National Science Week
Hundreds of science activities, exhibits, workshops and opportunities held across Australia, mostly in August. Head to their webpage for events near you.
School and Community Engagement
Our scientists have engaged schools and the wider community across the country. These examples are just a small snapshot of what outreach activities we’ve undertaken and this list is being regularly expanded:
- Patricia Wilden at ANU helped communities in Vanuatu prepare for natural disasters.
- Dick Whitaker has lectured extensively across Sydney on all things weather and climate. He has given talks to numerous community groups such as Rotary, Probus, U3A, Bush Fire Brigades, historical societies and schools. Since 2011, Dick has delivered more than 100 such talks and looks forward to continuing his efforts of communicating weather and climate knowledge to the public.
- Clare Murphy (University of Wollongong) demonstrated how to make ice cream with liquid nitrogen to around 150 Grade 5 & 6 students from Wollongong Public School.
- Ruhi Humphries (UOW) presented to schools in Sydney/Illawarra about being on a scientific voyage to Antarctica.
- Dick Whitaker spoke about extreme weather events and past climate at the Water Board Former Employees Club and at the Parramatta & District Historical Society in July 2017.
- Dr Linden Ashcroft (University Rovira i Virgili, Spain and The University of Melbourne) visited St Arnaud Primary School as part of CSIRO’s Scientists in Schools Program to explore with the students temperature and rainfall weather data from 1821 in Australia’s early settlements.
- Drs Simon Torok and Paul Holper from Scientell specialize in science communication to schools, businesses, and the science community.
- Dr Blair Trewin (Bureau of Meteorology) published an article on the rate of change of record breaking Australian temperatures with Grade 11 student Harrison Vermont from Kyneton Secondary College (CSIRO Scientists in Schools partnership).
- Dr Frank Drost (Dept. Defence, Australia & Victoria University of Wellington) visited Bayswater South Primary School to teach Grades 1 & 2 about weather and natural disasters. The successful lessons attracted the Channel 10 weather news!
- Dr Peter Dexter (retired, ex-Bureau of Meteorology and World Meteorological Organization) has given talks in the Warrnambool district to a local Rotary Group (on tsunamis), to a primary school (on the UN System and WMO) and to the Marine Science Department of Deakin University (on ocean forecasting). He is currently preparing presentations to the local U3A group on meteorology and weather forecasting, on tsunamis, and on WMO, and to some Aged Care facilities in SE Melbourne on weather forecasting.
- Dr Ruhi Humphries (CSIRO) has been educating primary school students on Antarctic aerosols based on measurements on his polar voyages.
- Vaughan Barras, former climate modeller at the Bureau of Meteorology and a maths and physics teacher at Donvale Christian College since 2013, is involved in the promotion of sustainability in schools which establishes links with other school communities and local councils.
Organised by Nyssa Lonsdale, the Bureau of Meteorology in QLD hosted a private tour for six-year-old weather enthusiast and writer, Harrison Allen, to encourage interest in Australia’s weather and climate in school students.
- Dr Stephanie Downes (Antarctic & Climate Ecosystems CRC) organized a Climate 101 lecture series for those involved in science education and outreach with four lecturers presenting on humans & climate change, ocean acidification, observing and modelling the ocean & atmosphere, and ice core records.
- Dr Clothilde Langlais (CSIRO) has visited Kinder-Grade 1 at South Hobart Primary School over the past three years to help kids understand about the world in which they live and the Earth’s climate (the water cycle, weather and ocean changes). These visits are part of the CSIRO Scientists in Schools program.
- Dr Jatin Kala ran atmospheric science laboratory experiments in 2016 at Murdoch University for visiting for Grade 9 and 10 high-school students (from Gilmore College and Kelmscott High and during a ConocoPhillips Science Experience). The experiments included simulating a cold-front, tornado, sea-breeze, Hadley-cell, and the Coriolis effect. Jatin has also given a public talk about Patterns in Weather and Climate for the 2015 National Science Week.
Some Feedback from our Science Activities
“We were all fascinated as it opened our eyes up to what really goes into weather forecasting – which we take for granted these days.”
“Thanks again for taking the time to visit our little class today. It was so good for them to see the link between what they do at an abstract level and a real-world, concrete context.”
“The fabulous photos enabled us to relive the dramatic events associated with the big storms.”
“We … appreciated your willingness to discuss the climate change issue and your balanced comments given the political hysterics surrounding the subject making rational discussion impossible! The second part of your talk had real relevance at a personal level as almost every person in the room had experienced those storms and suffered damage as a consequence.”
“I found the experience interesting. It was a great lesson…I found the cloud simulation to be the best part.”
“You provided a clear explanation of the various natural factors that influence climate, and the changes that these have caused, and recently the influence of human activities.”