Special Calendar Events
The Perth Science Festival & National Science Week
Astronomy Education Services takes spreading the word about the wonders of astronomy and the science of the cosmos seriously. That’s why you’ll always find me setting up a display booth for AES at the yearly Astrofest event held out at Curtin University and also during National Science Week when the Perth Cultural Centre is given over to people of a scientific bent. These free events are vital in helping engage the inquisitive minds of our young people – our future scientists.
This year, 2017, the Perth Science Festival was held indoors at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, the free public event kicking off National Science Week. There were over 40 stalls covering everything from Archaeology to Environmental sciences, Health and Medical, innovation and technology, to of course, Space and Astronomy.
AES joined forces with the GDC (Gravity Discovery Centre & Observatory) for the two day event, presenting some of the wonders of the universe (albeit in abbreviated form!) to enthusiastic crowds.
As the Science Festival was a daytime event, there was, unfortunately, no actual viewing through telescopes, but there were interactive displays to entice the public into learning more about astronomy and the cosmos.
One of my favourite displays to wow the public is the Cloud Chamber, a simple apparatus made from everyday materials which helps detect cosmic rays, those invisible particles that travel millions of kilometres through space and time and are able to penetrate and pass through matter, including our bodies. Seeing those wispy vapour trails suspended for a fleeting second in the Cloud Chamber never fails to impress anyone who sees them.
These all-day events are pretty full-on, but they are an important part of AES’s yearly calendar, giving educators like myself a chance to engage with the public and to perhaps give other educators ideas for future school incursions.
Check out the Youtube Vlog of the 2017 Perth Science Festival.