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On the dinosaur trail with Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum

Written by Ben Newsome on September 15th, 2012.      0 comments

Over the past year Fizzics has been working with the Sydney Chapter of Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum on a concept of bringing AAOD to Australian schools through video conferencing and outreach.

In August I was lucky enough to be invited along to visit a AAOD dinosaur dig in Winton, QLD.

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Bronze statue of Banjo
Meeting 'Banjo'!
Teaching Topics: Dinosaurs, edchat, museums, outreach , scicomm, STEM

Science club booming at the Powerhouse Discovery Centre

Written by Ben Newsome on July 12th, 2012.      0 comments

This year has seen the introduction of an informal science club at the Powerhouse Discovery Centre at Castle Hill. 

Children aged 8 years and up are now able to come to the Powerhouse Museum Collection Stores to participate in science experiments with like-minded kids. The weekly sessions have kids running their own experiments...

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excited student

After school got awesome!

Teaching Topics: edchat, education, museums, outreach , scicomm, STEM

Working with Disney: Who stole the Cake?

Written by Ben Newsome on February 2nd, 2012.      0 comments

We had a bit of fun last week as we filmed a short segment for Saturday Disney – “Who stole the cake?”. With a few props and couple of takes Shae Brewster from Saturday Disney was on the case as we looked at...

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On the case with Disney!

Teaching Topics: edchat , events, media , outreach, scicomm, STEM

How to run an Australian wildlife show

Written by Ben Newsome on October 22nd, 2011.      0 comments

I ran into Anthony Stimson again a little while ago whilst running science workshops at Australian Museum’s Science in the City. Anthony runs Australian Wildlife Displays and visits schools to perform wildlife shows. As such its common for us to run into each other whilst at science festivals and environmental events and have become mates along the way. 

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Australian Wildlife Displays - Anthony Sstimson

Animal shows run well...


Fizzics Out and About

Written by Holly Kershaw on September 6th, 2011.      0 comments

We have been out and about celebrating National Science Week and having lots of fun with science in Sydney and beyond. We had an absolutely jam-packed National Science Week.

– visiting many schools, and presenting at numerous events around the city, including Science in the City at the Australian Museum. The Science Ignite launch of National Science Week gave us some close encounters with dinosaurs in Martin Place.

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Fact or Fiction by ANSTO

Science communication… just what is that anyway?

Written by Ben Newsome on August 1st, 2011.      0 comments

Remember Professor Julius Sumner-Miller, the lecturer who first brought simple engaging science experiments into people’s homes via TV? Wow, did he start something!

Prof. Sumner-Miller’s ideas of demonstrating science using simple materials have been taken up by primary and science teachers throughout Australia; in fact you would struggle to get through a teaching degree without being exposed to this way of teaching.

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create a buzz

Inside science outreach

Teaching Topics: edchat, education, outreach , scicomm, teaching

Science Lessons from Masterchef

Written by Holly Kershaw on July 31st, 2011.      0 comments

Who said that all reality television is complete rubbish?

Sunday night’s Masterchef challenge contained some serious lessons about the importance of the scientific method. The challenge was to invent a recipe, and write it so that somebody following it to the letter could reproduce it perfectly. 

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liquid nitrogen pour
Cooking a science challenge?
Teaching Topics: cooking, edchat, education, outreach , STEM, teaching

Does science always have to go bang?

Written by Holly Kershaw on July 26th, 2011.      2 comments

Most of the time when I walk into a job, whether it be a school workshop, an event, or a birthday party, I get asked if I’m going to make something explode – and I’m not sure that this is a good thing.

As a science student at uni, I was often asked what I was planning to do once I finished studying. I would often (only half-jokingly) reply that I hoped one day to be paid to blow things up.

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flour fireball
Flame fireball
Teaching Topics: education, outreach , scicomm, STEM, teaching

Rethinking 'chemical-free' products & the need for science communication

Written by Holly Kershaw on July 17th, 2011.      0 comments

I get irritated when I go shopping. More and more scientific jargon appears to be making its way onto the labels of products, and in many cases it is misused and doesn’t make sense.

I’m a scientist, I use jargon all the time and I don’t have any problem with it when it is used appropriately and is adequately explained. However, I do have a problem when it is misused and becomes misleading. 

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Chemical free? How?
Teaching Topics: edchat, education, scicomm, scied , teaching

Science classes via video conferencing… the real digital revolution

Written by Ben Newsome on July 15th, 2011.      0 comments

With the National Broadband Network (NBN) beginning to be rolled out across Australia, at an estimated cost of $35.9 billion, the general public is quite rightly wondering what they will get for their buck. Well, having just attended the Digital Outreach conference this week I can say from the education perspective that things will change dramatically...

