Category Archives: Outreach

All outreach – schools, tours, public talks etc — feeds to the “community – outreach” page

School science conference impresses

15 June 2017:

Dr Nima Sayyadi, CNBP researcher, has undertaken guest judging duties at the 2017 Sydney Girls High School Science Conference.

Each year students at Sydney Girls High School complete a research project as part of the NSW Science Curriculum. This project provides Year 9 students with an opportunity to design and perform an investigation into an area of their choice. The annual Science Conference then gives the students a forum where they can present their research to an expert panel.

The panel not only provides students with feedback relating to their investigation, but also determines the projects worthy of further recognition. The determination considers both experimental design and the ability of the student to communicate their ideas.

According to Nima, the standard of work on display was of an incredibly high standard.

“The way that the young students designed their research projects – the hypotheses and preparation and understanding of data limitations was generally quite remarkable.”

Projects being showcased included DNA extraction from fruits with limited facilities through to the analysis of the plastic waste found in water on different beaches in Sydney.

“It was a great experience for me to meet the students, teachers, and other judges from different universities at this event,” concluded Nima.

“Hopefully the passion that these students show for science continues through High School and into tertiary education and beyond.”

CNBP participates in LEA outreach event

7 June 2017:

With a focus on STEM learning and the need for innovative outreach approaches, Learning Environments Australia (SA chapter) have coordinated a forum at the University of Adelaide, 7 June 2017, which saw significant support from the CNBP.

Prof Mark Hutchinson (CNBP Director), Tony Crawshaw (CNBP Communications and Outreach Coordinator) and Dr Sabrina Heng (CNBP Researcher, pictured) all participated in the LEA forum, providing talks and answering questions as to the Centre’s successful approach to engaging with schools and students and inspiring the next generation of young scientist.

Joanne Rogers, Head of Science, Concordia College who has been closely involved with CNBP outreach activity, talked about the real life changes experienced by her students, resulting from engagement with CNBP scientists. Students she said, had picked up additional science subjects on the back of CNBP school and laboratory visits.

Other University of Adelaide presenters at the event included Kiri Hagenus, Director, Children’s University; Dr Claudia Szabo, Associate Dean, Faculty of ECMS – MOOC in digital literacy for teachers; and Science’s Prof Bob Hill, who discussed successful Faculty outreach initiatives.

Social media for research engagement

21 April 2017:

CNBP’s Dr Hannah Brown (pictured), together with Prof Ben Mol, the University of Adelaide and Melinda Cruz, CEO and Founder of Miracle Babies Foundation, believe that social media interaction and scientific activity should go hand-in-hand.

They argue that increased social engagement by scientists with collaborators, the media, governing and funding bodies, government and consumers underlies research success.

Check out their latest written piece, ‘Social media is essential for research engagement‘ in BJOG, an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

CNBP talks to the pollies at SmP

24 March 2017:

A chance to talk science with Australian politicians and policy influencers was an opportunity seized by CNBP with Centre Investigator Prof Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem and Centre Research Fellow Dr Andrew Care both in attendance at the annual ‘Science meets Parliament’ (SmP) event, Canberra, 21-22 March, 2017.

Established by Science and Technology Australia, SmP provides 200 scientists with a unique professional development opportunity to get a clear sense of the competing rationalities of science, politics and public policy. The two-day gathering also includes a day at Parliament House, where delegates get the chance to meet privately with parliamentarians.

As part of this activity, Prof Ebendorff-Heidepriem met with Senator Chris Back and Senator Chris Ketter, and also spoke with Shadow Minister of Defence, Richard Marles. In addition, she spoke with many researchers and entrepreneurs from both the University and industry sectors.

“Improving collaboration between the research community and industry was a hot topic in many of the discussions that I had”, said Heike. “Particularly in my meeting with Senator Chris Back. People were also extremely excited about our approach, in using fibres and light to create exciting new windows into the body.”

CNBP’s Dr Andrew Care met with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s advisor, discussing gender equality and early education for STEM and also touching on ECR opportunities and improving research and industry ties. He also met MP Adam Bandt, the Greens spokesperson for science.

