Millions of Australians might be back in lockdown, but this year’s National Science Week (14-22 August) provides an opportunity to explore the world (and beyond) without leaving home.
The nation’s annual celebration of science and technology includes events for all interests and ages. Here are some of our top picks.
Take a tour
Ever wondered how fermented milk drink Yakult gets from the factory to the supermarket shelf? We hadn’t either, until we saw that the makers of Yakult are offering a virtual tour of their production facility for National Science Week.
You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the equipment designed specifically for manufacturing the product, including those distinctly shaped bottles, the filling and packaging lines, culture and quality control rooms.
Other virtual tours include a look around the Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre in Western Australia, where you can see the Magnus Supercomputer before it is replaced by Setonix, a supercomputer 30 times more powerful than its predecessors. View the tour here.
Kids will enjoy jumping into the Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park in South Australia to swim with giant cuttlefish, or traversing from swamp to scrub with the Greater Sydney Parklands online experience.
Baked by a machine
‘Food: Different by design’ is the school theme for National Science Week, and the founders of Girls Day Out in STEM are celebrating in the best way – with sweets.
For the Great Machine Learning Bake-off, Google Cloud Engineers Natalie Piucco and Marina Deletic trained a machine learning model to create completely new recipes, including a bread-cookie hybrid and a cake-cookie hybrid.
Now, they want children everywhere to be their taste testers. To participate, register for access to the secret recipes, try them out and vote for your favourite.
Test your knowledge
Hosted by Charlie Pickering, the National Science Quiz (19 August) is a celebration of all things science. Tune in to see six Australian scientists and science communicators battle it out for the honour of 2021 champion and test your knowledge alongside them for a chance to win cash and prizes. Register here.
Fuel their curiosity
Engineers Australia’s free STARportal has hundreds of remote learning and home-based activities for kids. From coding classes to Antarctic science and even Minecraft lessons, there’s something for everyone in this collaboration with the Office of the Chief Scientist.
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.
For more help keeping young minds entertained, check out this extensive list of at home science activities, including making lava lamps and investigating the Stroop effect.