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Water, water, everywhere!

March is going to be a wet month - and we don't mean rain! This March, Australia celebrates FOUR different events related to water: SeaWeek (6th-14th March) National Groundwater Awareness Week (7th-13th March) Sustainable Seafood Week (8th-14th March) World Water Day (22nd March) There are so many opportunities to learn about the incredible marine habitats in Australia and around the world, as well as how water interacts with the land. Our Water & the Environment workshop covers the vital role that water plays for our planet and human life. Here's a project that gives you a taste of the [...]

Water, water, everywhere!2021-03-12T15:11:22+11:00

We’re back for a new school year!

After a challenging year in 2020, our passionate and expert presenters are excited to get back into the classroom once again! Mad About Science delivers high-quality science incursions which are aligned with the Curriculum, and blend enticing class demonstrations with hands-on experiences to facilitate genuine learning. Despite the lockdowns and travel restrictions last year, we were proud to have been able to successfully launch our popular and engaging programs in NSW, QLD, and ACT. Our talented team in NSW and QLD did an admirable job delivering COVID-Safe incursions throughout the year to schools all around the greater Sydney area, south-east [...]

We’re back for a new school year!2021-02-08T10:13:09+11:00

2019: The International Year of the Periodic Table

Dmitri Mendeleev was a 19th century Russian chemist with a brilliant mind, a steely determination and a mane of wild hair (yep, your stereotypical ‘mad scientist'). In 1869, he set out to find a way of organising all of the 63 known elements. Mendeleev claimed that the answer came to him in a dream: Arrange the elements horizontally in order of their atomic mass, while also vertically grouping elements with similar properties. Mendeleev's breakthrough resulted in him producing the first Periodic Table of the Elements. The Periodic Table went on to become an invaluable tool for many scientists, and is still widely used today with over [...]

2019: The International Year of the Periodic Table2021-02-03T08:30:49+11:00

Bioluminescence – Lighting Up The Night

Bioluminescence - Lighting up the night Residents of Tasmania! Did you know that, each night, tiny organisms called plankton are lighting up the waters right around your state? The phenomenon is called 'bioluminescence' -  light energy produced by a chemical reaction that occurs within a living organism. Bioluminescence can serve as a defense mechanism to confuse predators, or as a way to attract mates. Jamie Walker, Robert Moles and Ryan Shan are Tassie-based photographers who regularly go to their favourite spots around Hobart to photograph this amazing occurrence. If you are keen on joining them, you can read about their favourite spots here. (They do recommend proper cameras for taking photos though [...]

Bioluminescence – Lighting Up The Night2021-02-03T08:48:49+11:00

What is a Light Year?

What is a Light Year? Although it sounds like a unit of time, a light year is actually a unit of distance. The distances in space are so huge, they require special units to measure them in. One light year is 9.46 trillion km, which is the distance that light travels in one year.  (It might feel strange to think of light as 'travelling' anywhere, because the speed of light is so fast we do not observe this in everyday life.) Pictured above is Proxima Centauri - the closest star to Earth after the Sun. It is 4.25 light years, [...]

What is a Light Year?2021-02-03T08:48:59+11:00

What Is A Black Hole?

What is a Black Hole? A black hole is a region of space where the force of gravity is so extreme, everything – including light – cannot escape its pull. There are millions of ‘stellar’ black holes in the universe, formed by the collapse of giant stars. ‘Supermassive’ black holes, are far bigger, and are found at the centre of almost every galaxy.  We do not yet know how they form, however Albert Einstein predicted the existence of black holes in his theory of General Relativity over one hundred years ago. Einstein stated that objects with a massive gravitational force, [...]

What Is A Black Hole?2021-02-03T08:49:08+11:00

First EVER Picture Of A Black Hole

This image of a black hole has turned scientific theory into scientific fact.. Until now, all ‘pictures’ of black holes have been the impressions of artists or the simulations of physicists.  On 10th April 2019, a team of over 200 scientists from around the world unveiled this image, formed from five petabytes (that’s five million gigabytes) of data they collected whilst ‘staring’ into a black hole. The team effort was called the Event Horizon Telescope or EHT project, and used the combined power and resolution of eight radio telescopes at six locations around the world – Hawaii, Chile, Arizona, Mexico, Spain and the South Pole. The [...]

First EVER Picture Of A Black Hole2021-02-03T08:49:14+11:00

Good news for chocolate lovers… Bad news for pets

Researchers in the USA have found that eating dark chocolate has several benefits for both brain and body, according to the results of two new studies that were presented last year. Eating chocolate that is at least 70% cacao has positive effects on mood, memory, inflammation and immunity. One could almost say it reduces stress... but we knew that already, right?The effect of chocolate on cats and dogs, however, is very different. Chocolate can be poisonous to pets, due to the presence of a compound called theobromine. Humans can metabolise theobromine easily, but dogs and cats can not, resulting in a build-up of potentially toxic levels.Symptoms of [...]

Good news for chocolate lovers… Bad news for pets2021-02-03T08:49:19+11:00

Donna Strickland: 21st Century Physicist

In 2018, Canadian mum of two Donna Strickland became only the third woman ever to win the Nobel Prize for Physics, following in the footsteps of fellow science mums Marie Curie (1903) and Maria Goeppert Mayer (1963). Donna shared her prize with her collaborator Gerard Mourou, for their work on high intensity laser pulses, and with Arthur Ashkin for his work on 'optical tweezers'. In her acceptance speech, Donna quoted the Cyndi Lauper song 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun', saying 'I don't want to wait 'til the working day is done. I want to have fun at work.' You can read more [...]

Donna Strickland: 21st Century Physicist2021-02-03T08:49:23+11:00

Maria Merian: 17th Century Entomologist

Maria Merian was born in Germany in 1647. She began collecting caterpillars when she was 13, and later painted them in various stages of their life cycle. Her patient observations and detailed paintings provided the first evidence of the process of metamorphosis (when a caterpillar enters a cocoon and emerges as a butterfly).  Maria was the mother of two small children, and bore all of the responsibility of caring for them and managing her home, whilst remaining dedicated to her work. She also taught painting as a means of supporting herself and her children. You can read a longer article about Maria Merian here .

Maria Merian: 17th Century Entomologist2021-02-03T08:49:28+11:00