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The Australian National University

Community outreach

'Who Are Scientists?' - a day involving Ulladulla, Batemans Bay and Moruya High Schools, Thursday 31st October 2013.

In conjunction with ANU Student Equity through their Regional Partnership Program we held a 'Who are Scientists?' day for year 8 and 9 students from Ulladulla, Batemans Bay, and Moruya High Schools.

This gave the students an opportunity to meet five 'real' scientists, as well as an undergraduate science student.

Emeritus Professor Hans Bachor demonstrating to High School students during his laser show
Dr Niraji Lal demonstrating to High School students during his show on The Science of Electricity
Professor Tim Senden demonstrating to High School students during his presentation.

A snapshot of the scientists who ran sessions:

Professor Tim Senden
Tim works where physics and chemistry combine. This has taken him from the Kimberley hunting 400 million old fish, to France stretching molecules, to the Middle East looking for oil, and designing nanotech treatments for cancer. Through asking the right questions and having a sense of curiosity he believes you can have fun, meet great people as well as make a pretty good living! Tim and Nerilie (see next) co-presented, cleverly joining their two areas of work.

Dr Nerilie Abram
Nerilie's scientific work has taken her to Antarctica, Indonesia and Greenland. Her research goals are to build the knowledge of how the Earth's climate has behaved in the past, and how its climate systems are now changing with anthropogenic greenhouse warming. Her research involves using tropical coral reef and cave samples and polar ice cores to reconstruct past climates across a range of environments and time periods. Nerilie finished the day showcasing the lab and field gear she uses when doing her scientific work in a dress up session 'What does a scientist look like?'

Dr Niraj Lal
Nij researches how to make solar-panels better, he graduated in 2012 with a PhD in physics from the University of Cambridge and likes to play soccer, saxophone and samba drums. Nij presented a show on 'The Science of Electricity' - what electricity is, how it's made, and how we'll power our future, complete with whizbang demos and a game of the 'Watt-hour is Right!'.

Emeritus Professor Hans Bachor
Hans Bachor has pioneered many experiments in quantum optics and shown a way how we can tame laser beams. He studied in Germany, led an international research team as professor at the Australian National University and is interested in explaining science to the public. Hans presented an amazing laser show leaving students in awe of the world of physics.

Tilo Fobes
Tilo is studying for his PhD - and one of his modes of transport around uni is on a skateboard. He had it with him at Kioloa and skated around the car park at the end of the day. His work is all about infection with the malaria parasite and how membranes modify or change during infection. Tilo explained a bit about his journey into science and ran a quiz which had students up and down in their seats (true!).

The day was a great success, with both Students and Teachers from the High Schools thoroughly enjoying the day and having the opportunity to talk to 'real' scientists. Students discovered and learnt throughout the day the diversity and excitement that can be found in the fascinating world of Science.

Kioloa Coastal Campus Manager and Staff wish to thank the volunteers that assisted with providing lunch for the day - Matthew Thompson (chef); Wendy Edwards (hospitality worker); Ulladulla High School Hospitality students; Luke T., Gabrielle C., Jack D., Belinda H., Taylor W., and Chloe C.; and Matt & Maria Goodwin from IGA Bawley Point for providing all supplies.

The Murramarang Community Garden, what are they up to now?

The local 'Murramarang Community Garden Inc.', located on the Kioloa Coastal Campus, has expanded to now include some 80+ members with individual garden plots. Recently the community garden area has been expanded to include a cultivated area suitable for communal growing - fruit trees, berries, garlic, potatoes, onions etc., this expansion is still in construction phase. The industrial container used for storage and work has also had some upgrades, including a roof and pergola. A new addition to the pergola area will be a slow combustion stove, protected by a newly constructed western wall. Paving stones salvaged from ANU Acton campus will be used for paving under the pergola. The MCG group holds regular Saturday working bees and invites friends and visitors to drop by.

Sharing of produce between Murramarang Community Garden members
Shelter belt on eastern side of Murramarang Community Garden
Murramarang Community Garden - Pumpkin Festival egg & spoon race

Updated:  31 January 2014/Responsible Officer:  Director, Facilities & Services/Page Contact:  Systems & Information Technology