“Overall it was an extremely rewarding experience,” says Andrew. “Attending SmP gave me the opportunity to explore the political process and to network with many other researchers from academia, industry, and governance. It was fantastic to see science and innovation so high on the government’s agenda.”

A full round up from both days of SmP can be found on the STA web site – Day 1 and Day 2.

Below – MP Adam Bandt and CNBP’s Dr Andrew Care.

 

Science ‘Experience Day’ at RMIT

18 January 2017:

Researchers at CNBP’s RMIT University node were busy doing light-based demonstrations on Wednesday Jan 18th, as part of the ‘RMIT University Experience Day’ program, whereby students from years 10, 11 and 12 get to engage in hands-on workshops and explore life on campus while experiencing the differing aspects of University discipline areas.

As part of the ‘experience’ activity, over seventy high school students (predominantly in Year 10) visited the CNBP researchers in their physics laboratories. While there, students were given an overview of biophotonic science as well as laboratory research, and shown the exciting things that can be done with light including 3D scanning, fluorescence microscopy and more.

Below – CNBP researcher Philipp Reineck talks and demonstrates photonics to students.

 

 

 

CNBP outreach strategy presented

tony_sq4 November 2016:

Tony Crawshaw, CNBP Communications and Outreach Coordinator, has undertaken a talk and sat on a panel discussion at the 2016 Regional Day Out event, hosted by Learning Environments Australasia’s South Australia chapter in Adelaide.

The Regional Day Out meeting (with approximately 250 attendees) focused on the education debate regarding STEM in Australia ( Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and the definition of sophisticated learning spaces that enrich the passion and engagement of STEM and outreach related studies and activities.

Tony’s talk and panel commentary looked at successful communications and outreach strategies currently undertaken at CNBP to help inspire the next generation of researchers and scientists. Through engaging in STEM outreach and educational activities, the CNBP has explored how space, environment and resources with which STEM education is facilitated, impacts the outcomes and legacy of the learning opportunity.

 

Conference outreach inspires

_mon255419 October 2016:

As a part of the SPIE Biophotonics Australasia conference, the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics organised a half day outreach session for approximately 100 South Australian students on the 19 October, 2016.

The session, focused on inspiring the next generation of scientists, saw Yr 10 and 11 students  from Concordia College, Seaview High School and Seymour College all attend the conference and enjoy talks, poster sessions, light inspired science demonstrations and discussion time with leading researchers.

Feedback from the teachers and students, and CNBP researchers involved was hugely positive with a sample of comments from students included below –

Melisa – Seaview High School Student

“I really enjoyed the exhibition and presentation due to how professional the researchers/scientists were about their job and what they do. They explained the importance of science and the significance new modern research have on the world and society, in addition to how diverse science is and the vast range of job opportunities available in various fields of the industry. I enjoyed the practicals which were demonstrated as the visuals and results of the experiments were something I had never seen before. Furthermore, the practicals conducted made me realise how amazing and powerful science can be and how everything should be done outside the box with no limits. I’ve always enjoyed science though I was never sure if I would contribute to the industry in the future, however this excursion opened me up to new opportunities and I can potentially see myself having a career in science.

Minh – Seaview High School Student

“The excursion was really eye opening to see how advanced we are and our capabilities of how we can benefit in the medical field with new technology. The event was really fascinating and displayed a lot of visuals to help with the explanation. I learnt about how we can manipulate light properties to change and create new methods and technology to help in the medical field. This BioPhotonics excursion impacted my view on future careers and courses in the science field and how new job fields can be created.”

Stephanie – Seaview High School Student

“It was a great opportunity to delve into the various aspects of science, especially biology and physics, that allowed me to think deeper about the different careers science can provide. The many different ways that light can be used in researching was interesting and the various experiments conducted were definitely a new experience. It was an inspiring event that changed my view on science, which changed my perspective of science and the courses I could take in the future related to Biophotonics.”

Below – CNBP researcher Denitza Denkova explains photonics to students.

