  • I Spy a Wollemi Presented by the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
    There are living dinosaurs amongst us! Help our scientists to find Wollemi Pines that have been planted all around the world. How many can you spy?
  • Bush Food Experience Presented by the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
    Explore the world of bush tucker in the saltwater country around Sydney, and learn how it defines Aboriginal life.
  • Nature Explorer Presented by the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
    Explore the beauty of urban nature in our beautiful parklands and garden - meet the people who make the green heart of the city beat! Read about the passionate people who are keeping our urban green spaces alive, as horticulturalists, arborists, rangers, and educators share their knowledge. See your neighbourhood park through their eyes.
  • Biosecurity Warrior Presented by the Department of Primary Industries
    Plants can get sick, just like people. Healthy plants are important for the Environment and Agriculture. Good biosecurity protects our plants from unwanted pests and diseases. Become a Biosecurity warrior and learn how to keep our plants healthy.  
  • Get Growing - A Story of Adaptation Presented by Eaton Gorge Theatre Production
    Follow four little seedlings in a puppet play adventure through the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, and learn how they have cleverly adapted to different environments.
  • Bush Blitz Presented by Bush Blitz
    Join the Bush Blitz team on a scavenger hunt across Australia to discover our native species. You might even find a new one.
  • Environment Recovery Project Presented by the Centre for Ecosystem Science, School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences, UNSW Sydney
    Take a look at the gradual reappearance of all the different plant and animal species emerging after this year’s mega-bushfires.
  • Operation Crayweed Presented by the Sydney Institute of Marine Science
    Help the ‘Operation Crayweed’ team restore Sydney’s missing underwater forests through a choose-your-own-adventure game!
  • Tree Walk Presented by the Inner West Library | Featuring: Katrina Ross & Darren Charlwood
    Listen in on expert tree-readers, Katrina Ross and Darren Charlwood, as they share how to identify tree species that live in your backyard.

ANIMALS

  • FrogID Presented by the Australian Museum
    There’s a way you can help identify where our native frogs are thriving and where they aren’t, and track the distribution of the cane toad in Australia — and it starts on your smartphone.
  • Let’s BEE Scientists Presented by the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
    Go on a musical adventure into the fascinating world of Australian native bees, and learn how to make a bee hotel and spot pollinators in your garden.
  • Marine Invertebrate Collection Presented by the Australian Museum | Featuring: Dr Stephen Keable
    Learn about the boneless sea-dwelling creatures, many you’ve probably never seen before, which contribute to over 90% of the animals living on earth.
  • Why Museum Collections? The Malacology Collection Presented by the Australian Museum | Featuring: Dr Mandy Reid
    Find out why having a collection of molluscs like snails, slugs and squid is just as important as having a local library.
  • 360 Koala Precinct Presented by Taronga Zoo Sydney
    Get up close and personal with Australia’s most unique (and sleepiest) marsupial, the Koala, at Taronga Zoo Sydney.
  • Frog or Toad Presented by the Frog and Tadpole Study Group of NSW
    Leap into the world of frogs! Play the ‘Frog or Toad’ game to learn how to tell the difference between cane toads and Australian native frogs.
  • Extreme Adaptations with Creative Science Presented by Creative Science
    Plants and animals take adaptation to a whole new level! Grab a front row seat to a science show that shares how they’ve been doing it for thousands of years.
  • Virtual Tour - Living Seawalls Presented by Macquarie University
    Go on a field tour along the shoreline of Sydney Harbour to see how a team of scientists and designers are creating ‘seawalls’ that are alive with native marine life.
  • A Day in the Life of Professor Ken Cheng Presented by Macquarie University | Featuring: Professor Ken Cheng
    Put your lab coats on and follow the exciting day in the life of Professor Ken Cheng, a biological sciences professor who studies the quirky behaviours in monkeys, bees, ants and even humans.

