The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation – better known as the CSIRO – has scientists in laboratories and out ‘in the field’ all across the country, working on everything from developing better mining methods to controlling introduced species, , or collaborating with partners such as NASA in space exploration. The CSIRO also holds many public events throughout the years, from public talks and forums to tours of facilities or , Visit the CSIRO Events website to find something on near you.
A father and son team from NSW have revolutionized the hot, sticky and dangerous task of beekeeping, with their invention of ‘The Flow Hive’. Collecting honey is now as simple as turning on a tap! After one of the fastest crowdfunding campaigns outside the US, they have now sold 51 000 Flow Hives in 130 countries. The Flow Hive
Even though they come in an amazing variety of shapes, sizes and colours, there are several features that all flowers have in common. Flowers are the reproductive centres of the plant, and contain male and female reproductive organs. In this task, students will identify parts that all flowers have in common. They can collect samples to study themselves if desired. Try our Flower Anatomy Activity
Ever wondered why beehives are made of hexagons and not, say, pentagons? Grab a set of pattern blocks and start investigating to see which shapes can be laid next to each other in a pattern that competely fills a space and leaves no gaps. (If you don’t have a set of pattern blocks, here is a set of regular shapes you can copy and cut out.) You should find that regular triangles, squares and hexagons can all be used to do this. A repeating pattern that fills a space is called a ‘tessellation’. Tessellations can be found both in nature [...]
CSIRO Scientist Paulo de Souza is leading a world-wide effort to study the movements of bees. To do this, Paulo and his colleagues fit a tiny microchip to the back of the bee. The chip works like the E-tag on a car, gathering data about where, when, and how far the bee travels. This data can be uploaded to the cloud and available for scientists all around the world to analyse and gain a better understanding of how to protect bees from threats to their survival.
Imagine that you sit down for a healthy breakfast – some muesli and fruit, topped with some yoghurt and a drizzle of honey (of course). A cup of coffee on the side, perhaps. Now, lets re-imagine that breakfast if there were no bees in the world: No honey (of course), but also, no fruit, no coffee (that’s right, no coffee) and probably nothing left of your muesli except a few oats. Bees play a vital role in food production as ‘pollinators’. They carry pollen from one plant to another, which enables flowering plants to be fertilized and go on to [...]
‘Ground Up: Building Big Ideas, Together’ is the name of Scienceworks’ latest permanent exhibition for very young children. The space is designed to immerse 0-5 year olds in an imaginative world of sensory discovery and construction-play that will foster curiosity, encourage problem solving, and ignite a lifelong engagement with science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Entry is included with general admission to Scienceworks.
We don’t need to wait until children go to school to begin developing skills in STEM. Young children can be encouraged to do things such as observe the natural world, describe the features of objects, notice change, count things, compare sizes, and consider where they are in relation to other things (spatial awareness) . Five things parents can do every day to help develop STEM skills from a young age
American Inventor Thomas Edison (pictured) is the person usually credited with inventing the incandescent light bulb. However, the real story is a little more complicated than that , with several English scientists developing early versions of the bulb that Edison produced. In fact, when Edison went to patent his bulb design in 1879, Englishman Joseph Swan, who had publicly demonstrated his bulb just one year earlier, sued Edison for patent infringement. Edison moved to also sue Swan, but instead of fighting it out in court, they formed the ‘Ediswan’ lighting company in 1883. This company went onto become the massive [...]
STEM tasks do not necessarily involve lots of expensive equipment. They can be done with simple materials. It is important though, to clearly state what the goal and rules of the challenge is and the criteria that must be fulfilled. It is also important to clearly state the type and amount of materials available to each person or group of people. Here are a few of our favourite, simple STEM challenges. Mad About Science’s list of classic STEM challenges!