The Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra is the nation’s elite sports training centre. The very best athletes across a range of sports, including swimming, cycling and gymnastics are selected to come and train here. Tours operate daily, and include a visit to Sportex, a leading interactive sports exhibit set amongst a unique collection of Australian sporting memorabilia. More information
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So far Colby Watts has created 15 blog entries.
If allowed to grow for their whole lifetime, the length of someone’s hair would be about 725 kilometres There are about 40,000 bacteria in your mouth. The human heart pumps 182 million litres of blood during the average lifetime. 50,000 cells in your body died and were replaced by new ones while you were reading this sentence. Not only human beings, but also koalas have unique finger prints. More bizarre body facts
Did you know that it is nearly impossible to bowl a lawn bowl in a straight line? Lawn bowls are not perfectly round, but have a slightly flattened shape , which makes them follow a curved path when bowled. The shape of the bowl is called the ‘bias’. Lawn bowlers used the bias of the bowl to curve the rolling bowl in towards the ‘jack’ (the white target ball). The stereotypical image of a lawn bowler is of an elderly person, but the Australian womens team competing at the Commonwealth Games is challenging that image, with three of the five [...]
heart. Learn how we are all connected, and made of the stuff of stars! This workshop is for students in Years 3 to 6. It is available in a 60 or 90 minute format. We recommend a 90 minute format if budget and timetabling constraints allow. Each workshop can cater to a maximum of 30 children. However, smaller groups have better access to equipment and the facilitator.Take a journey through the human body and explore its parts and systems. Perform chemical experiments to understand digestion, think quick and test reaction speeds, use stethoscopes to listen to the rhythmic beat of your [...]
Congratulations to seven year old Kaelan Hancock, the winner of our ‘Super Spider’ competition! Kaelan told us all about the peacock spider – tiny spiders found across southern Australia that are brightly coloured and like to dance! Congratulations Kaelan, your prize pack of a jumping Solar Spider, a pack of Miracle Tattoos (including a giant spider that crawls up your arm when viewed through a phone app) and a copy of Guinness World Records: Science and Stuff is on its way to you. If you are curious to see some peacock spiders in action, here is a dancing peacock spider [...]
This DIY 'heart rate monitor' will open your eyes to the amazing muscle that keeps you alive and kicking. All you need is a drinking straw and a lump of putty, plasticine or blu-tac. What to do: Poke the straw into the putty. Okay, so it looks nothing like an expensive ECG monitor but wait till you see what this thing can do! Lay on your back and find the pulse in your neck. Lay the putty on top of this spot so that the tip of the straw is just above your eye. Now watch what happens... it's a [...]
In 2012, champion South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius became the first para-athlete to be allowed to compete with ‘able-bodied’ athletes in the Olympic games. Pistorius is a double lower-leg amputee who wore special prosthetic legs, called ‘blades’ to run. In 2008, he was banned from competing with able bodied athletes, on the grounds that his blades gave him an unfair advantage. Several expert scientists analysed his running technique. They concluded there was insufficient evidence for an unfair advantage, the ban was overturned, and Pistorius went on to run at the Olympics and the Paralympics of 2012. Blade technology continues to [...]
Did you know that Mad About Science is available to present science shows at kids birthday parties? Our team member Lucy loves to present at parties. Lucy grew up on the Gold Coast, then moved to Canberra to attend the Australian National University at 18. Lucie has a Bachelor of Science/ Bachelor of Arts in Astrophysics, Philosophy and Biological Anthropology. She worked on several research projects at university, including the SkyMapper telescope. In addition to working for Mad About Science, Lucie is very interested in food sciences. In a former job she developed a new dairy product for a business. [...]
Beautiful thundereggs are round, nodule-like rocks with a surprise in the centre - they are full of gorgeous crystals. Thunderbird Park, at Queensland's Tambourine Mountain, boasts the worlds largest thunderegg mine. You can fossick for a thunderegg of your own in prehistoric volcanic lava. More Information
Try this simple experiment to find out why the arch shape is used as a weight-bearing feature in structures such as bridges: Carefully cut or crack two eggs in halves. Clean out the insides (this is easier if you boil the eggs first). Ensure that the edges of the cut are smooth and not jagged. You can wrap a little tape over the edge to help with this. Place the 4 halves down on a table to mark out the four corners of a rectangle. Carefully place one book or magazine on top of the four egg halves so that [...]