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Remote STEM enrichment


Magical science

Written by Holly Kershaw on July 12th, 2011.      0 comments

I am not ashamed to admit this, but for the last 12 years of my life, I have wanted nothing more than to be able to toss some Floo powder in a fireplace and walk through that beautiful green flame to the land of Harry Potter.

With the last installment of the 7+1 part movie series being released in Australia tonight, I have been thinking about movie magic, especially that green flame.

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harry potter
Image: Time Warner
Teaching Topics: edchat, scied , STEM, teaching

Up, up and away!

Written by Holly Kershaw on July 8th, 2011.      0 comments

This is a significant weekend for science. At 1.25am AEST Saturday, Space Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to be launched into space for the 33rd and last time.

As I was reading up on facts for a post about the final launch of Atlantis, I found out that it is also the final launch of the NASA Space Shuttle program – making this launch the end of an era for human space travel and exploration.

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shuttle tile
Last hurrah for Space Shuttle
Teaching Topics: NASA, science news, space science, STEM

Teaching science to gifted kids… overcoming the challenges

Written by Ben Newsome on July 5th, 2011.      0 comments

As most readers are aware, working with gifted children offers its own challenges when it comes to science. Our approach to any child, gifted or not, is to work with what they can do rather than concentrate on their particular age.

Having supplementary material on hand is the best insurance to keep active minds busy, as well as being flexible enough to alter the lesson...

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Fizzics Dry Ice
Working with gifted kids
Teaching Topics: edchat, education, gifted, scicomm, STEM, teaching

Turtles Cause Airport Chaos!

Written by Holly Kershaw on July 1st, 2011.      0 comments

There is a large population of Terrapin Turtles living in the marshes near JFK Airport, and every year they migrate to nearby sandy areas in Jamaica Bay to lay their eggs

– and there just happens to be a runway in the way.
A runway at a very, very busy airport....

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Turtles crossing!
Teaching Topics: edchat, scicomm , science news

Well that was really, really close!

Written by Holly Kershaw on July 1st, 2011.      0 comments

Earlier this week, we had a close shave. An asteroid passed by the Earth at just 12,000 km. The distance between the Earth and the Moon is roughly 400,000 km. That is really, really close.

The asteroid was between 5 and 20 km in diameter and probably would have burned up and exploded upon entering the Earth’s atmosphere. But that’s not what I find most interesting about this. What is interesting is how little notice we had of its passing. 

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How close we came...
Teaching Topics: science news, space science , STEM

Volcanic Ash Chaos

Written by Holly Kershaw on June 27th, 2011.      0 comments

Chile’s Puyehue Volcano began to erupt on June 4 of this year, and despite being 10,000 km away from the eastern states, wreaked havoc on Australian and New Zealand air travel.

How did the cloud of ash manage to travel so far?  The answer is trade winds.

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Making a simple volcano
Teaching Topics: science news, STEM

Thinking about energy

Written by Holly Kershaw on June 21st, 2011.      0 comments

As part of our Renewable Energy workshop today, I was asked why we can’t use the steam produced by the evaporation of liquid nitrogen to power a turbine and generate electricity.

The short answer is economics –the amount of energy that would be produced by using liquid nitrogen to power a turbine would be less than was consumed to make the liquid nitrogen and keep it cold (it boils at -196 C). This is negative energy production, and doesn’t really make much sense...

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solar panel
Energy production chit chat
Teaching Topics: edchat, education, scicomm, STEM, teaching

SLIMED! One bet I lost:)

Written by Ben Newsome on June 1st, 2011.      0 comments

A bet is a bet!
We were playing around with Facebook and Karin suggested that if we got 50 “likes” by the end of the business day the Sydney staff could slime me.  Of course I couldn’t resist the challenge :)

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ben got slimed
Teaching Topics: edchat, scicomm, teaching

Heading west for Science in the Bush

Written by Ben Newsome on June 28th, 2010.      0 comments

Again we're heading out west for the 'Science in the Bush' series for the Australian Museum. As we headed out we couldn't help but stop and see the sites on the way...

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parkes radio telescope

Science outreach out west!

Teaching Topics: outreach , scicomm, STEM

LIVE Video conferencing with your school no matter where you are!

Written by Ben Newsome on May 6th, 2009.      2 comments

Beginning in 2007, NSW rolled out millions of dollars of video conferencing hardware to NSW public schools through the Interactive Classroom Project

So how can rural and remote schools gain access? Read on...

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Video conference camera
Connecting students everywhere

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