Science as a Human Endeavour

NEW Questacon Virtual Excursion Programme for Years 7-10

Scientists LIVE to your classroom!

The Science as a Human Endeavour (SAHE) programme takes you and your students to meet scientists and engineers working at the cutting edge of research, in interesting careers and those doing unexpected science. We will tour facilities and interview scientists and engineers guided by the Science as a Human Endeavour strand of the national curriculum. SAHE virtual excursions are interactive and we encourage teachers and students to ask questions of our host scientists or engineers throughout the excursion.


We are currently taking Expressions of Interest for sessions in March and May (details below). Places are limited, please contact us soon to secure your participation or to join the mailing list to be notified of upcoming events.

Targeting the Australian Curriculum

The SAHE virtual excursions use live interviews to target specific links within the Australian Curriculum for science. In this way, questions can be tailored to suit the student year levels attending the excursion. Questions like those below provide an example of how the interview can target year 8 curriculum during the Accelerating Atoms session.


(ACSHE134) Scientific knowledge changes as new evidence becomes available, and some scientific discoveries have significantly changed people’s understanding of the world - How has nuclear physics and the advent of particle accelerators influenced our understanding of the world?

(ACSHE226) Science knowledge can develop through collaboration and connecting ideas across the disciplines of science - What disciplines of science are being used in the work and research taking place at the particle accelerator?

(ACSHE135) Science and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society and involve ethical considerations - What ethical considerations do you face in your work and research? Contemporary issues such as nuclear power generation can seem controversial, what impact has nuclear physics research had on the development of nuclear power generation?

(ACSHE136) Science understanding influences the development of practices in areas of human activity such as industry, agriculture and marine and terrestrial resource management - What impact has nuclear physics had on industry, devices and resource management?

(ACSHE227) People use understanding and skills from across the disciplines of science in their occupations - How does nuclear physics fit into other science and non-science occupations?

What's coming up in SAHE?

Accelerating Atoms with Dr Kaitlin Cook (ANU)

Date: Wednesday 26th March

Time: 10-11am

Target audience: Year 7-10

Cost: $150 (max 50 students)

Send expressions of interest to digitaloutreach@questacon.edu.au

Description:

The department of Nuclear Physics at the Australian National University is home to the Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility, which is made up of a 40m tall Van der Graff accelerator and a superconducting booster accelerator. Together, these accelerators enable us to accelerate virtually any atom (from protons through to uranium and plutonium) to speeds up to 10% of the speed of light. This is enough to overcome the repulsion between atomic nuclei, allowing nuclear reactions to take place.


Using these reactions, Kaitlin performs experiments to understand the behaviour of atomic nuclei – the bundle of protons and neutrons at the very centre of the atoms. Besides answering questions in fundamental quantum science and nuclear physics, experiments like these find a range of applications in environmental sciences, biological sciences, in archaeological studies through to understanding the reactions that happen in the Big Bang and in stars that formed the elements that make up you and me.

Effective Macroalgae with Dr Dave Roberts (JCU)

Date: Wednesday 14th May (TBC)

Time: 10-11am

Target audience: Year 7-10

Cost: $150 (max 50 students)

Send expressions of interest to digitaloutreach@questacon.edu.au

Description:

David leads the Biomass Scale Up Demonstration program within the Macroalgal Biofuels and Bioproducts project at James Cook University. Macroalgae are diverse and productive aquatic weeds that can be used for a wide range of applications from food to biofuel production. Macroalgae are also very effective at sequestering pollutants from waste water as they grow. David’s research focuses on harnessing the ability of macroalgae to clean industrial waste water, particularly from mines and power stations to deliver sustainable waste water treatment for industry. The project aims to grow algal biomass in waste water streams to reduce the environmental impact of energy generation, and then to use that as a platform to produce algal biomass for further applications.