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So far Simon Watts has created 40 blog entries.

Elizabeth Blackburn: The Tasmanian biochemist who discovered The Telomere Effect


If you have ever wondered whether there is a way to slow down the aging process, then Elizabeth Blackburn has some answers for you. Blackburn is (so far) Australia’s only female Nobel prize winner. She was awarded the prize in 2009 for her work on telomeres. Telomeres are the sections of DNA that occur on the ends of chromosomes. (All of the DNA in each of your cells is organised into parcels called chromosomes. Each cell in the body has 46 chromosomes). Telomeres stop chromosomes from ‘unravelling’ in the same way that the plastic caps on the ends of shoelaces [...]

Elizabeth Blackburn: The Tasmanian biochemist who discovered The Telomere Effect2021-02-03T08:51:25+11:00

Howard Florey: The Adelaide doctor who developed a miraculous new medicine


If you have ever taken a course of antibiotics to cure an infection, then you have Nobel prize winner Howard Florey to thank for your recovery. In the early 1940s, just as World War II was beginning to cause death and terrible injuries across the globe, Florey led a team of scientists that were the first to treat infected wounds with pencillin – a newly discovered substance that kills bacteria. The success of the treatments was seen as nothing short of miraculous, and paved the way for the commercial manufacture, not just of penicillin, but of a whole range of [...]

Howard Florey: The Adelaide doctor who developed a miraculous new medicine2021-02-03T08:51:34+11:00

CSIRO Public Events


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.

CSIRO Public Events2021-02-03T08:51:38+11:00

The Flow Hive


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

The Flow Hive2021-02-03T08:51:42+11:00

Flower Anatomy


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

Flower Anatomy2021-02-03T08:51:49+11:00

Why are beehives made of hexagons?


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 [...]

Why are beehives made of hexagons?2021-02-03T08:51:53+11:00

Meet Paulo de Souza, the Aussie scientist fitting bees with ‘backpacks’


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.

Meet Paulo de Souza, the Aussie scientist fitting bees with ‘backpacks’2021-02-03T08:51:56+11:00

No Bees = No Breakfast


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 [...]

No Bees = No Breakfast2021-02-03T08:52:01+11:00

Ground Up – Scienceworks new space for kids


‘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.

Ground Up – Scienceworks new space for kids2021-02-03T08:52:05+11:00

Developing STEM skills in young children


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

Developing STEM skills in young children2021-02-03T08:52:08+11:00