Ultimo Science Festival 201225 July 2012
The Ultimo Science Festival is returning to Sydney in a few weeks, running from 16 to 26 August. Several venues along Harris Street host events intended to get kids and adults interested in science. According to their website those events include “pub science, science-art and film, family activities, school sessions, lectures on amazing topics by extraordinary speakers, comedy, laboratory tours, peeks into museum basements and scientists scurrying out of their labs to show what they’ve discovered”.
Here are several of the highlight events. I’m definitely going to a couple, and so should you. I do not work for the festival or for any of the agencies involved in it: I just believe (obviously) that science is a wonderful thing, and getting kids interested in it early is vital for our society.
Events for the whole family
- THE BICYCLE: simple idea, complex evolution - See an early 1800s pedal-less hobby horse, an 1830s treadle-driven bike, a Penny Farthing and an Australian Olympic Superbike.
- Experimentations Exhibition - Come along and do real experiments! Explore the world, see science in action
- Science rhyme time for babies - Even toddlers love the idea of science. Sing science nursery rhymes with your little ones, 6 months – 2 years
- Big Science Weekend for children and families including;
- Ruben Meerman, the Surfing Scientist show - Be amazed at the tricks of Ruben Meerman, the ABC’s Surfing Scientist from Catalyst, Sleek Geeks and ABC3 and his science demonstrations. Witness the bizarre effects of liquid nitrogen on ordinary objects like balloons, rubber ducks and sausages! Ages 7 and up. Meet Ruben in person after each show!
- Mystery Investigators - Find out about the myth-busting science behind magic power bands, beds of nails, water divining and more.
- The Magic of Chemistry! Explore the chemistry that happens in your everyday life, uncover the molecular mysteries that usually you don’t even notice.
- WIPEOUT! A show by Perform! Educational Musicals – WIPEOUT! takes you on a hilarious, interactive journey full of scientific facts, emphasizing the importance of access to clean energy technology while exploring the diverse range of Australian ecosystems under threat.
Events for Adults
The 2012 Einstein Lecture by Dr Michael J Biercuk – Tuesday 21 August, 5:45pm
The seventh annual Australian Institute of Physics/Powerhouse Museum demonstration lecture will explore the current output from Einstein’s original work. In the past topics have included Lasers, Quantum computing, GPS, Global warming and medical science.
An examination of the physics of the very small and very cold will reveal just how different the quantum world is to our own. Our discussion will explore the wealth of bizarre phenomena that arise in quantum mechanics, and how we can exploit them to enable an entire generation of new technologies.
Dr. Michael J. Biercuk is an experimental physicist in the Centre for Engineered Quantum Systems at the University of Sydney. Michael runs a research group performing cutting-edge experiments using trapped atoms to study and exploit the strangest effects in quantum physics.
- Recommended for 14 years and up. Light refreshments included in ticket price.
- When: Tuesday 21 August, Doors open 5.45pm. Evening starts at 6.30pm
- Where: Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris St, Ultimo
- Tickets: $5 adult, $2 under 18s. Bookings essential. Call (02) 9217 0222 or
- Presented by the Powerhouse Museum and Australian Institute of Physics. Supported by the Australian College of Educators
ABC Life Matters forum with Natasha Mitchell – which will explore the ethics of animal experimentation
The Fame Algorithm with Maths Comedian Simon Pampena – Monday 20 August, 6pm.
What’s the secret to fame and fortune? Looks? Talent? Opportunity? Not any more. In today’s world you need to know MATHS.
Simon Pampena, the Angry Mathematician, takes the guesswork out of modern fame with his own formula for success, THE FAME ALGORITHM. Pampena demonstrates through careful analysis that even simple maths can explain world-wide success.
“People love sex and people love food hence people love Nigella Lawson. Her popularity is predicted with a simple Venn Diagram*,” says Pampena.
- When: Monday 20 August, 6pm
- Where: UTS City Campus, The Loft Bar, 15 Broadway
- Tickets: FREE but bookings essential: www.ultimosciencefeatival.com
A big night of Science – Saturday 18 August, 6-8:30pm
A big night out for those who love science. International special guest speaker Professor Jack Copeland, world authority and currently the most prolific author the work of code-breaking genius Alan Turing, the genius whose centenary we’re celebrating this year. Palaeontologist and host, Dr Paul Willis (from ABC’s Catalyst, now Director of RiAus), will lead us through a feast of talks, discussion and participation, plus there’s live jazz and drinks and canapes.
Objects from the Powerhouse Museum will be on display with curators to talk about them. Hands-on activities from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute will add spark to your night. Recommended for Over 18s (and accompanied science fans over 14 years). ID needed for bar service.
*I couldn’t help myself.