National Science Week: What’s On in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter

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National Science Week is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology. This year, there are lots of local events in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Hunter for your family to enjoy National Science Week.

‘Brain’ and ‘Biomes’ Exhibition

13 – 28 August | Newcastle Museum | Free | Details

Newcastle Museum and Stream bring to you ‘Brain’ and ‘Biomes’. ‘Brain’ and ‘Biomes’ are science art collaborations and offer a mix of observational and interactives components. ‘Brain’ explores the impressive inner workings of our brains and ‘Biomes’ re-engages us with the wonders of the natural world. Together the Brain and Biomes exhibitions show how connected to our environment we really are.

STEAM Week Storytime

Different Days | Lake Mac Libraries | Free | Details

Celebrate Lake Mac STEAM Week with stories, songs and hands on activities at their science themed storytime. Help them celebrate National Science Week, and Lake Mac STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Week at our fun, science themed Storytime at Edgeworth Library, Morriset Library and Toronto Library. Suitable for ages 3-5 years. Bookings essential. 

Lake Mac STEAM Week – Look to the Stars

Saturday 13 August | MAP mima Speers Point | 6pm – 8pm | Free | Details

Join the Newcastle Astronomical Society, as they point their telescopes to the sky above Lake Macquarie for night of stargazing. Learn how to navigate your way to the milky way and beyond, as the Society’s members share their love, enthusiasm and knowledge of all things stars and the universe with you.

Gardening below the surface with Operation Posidonia: Lake Macquarie

Saturday 13 August 2022 | Warners Bay Theatre | 10am – 3pm | Free but bookings required | Details

Marine ecologists from Operation Posidonia and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science invite you to learn about Lake Macquarie’s seagrass meadows and participate in practical scientific activities to understand how they function. Participants will have the opportunity to share their knowledge with your community, friends and family by taking part in a hands-on science-meets-art activity led by local artist Liss Finney. They encourage participation of upper primary aged students, however this program is suitable to people of all ages.

How Plants Work

Saturday 14 August to Sunday 28 August | Hunter Region Botanic Gardens | 9am – 4pm | Free after $5.00 entry fee to the Botanic Gardens | Details

For this year’s National Science Week, the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens in Heatherbrae celebrates the return of their interactive exhibition How Plants Work. In recent years students have been forced to learn in a virtual world. This exhibition offers a return to hands-on learning. All life on earth depends on plants. Using simple observations and experiments, visitors can gain fascinating insights into how it all happens. Explainers are on hand to encourage visitors to explore the expedition and assist with experiments.

Dr Karl Session at University of Newcastle

Saturday 20 August | The Conservatorium, City campus and online | 6pm – 8:45pm | Free but registration required to attend event in-person | Details

Join the University of Newcastle for a fascinating evening celebrating National Science Week with the one and only Dr Karl from University of Sydney on Saturday 20 August as he explores the wonderful world of science as well as answer any of your curly science questions. Dr Karl will talk about what it is he loves about science, including how anyone can be a scientist (even in their own backyard!). Hear about Dr Karl’s own science journey that has taken him from presenting on ABC’s Double J in 1981 to an Ig Nobel prize winner for his ground-breaking research into Belly Button Lint and to being named as a National Living Treasure in 2012. 

Lake Mac STEAM Week – Full STEAM Saturday & Sunday

Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 August | The Swansea Centre | 9:30am – 12:30pm | Free | Details

Join Lake Mac Libraries at the Swansea Centre as they take all things STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) to the next level. It’s the ultimate combination of challenges, experiments, creativity and digital technology, that will test your problem solving skills, your ingenuity and your gaming skills. Design and 3D print your own keyring or lose yourself in virtual reality in our new Fablab. Challenge your friends or test your skills in the games zone, and tackle the Questacon trail. Enjoy activities in the Science Fair (Saturday) or the ‘Pop up’ Artspace (Sunday). A perfect family day out there is something for everyone! No need to book just drop in and join in on as much of the fun as you wish! Suitable for all ages, children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Hunter Science Festival

Sunday 21 August 2022 | Newcastle Museum | 10am – 4pm | Free | Details

Learn about science at the 2022 Hunter Science Festival. It’s a fun free event for everyone from young children to adults. The festival is a celebration of all things science in the Hunter and is hosted by the Hunter Innovation and Science Hub and is part of National Science Week. Join them for hands-on interactive learning including building and racing a solar car with Hunter Valley Electric Vehicles, making “poo” with world-class HMRI gut researchers and finding out how food is turned into poo, climbing into a Council garbage truck and talking to the driver, winning prizes at fun family science trivia competitions, and exploring interactive science tables from all the Hunter Science Hub members!

National Schools Poster Competition (NSPC)

The SSA National Schools Poster Competition is a fun, project-based learning activity which encourages primary and secondary school students to develop, implement and creatively report upon an investigation on any topic of interest to them (the ‘X’)… for great prizes! Students conduct small-scale versions of real-world investigations in teams, developing core STEM and cross-functional skills. They create an informative e-poster presentation communicating their investigation clearly, concisely and creatively.

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