EARTH

  • What does Climate Change Mean to You? Presented by the Australian Museum | Featuring: Dr Tim Flannery, Dr Jenny Newell, Varsha Yajman, Tommy Esau, Charlie Prell, Dr Chris Reid, Millmullian (Laurance Magick Dennis), Nyimirr (Fleur Magick Dennis), Dr Kim Loo, & Dr Peter Lawrence
    Learn about all the ways the world’s ecosystems are being impacted by climate change and what that means for the people living in those environments.
  • Treasures of the Earth: Minerology Collection Presented by the Australian Museum | Featuring: Ross Pogson
    Embark on a special tour through the Australian Museum’s collection of glittering crystals and colourful minerals.
  • Save the World with your Family Presented by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
    Want to help our planet? Learn the simple steps you and your family can take to help Australia’s plants and animals survive.
  • Welcome to the Microverse Presented by Joint Academic Microbiology Seminars
    Listen to five fascinating stories about the hidden universe of microorganisms and learn about the massive role microscopic lifeforms play everyday.
  • A Day in the Life of Dr Katherina Petrou Presented by UTS | Featuring: Dr Katherina Petrou
    Ever wanted to venture to Antarctica? Take a virtual trip with UTS Scientist Dr Katerina Petrou, as she conducts research into marine phytoplankton and bacteria, and their effect on ocean productivity.
  • The Big Questions of Science Panel | Featuring: Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, Claude Roux, Dr Deborah Richards & Dr Richard Garrett
    Science is great at giving us answers, but even better at giving us questions! Join in to tackle some of science’s biggest questions in 2020.
  • Australian Fires – Impacts and Opportunities PanelFeaturing: Jo White, Rachael Cavanagh, Professor David Cohen & Dr Mark Ooi
    Did you know that ecosystems and wildfires are friends and foes? Discover why and explore one of the hottest topics in Australia right now.
  • Climate Science in 2020 Panel Featuring: Dr Jenny Newell, Dr Brett Summerell, Dr Katherina Petrou & Brett Rowling
    The impact of climate change is too big to ignore. Learn how climate change started and the startling ways it will impact our future.
  • Women in STEM Panel Featuring: Professor Renae Ryan, Dr Tayyaba Zafar, Dr Katie Sizeland & Dr Naomi Koh Belic
    Listen to the panel of incredible women scientists and discover their journey into STEM.
  • Why Science and Art Can't Live Without Each Other Panel Featuring: Stephen Oliver, Sami Bayly, Dr Daryl Howard & Joyce Hinterding
    Science and art are connected in more ways than you might think. Hear from scientists and artists who rely on both to produce amazing work.
  • Meet the Scientist - Dr Tom Cresswell Presented by ANSTO | Featuring: Dr Tom Cresswell
    Discover the ingenious ways nuclear science is being used to understand the effects of pollution in our waterways with radioecologist, Dr Tom Cresswell.
  • The Deep Blue Presented by Fizzics Education
    Dive into the science of the sea and explore the weird and wonderful ways life underwater works.