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Goldys gives public talk on cell colour

Ewa Goldys Low Res Edit 01594 October 2016:

CNBP Deputy Director Prof Ewa Goldys gave a colourful and illuminating public talk at Macquarie University today, discussing a pioneering hyperspectral imaging technique that is helping researchers better understand the composition of cells, right down at a molecular level.

The talk, entitled, ‘A Eureka Moment for Cell Colour Technology’, explored the use of colour information to differentiate between cells – applying photonics to biology.

Goldys believes that this next-generation methodology offers a new window to non-invasively and rapidly detect major health conditions including neurodegeneration, cancer and diabetes.

The research won Goldys and her colleague Martin Gosnell, the 2016 ANSTO Eureka Prize for Innovative Use of Technology.

Below: Ewa Goldys presenting her work on the fluorescent colour signatures of living cells and tissues, using big data techniques and innovative computing technology .

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Researchers light-up festival

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA10 September 2016:

Researchers from the RMIT University node of the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) were out in force to support this year’s AstroLight Festival at Scienceworks, Melbourne, undertaking a wide variety of talks, displays, hands-on activities and demonstrations that entertained and educating over 2000 excited members of the public.

From talks encompassing laser combat in the movies (and how lasers work in real life), to the natural ‘glow-sticks’ found in the living environment, to astronomy at the nanoscale, the CNBP-RMIT team had a blast, in taking their passion for lasers, optics, fluorescence, and all things ‘light-based’ and molecular out to the wider community.

From an evening of highlights, brought together by professional researchers, industry bodies, science communicators and community science groups (and over 250 volunteers), there were amazing wonders of astronomy, light and science to be seen at AstroLight 2016. Not least, a cutting edge fluorescence microscope brought to the event by CNBP that allowed attendees to view the amazing biology that makes up cells, to a scanner that could take 3D images of objects in real-time, to colourful laser based activities that demonstrated just how light waves work.

A/Prof Brant Gibson, CNBP node leader at RMIT University saw the festival as a huge success. “All of the contributors and organisations came together to share their knowledge and expertise and there was plenty of fun and engaging activities for individuals of all ages to participate in.”

Gibson was particularly happy with the way in which the CNBP-RMIT researchers came together to support the event. “They worked tirelessly in producing suitable talks and demonstrations as there was a real desire to showcase our science in the most appealing and engaging way possible. The large numbers of people at our stand and in our CNBP demonstration rooms, all curious about biophotonics, was testament to the effort, energy and enthusiasm shown by our team in making this event so memorable.”

Gibson also commented on the importance of taking science out to the community. “It’s critical that we communicate the fantastic research that we are doing, and that we do it in a way that makes it real and important to the general public and that they can see how it impacts on their everyday lives. Of course, making it fun and exciting as well, is the perfect way to showcase what we do which is why AstroLight is such an outstanding festival.”

Inspiring the next generation of potential researchers was also a key objective to participating. “We really want to encourage an interest in, and continued learning in STEM subjects that will foster future innovation,” said Gibson. “Hopefully some of the children wowed by our lasers and talks will be doing my job in twenty-five years time. Wouldn’t that be great!”

Below – CNBP researcher Emma Wilson demonstrates use of a fluorescence microscope.

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Outreach session at St. Ignatius College

Michelle-Zhang_1_sq23 August 2016

CNBP researchers from the University of Adelaide, Michelle Zhang and Sabrina Heng, have undertaken a school outreach session at St. Ignatius College, Adelaide, August 23, 2016.

The scientists spoke to two groups of children in an early-learning program about the science of light and the use of light in medicine. Several hands-on activities were also then run for the children to demonstrate that science can be fun as well as educational.

This included:

  • the use of UV-sensitive beads for making into a bracelet that was then worn for several outdoor activities
  • sunscreen applied to the beads to teach how sunscreen protects against sun-burn
  • the use of spectroscopes that can diffract room-light into a series of colourful bands at differing wavelengths (the students were asked to draw what they saw)
  • a simple kit that converted youtube videos to holograms
  • and CNBP colouring-in sheets that demonstrate life at the nanoscale

Positive feedback from the teachers at St. Ignatius College and also the parents of the children that attended the session was received over the course of a very fulfilling day!