The Plastic Brain

Rolling (Personal) National Science Week Coverage

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It’s National Science Week!

For me, these have passed fairly quietly in the past, to be honest. However, one looks like being the biggest yet.

On the itinerary is:

Science Alive

Australia’s largest science expo event with spectacular science, animal and magic shows and a huge range of hands-on fun for all ages.

When: Saturday, August 10 2013 till Sunday, August 11 2013. 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Where: Goyder Pavilion
Adelaide Showground, Goodwood Road, Wayville, SA, 5034
What: Hands-on activityShow
Theme: Archaeology and antiquity, Human body and movement, Energy and transport, Environment and nature, Health and medical, Space and astronomy, Innovation and technology

[UPDATE] I missed out this year, but my son went with a friend and his parents. By all accounts it was a great day, both boys returning with grins from ear to ear. The highlight of the day was “talking like a dalek”.

Once again, the event was packed across both days. Seems like the people of Adelaide just can’t get enough science. Perhaps the popularity would be enough to prompt a sister event in six months’ time? (Hint, hint)

Southern Schools Science Expo

Southern region high school will be showcasing their STEM programs to primary students. This event is organised as part of the Advanced Technology Project (supported by the Defense Materiel Organisation)

When: Tuesday, August 13 2013
Where: Marion Leisure and Fitness Centre
What: Demonstrations and hands-on activities

[UPDATE] Great day! ASMS won the People’s Choice Award for “Building a Space Station”. Blackwood High School won the Expert Judges’ Award for “Quadcopters” – but, as they say in the classics, at the end of the day “SCIENCE WAS THE REAL WINNER”

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Lunchtime Science

As part of National Science Week our science teachers are providing exciting science demonstrations to students during lunch time.

From our student bulletin:

NATIONAL SCIENCE WEEK: Happy National Science Week! To celebrate we will be hosting a number of lunchtime activities that showcase the wonder and beauty of SCIENCE! Activities that will be running are:
Wednesday- lunchtime 1pm in Psychology Lab– We have a real life scientist (yes they do exist and some actually appear quite normal)- Professor John Long from Flinders University who will give a presentation on the vast array of careers in science and where science can take you. If you are even slightly contemplating this pathway in your future life then this is the presentation for you!
Thursday-lunchtime 1pm in Chemistry Lab- SPECTACULAR CHEMICAL REACTIONS- Come and see and marvel at the magic of Chemistry and how simply combining 2 substances can result in something quite SPECTACULAR.
Friday- lunchtime 1pm in Chemistry Lab- ELEPHANT’S TOOTHPASTE- When was the last time you brushed your pet Elephant’s teeth? Sounds like its well overdue! Come and make Elephant’s toothpaste and ensure your elephant gets the pearly whites it deserves! More importantly find out the answer to the age old question “why is it so?” 
Look forward to seeing you all there!

[UPDATE] Photos from our lunchtime science series below:

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Science Excellence Awards

This is the highlight of my National Science Week; partly because it should be a great night to celebrate science, by mostly because I have been chosen as a finalist in the Early Career STEM Educator of the Year  (School Teaching) category. You can vote for me in the People’s Choice Awards, though at this stage the winner seems to be a easy to pick.

When: Friday, August 16 2013
Where: Adelaide Town Hall, Auditorium
What: Awards for South Australian Scientist of the Year, as well as other categories.


Finalist award

[UPDATE] Well they really did save the best for last. What an amazing evening.  Highlights for me included the keynote address by Nobel Laureate Brian Schmidt, and the chance to talk to professionals from industry, research and education who all have a passion for promoting science.

I left with a very positive feeling towards the future of science in South Australia. A showcase like that really brings home how many fantastic researchers we have in this state. Furthermore, we have many high-tech industries wanting to support science, and providing great opportunities for graduates. Lastly, my fellow category finalists, especially the winners, gave everyone confidence that our new generation of scientists are in good hands. Although we were in the minority, the science educators were certainly made to feel welcome. One of the biggest spontaneous rounds of applause was when Jeremy LeCornu mentioned in his acceptance speech that science educators do not often receive this kind of recognition – and the audience clapped loudly in an attempt to redress the balance.

Author: Rogan Tinsley

Biology, science and maths teacher with a PhD in Neuroscience and passion for education.

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