TECHNOLOGY

  • Behind the Scenes: Collection Care & Conservation Presented by the Australian Museum | Featuring: Sheldon Teare & Megan Dean-Jones
    Conservation is an important part of any museum. Find out how the Australian Museum’s conservators take on the mammoth task of conserving the museum’s important scientific, natural history and cultural collections.
  • Behind the Scenes: Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics Presented by the Australian Museum | Featuring: Dr David Alquezar, Dr Greta Frankham & Dr Matthew Lott
    Step into the wildlife forensics laboratories at the Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics to discover how DNA is being used to conserve Australia’s unique wildlife and fight wildlife crime.
  • Dinosaurs in the Sky Presented by Jackson Eather
    Join Jackson and his archaeopteryx Archie on a high-flying adventure to learn how dinosaurs evolved into modern birds and how flying works!
  • Meet the Scientist - Dr Helen Maynard-Casely Presented by ANSTO | Featuring: Dr Helen Maynard-Casely
    Ever wondered what lies on the surface of other planets? Follow instrument scientist, Dr Helen Maynard-Casely, as she scratches the surface of faraway planets.
  • A Day in the Life of Dr Annette Dowd Presented by UTS | Featuring: Dr Annette Dowd
    Follow a day in the life of UTS physicist Dr Annette Dowd, including a visit to the Specialised Optics Lab.
  • A Day in the Life of Dr Matt Padula Presented by UTS | Featuring: Dr Matt Padula
    From putting a Mass Spectrometer back together to performing protein extractions on microalgae, gain insight into Dr Matt Padula’s very busy and crucial role in the UTS Science labs.
  • Behind the Scenes – Tour – Dr Maiken Ueland Presented by UTS | Featuring: Dr Maiken Ueland
    Go behind the scenes with Dr Maiken Ueland as she takes you through the unique Australian Facility for Taphonomic Experimental Research facility and shows how she analyses the scent of human victims in mass disasters.
  • Behind the Scenes – Dr Irina Kabakova & Carin Basirun Presented by UTS | Featuring: Dr Irina Kabakova & Carin Basirun
    Explore the state-of-the-art technologies used to artificially replace unhealthy tissues and trigger bone regeneration in the human body.
  • A Day in the Life of Dr Andrew Care Presented by Macquarie University | Featuring: Dr Andrew Care
    Take a closer look at nanomedicine as Dr Andrew Care demonstrates how the smallest tools are used to fix the biggest diseases!
  • A Day in the Life of Dr Devika Kamath Presented by Macquarie University | Featuring: Dr Devika Kamath
    Join Dr Devika Kamath, an astrophysicist and lecturer, as she explores our universe with the incredible telescopes available in Australia.

SPACE

  • Mars 2020 Presented by the Sydney Observatory | Featuring: Bonnie Teece
    In 2020, NASA launched the Mars 2020 Mission and sends the newest rover, Perseverance, on her journey to explore Mars. Hear from Australian Astrobiologist Bonnie Teece, as she talks about Australia’s leading role and the search for life in the ancient lake Jezero Crater.
  • What’s in the Sky? Presented by the Sydney Observatory
    Whether you live in the city, or have access to the pristine dark skies of regional Australia, there’s a lot you can see at night. Learn what stars and constellations are visible in the Southern Sky and where to find the planets all from your own backyard.
  • Winning Sky Photos: The David Malin Award Presented by the Sydney Observatory
    The David Malin Awards celebrates some of Australia’s most talented photographers. But these photographers capture images worlds away, literally. Check out some of the winning astrophotography images from the 2019 David Malin Awards.
  • Australian Space Icons Presented the Sydney Observatory
    Did you know that Australians are leading the search for extraterrestrial life on Mars? This is your chance to learn about the leading Australian scientists who are exploring the universe in search for Martian life.
  • Live from the Sydney Observatory Presented by the Sydney Observatory | Featuring: Karlie Noon
    Join Karlie Noon to see the planets, stars and highlights of the Southern Sky like never before as you travel light-years into the deep sky live from the Sydney Observatory.
  • A Day in the Life of ISS Flight Controller Andrea Boyd Presented by the Sydney Observatory | Featuring: Andrea Boyd
    Meet the Australian Flight Controller, Andrea Boyd, who takes you through her day working with astronauts to conduct science experiments aboard the International Space Station.

LIVE EVENTS

  • Exploring Unseen Oceans Presented by the Australian National Maritime Museum
  • Underwater Robotics Presented by the Australian National Maritime Museum
  • Live from the Sydney Observatory Presented by the Sydney Observatory
  • Behind the Scenes of Big Science Presented by ANSTO
  • Training your immune system to work smarter not harder with Hannah Law Presented by Soapbox Science
  • BryoFight Club how mosses can live in Antarctica with Dr Melinda Waterman Presented by Soapbox Science
  • Solar Energy: photon pokemon, gotta catch em all with Dr Siobhan Bradley Presented by Soapbox Science
  • Preschoolers views on technology design: thinking like a child with Dr Holly Tootell Presented by Soapbox Science
  • Coral matchmaking for a resilient reef with Dr Jennifer Matthews Presented by Soapbox Science
  • Fitbits for Sharks: How do we study sharks in the ocean? Presented by Soapbox Science
  • Kings of slime and grime: why maggots are our new best friends with Assoc. Prof. Michelle Harvey Presented by Soapbox Science
  • Science for Food Security: Making a Global, Professional and Personal Difference Presented by Crawford Fund
  • Life Among the Stars Presented by UNSW
  • Eating for the Planet Presented by UNSW
  • We Still Need to Talk About Climate Change Presented by UNSW
  • The World According to Physics Presented by UNSW

