National Science Week (15 to 23 August) has gone digital this year, with online events, virtual tours and stay-at-home science experiments to get stuck into.
Here are five ways you can get involved.
Visit the STARportal
A collaboration with the Office of the Chief Scientist, Engineers Australia’s free STARportal has tripled its number of online activities to some 1400 to help parents, teachers and students get through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Use the filters to sort by age and areas of interest, and prepare for the children in your life to develop a whole new love of STEM.
Explore the universe without leaving home
Have you ever wanted to measure the speed of light? Now you can, and from the comfort of your kitchen, with a new video series from ASTRO 3D.
ASTRO 3D will post one video a day during National Science Week, each featuring an astronomer talking through a space activity you can do at home, and explaining how it relates to their own research.
It’s suitable for all ages, and will have you doing everything from modelling the universe in your own backyard to making a mini light-bending galaxy.
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Find out why engineering rocks
Looking to inspire a budding engineer in your life? Don’t miss geotechnical engineer Alexandra Radulovich CPEng speaking on Wednesday, 19 August.
Radulovich is a passionate advocate for the engineering profession who wants to get more young people excited about STEM. She’ll share her career path, what a geotechnical engineer actually does, and why she thinks working with dirt and rocks is the best job in the world.
Attend a talk
If the numbers of subscribers to Ancestry.com are any indication, Australians have a fascination with family history and genealogy. But you might not know that the DNA people send off to genetic ancestry services could also be used to solve crimes — and not everyone is happy about it.
Do you have the right to prohibit the use of your DNA by law enforcement? Even if you are happy for your DNA to be used, are you providing the DNA of your close genetic relatives without their consent?
Professor of Forensic Genetics in the Centre for Forensic Science at the University of Technology Sydney, Dennis McNevin, will cover these thorny topics during his talk on forensic genetic genealogy (17 August).
With a background in biomedical engineering and education, McNevin has also applied his skills to forensic science in an Australian Federal Police laboratory. He will share how forensic genetic genealogy has the potential to solve crimes, both recent and cold cases, as well as the difficult legal and ethical issues to consider.
For more on genetics, tune in to the University of New South Wales’ forum on First Nations genomics (18 August), where researchers will discuss how scientists are working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to improve health outcomes.
Learn more about Indigenous engineering
What does Aboriginal astronomy reveal about the night sky? What can we learn about sustainability from more than 60,000 years of Indigenous culture? You’ll discover the answers to these questions and more during Indigenous Science Experience Online workshops and presentations held during National Science Week.
Don’t miss the live, interactive event on Indigenous engineering (21 August), which will explore how First Nations people around the globe have used engineering to find solutions to social, technical and economic challenges.
Watch a webinar on demand
With all the great content out there, it can be hard to find the time to fit it all in. Enter recorded webinars. Not only will you learn something — you can do it whenever and wherever suits you.
Our picks? Press play on the Engineers Australia webinar Hydrogen as a clean source of energy and the part that ammonia can play to hear from two CSIRO researchers about the future of this energy source, or tune in to Updated mean sea level analysis around Australia to learn more about sea level rise across the country.
Another worth watching is In the COVID-19 environment, how do we engage students in STEM? which is all about supporting STEM students as they adapt to the “new normal” during the pandemic.
For more National Science Week activities, click here.