Science Week in Western Australia

Jennifer: National Science Week is drawing to a close, and Western Australians are still making the most of the many science engagement events being held across the state.

The Science Ninja Van has been travelling throughout regional Western Australia engaging older audiences. The energetic team presents a hilarious show about the effects alcohol has on the body, and it all starts with a bottle of wine for each member of the audience. For the first time in my life I put on some upside-downey goggles, which, as their name suggests, turn everything upside-down. The goggles demonstrate the inebriating effects of alcohol, and trying to catch a ball or give a high-five whilst wearing them is practically impossible.

During her visit to Perth, NASA astronaut Megan McArthur engaged Western Australians with stories about her expeditions into space. McArthur flew to service the Hubble Space Telescope earlier this year and spent six months aboard the International Space Station. The children in her audiences have proved most interested in how she slept, ate, washed and went to the toilet, in space.

The Big Aussie Star Hunt is a national astronomy competition being held this week. Participants should count how many stars they see making up the constellation Scorpius, which dominates the sky during the Winter months. By matching this number with a magnitude chart, the amount of light pollution in the local area can be determined. By way of a hint, star-gazing is easiest between 7 and 8pm, as the moon isn’t up in the sky until much later.

Science Week events continue this weekend throughout Western Australia, including the Rock Festival 2009- a celebration of geology in the WA outback. For a full list of what is still to come, head to the National Science Week website.

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