SYDNEY SCIENCE TRAIL SCHOOL PROGRAM

  • Professional Development - First Nations Science in the Classroom Presented by the Australian Museum
    Want to learn how to embed authentic and engaging Indigenous perspectives in science? This workshop provides an opportunity for teachers to gain an understanding and appreciation of Australia’s First Nations Peoples scientific knowledge and practice.
  • Professional Development – Outdoor Learning Presented by the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
    Do you want to break down the barriers for learning outside with your students? This session explores practical ideas and helps your students develop an understanding of the benefits of engaging in real life learning.
  • Professional Development – Geography Outdoors Presented by the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
    Develop a greater understanding and tips and tricks to explore the Geography curriculum outside through mapping, fieldwork and place based learning.
  • Professional Development – Learning through Gardening Presented by the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
    We all know that water is essential for all life on Earth, but how can we sustainably and effectively use water in our gardens?
  • Exploring Unseen Oceans Presented by the Australian National Maritime Museum
    Go live to the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Research Vessel in the Coral Sea. Learn about the exciting work undertaken onboard as the scientists and crew go deep underwater to explore previously unseen oceans.
  • Underwater Robotics Presented by the Australian National Maritime Museum
    Climb aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel RV Falkor to dive down to a part of the ocean previously unexplored and learn more about its amazing underwater technology.
  • The Big Questions of Science Live Panel
    Science is great at giving us answers, but even better at giving us questions! Join in on tackling some of science’s biggest questions in 2020.
  • Australian Fires - Impacts and Opportunities Live Panel
    Did you know that ecosystems and wildfires are friends and foes? Discover why and explore one of the hottest topics in Australia right now.
  • Climate Science in 2020 Live Panel
    The impact of climate change is too big to ignore. Learn how climate change started and the ways it will impact our future.
  • Women in STEM Live Panel
    Listen to the panel of incredible women scientists and discover their journey into STEM.
  • Why Science and Art Can't Live Without Each Other Live Panel
    Science and art are connected in more ways than you might think. Hear from scientists and artists who rely on both to produce amazing work.
  • FrogID Presented by the Australian Museum
    There’s a way you can help identify where our native frogs are thriving and where they aren’t, and track the distribution of the cane toad in Australia — and it starts on your smartphone.
  • What does Climate Change Mean to You? Presented by the Australian Museum
    Learn about all the ways the world’s ecosystems are being affected by climate change and what that means for the people living in those environments.
  • Museum Careers: Conservation at the Australian Museum Presented by the Australian Museum
    Conservation is an important part of any museum. Find out how the Australian Museum’s conservators take on the mammoth task of conserving the important collection.
  • Museum Careers: Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics Presented by the Australian Museum
    Step into the wildlife forensics laboratories at the Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics to discover how DNA is being used to conserve Australia’s unique wildlife and fight wildlife crime.
  • Bush Blitz – Treasure Hunt Presented by Bush Blitz
    Join the Bush Blitz team on a virtual expedition to discover the plants and animals living near you. Who knows, you might even find a new species!
  • Get Growing Presented by Eaton Gorge Theatre Production
    Follow four little seedlings in a puppet play adventure through the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, and learn how they have cleverly adapted to different environments.
  • Adaptation Unit for Primary School Students & Teachers (accompanying Get GrowingPresented by the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
    Introduce primary students to the exciting world of adaptation over a whole teaching unit.
  • Extreme Adaptions with Creative Science Presented by Creative Science
    Plants and animals take adaptation to a whole new level! Grab a front row seat to a science show that shares how they’ve been evolving for thousands of years.
  • Adaptation Unit for Secondary Students & Teachers (accompanying Extreme Adaptations with Creative SciencePresented by the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
    Plants and animals take adaptation to a whole new level! Grab a front row seat to a science show that shares how they’ve been evolving for thousands of years.
  • I Spy a Wollemi Presented by the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
    There are living dinosaurs amongst us! Help our scientists to find Wollemi Pines that have been planted all around the world. How many can you spy?
  • Dinosaurs in the Sky Presented by Jackson Eather
    Join Jackson and his archaeopteryx Archie on a high-flying adventure to learn how dinosaurs evolved into modern birds and how flying works!
  • Big Thinking Atoms Presented by ANSTO
    Discover the invisible world of atoms, the tiny building blocks that make up everything around us, and learn about the Periodic Table also known as the “alphabet of the Universe”.
  • ANSTO’s National Science Week Hackathon Presented by ANSTO
    From August 14 -18 join ANSTO in their national Science Week Hackathon – an immersive experience for students to problem solve real world challenges.
  • UTS Big Science Quiz Presented by UTS
    Take a whirlwind visit through chemistry, environmental biology, forensics and biotechnology with our quiz master Dr Scott Chadwick. 4 rounds with 5 questions and a whole lot of characters!
  • Forensics: Who did it? Presented by UTS
    Solve a case and get a real taste of crime scene investigation by learning forensic techniques used by forensic scientists to collect fingerprints, analyse a crime scene and examine clues.
  • Rock Detectives Presented by Macquarie University
    Rocks are not only beautiful, but tell amazing stories! Take a field trip through Sydney to learn how to read the stories found within the city’s incredible geology.
  • Coding Done Right Presented by Macquarie University
    What’s the right way to approach a programming program? We’ll take you through a demonstration to help you understand how to break down any problem and base your solutions on reasoning and logic.
  • Protected Cropping Research and Development: Food Security and Adaptability Presented by the Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education
    Equip yourself with this fully integrated teaching unit on protected cropping and the role of scientific research in the future developments of the horticultural industry in Australia.
  • Pearl Farming in NSW: Broken Bay Pearls Case Study - Adaptability in Aquatic Farming Presented by the Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education
    Dip your toes into the exciting emerging industry of aquaculture and learn everything there is to know about the adaptation of pearl oysters and farm production to local environmental and climatic conditions.
  • Environmental Recovery Project Presented by the Centre for Ecosystem Science, School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences, UNSW Sydney
    Take a look at the gradual reappearance of all the different plant and animal species emerging after this year’s mega-bushfires.
  • The Deep Blue Presented by Fizzics Education
    Dive into the science of the sea and explore the weird and wonderful ways sea creatures have adapted to their environment.

EDITOR'S NOTES
Sydney Science Trail Producing Organisations:

  • Australian Museum
  • Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

Sydney Science Trail Partner Organisations:

  • ANSTO
  • Inspiring Australia
  • University of Technology, Sydney (UTS)
  • Macquarie University
  • NSW Government (Department of Education – DART Connections)

Sydney Science Trail Media Partner:

  • ABC Radio Sydney

Sydney Science Trail Participating Producers:

  • Australian National Maritime Museum
  • Bush Blitz
  • Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education (NSW Government Department of Education)
  • Creative Science
  • Deadly Science
  • Eaton Gorge Theatre Production
  • Fizzics Education
  • Frog and Tadpole Study Group NSW
  • Inner West Library
  • Jackson Eather
  • Joint Academic Microbiology Seminars
  • NSW Department of Industry, Planning and Environment
  • NSW Department of Primary Industries
  • Sydney Institute of Marine Science
  • Sydney Observatory
  • Taronga Zoo Sydney
  • UNSW Sydney, Centre for Ecosystem Science, School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Science

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