22 January 2019:
Senior indigenous students were given an insight into life as an academic researcher, as well as provided with an overview of light-based imaging in the body, following an outreach presentation undertaken by CNBP’s Dr Annemarie Nadort at Macquarie University.
Dr Nadort’s presentation (the challenge of exploring blood as it circulates through the body) and hands-on demonstration of a clinical micro-circulation imager supported Walanga Muru’s ‘Camp Aspire’ program. Camp Aspire sees approximately fifty Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students (in Year 11/12) spend three days at Macquarie University to discover tertiary options, explore the campus and make potential connections related to future study.
“I hope to inspire students with my research journey as well as to show them that a science degree can help open multiple doors when it comes to future career options,” says Dr Nadort. “The skills you learn at University are valuable and will stand you in good stead regardless of what you end up doing.”
Co-presenting the outreach session with Dr Nadort was Macquarie University’s Professor Orsola De Marco. She spoke to students about her own career journey as an astrophysicist and discussed the importance of tackling gender imbalance by encouraging more women to undertake STEM related study.
Below: Dr Annemarie Nadort explains the properties of light and how it can be best used to explore the inner workings of the body.
21 November 2018:
A group of high achieving STEM students from Adelaide High School visited the University of Adelaide, 21 November 2018.
As a part of this visit, CNBP researcher Dr Jiawen Li took the time to show them around the Bio Sensing Laboratory while also explaining the research that took place there.
23 October 2018:
‘Ingenuity’, a public facing event run by the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences (University of Adelaide) was recently held at the Adelaide Convention Centre and CNBP science was represented!
The University event, showcasing final year student projects and achievements, was attended by thousands of school students, industry representatives and members of the general public, with the goal of encouraging and fostering an ongoing interest in STEM related subject areas (science, technology, engineering and maths).
This year saw CNBP PhD student Kathryn Palasis participate at the event, giving two presentations to approximately 300 school students on her research (the design and development of photoswitchable drugs) and describing her time at the University, with the aim of encouraging students to pursue a career in STEM.
“It was fantastic seeing the energy and interest in the room,” said Miss Palasis. “The feedback from staff and students was extremely positive and it was great to share my research and scientific passion with them all.”
“Hopefully we’ll see some of these young scientists studying at the University and then showcasing their own exciting areas of research in the years to come,” she said.
Below – CNBP PhD student Kathryn Palasis delivers her talk.
20 September 2018:
A class of Year 11 Physics students from Loreto College, Marryatville, South Australia were visited by CNBP researcher Dr Jiawen Li, September 20th, 2018.
During the outreach visit Dr Li spoke on the medical uses of fibre optics technology and answered questions from the class, helping shed light on the life of a scientist and explaining the wide-range of career options open to STEM students.
“I really enjoyed visiting the school and found the session an extremely rewarding experience,” said Dr Li.
“Student questions following the presentation were well thought through and hopefully I helped in some small way to encourage the girls to continue their study of physics and other STEM related subjects.”
“Higher education potentially opens up a wide range of exciting career opportunities right across the science, engineering and medical disciplines,” said Dr Li. “And it would be great to see these enthusiastic students get to University.”
Feedback from the school post-event noted that the students had found Dr Li to be a fantastic role model and that her presentation session had been particularly inspiring.
Below: Students from Loreto College at the outreach session.
8 September, 2018:
It was a fantastic evening of outreach by the CNBP-RMIT team at the annual AstroLight Festival, at Scienceworks in Melbourne, 8th September, 2018.
A wide range of demonstrations, talks and hands-on activities from volunteers from Observatories, Universities and Research Centres brought science to life to over 600 members of the public at this annual astronomy and optics event.
CNBP highlights included public talks from Center Chief Investigator Prof Andrew Greentree (The wonders and delights of bees and how they see colour) and Centre Associate Investigator Dr Kate Fox (Fluorescent Implants: 3D printing for the future).
Also popular was the CNBP interactive stall where there was a number of light based giveaways as well as a room of CNBP light experiments showcasing the properties of lasers, fluorescence, imaging and more.
“Taking science to the public is always extremely satisfying,” said CNBP Node Leader at RMIT University, A/Prof Brant Gibson.
“It’s great to be able to excite and enthuse people about what we do and to explain the relevance that science has in our community more generally.”
“The team came together with a huge amount of energy and positivity which helped make the evening a great success!”
Below – Big smiles from the CNBP-RMIT team at AstroLight 2018!
7 September 2018:
Prof Jeremy Thompson, CNBP Chief Investigator at the University of Adelaide was a panelist at a ‘Science in the Pub’ outreach event where he presented a talk titled ‘Life outside the womb’ at the Rob Roy Hotel, Adelaide, September 7th, 2018.
18 August 2018:
Light-based demos ranging from optical fibre lamps, to infinity LED light boxes, to UV light and a fluorescing scorpion were all on show to the general public and potential new students at the CNBP stand at Macquarie University’s Open Day.
At the stand, CNBP researchers took the opportunity to talk-up science and more specifically to explain the field of biophotonics, as well as discuss the value to society that CNBP research provides. Many potential students seemed to be particularly interested in possible career opportunities following a successful under-graduate science degree and were keen to find out more about jobs in the med-tech and general health and diagnosis arena.
In addition to the demonstrations and the informative CNBP science stand, the Centre was also represented at the Open Day science speed dating event. At this session, CNBP laboratory manager Dr Ayad Anwer discussed his science (hyper-spectral imaging work focused on exploring the inner workings of cells), to interested members of the public who had the opportunity to speak directly and in-turn with a room full of MQ University researchers.
Feedback from the Centre team who volunteered for the Open Day was that they had experienced an enjoyable time with many positive interactions, discussing their science and their life as a scientist more generally, to interested and engaged members of the public.
Below – The CNBP team get ready and prepped for Open Day!
17 August 2018:
CNBP continued its outreach interactions with Concordia College (Adelaide) with a team of Centre researchers taking their light-focused science to the school, all in support of National Science Week.
Two separate outreach sessions were undertaken by the CNBP team at the college (each session presented to approximately 75 Year 9 and Year 7 students). Researchers consisted of Pat Capon and Aimee Horsfall (Chemists), Kylie Dunning and Darren Chow (Biologists) and Akash Bachhuka (Physicist).
Demonstrations and activity included the following:
-Propylene glycol bending light
-A universal pH indicator
-Metal salts in flame
-Trans-disciplinary Biology/Chemistry/Physics in research
-The illusion of holograms
-Discussion on where a science degree can take you
“This was the key activity that Concordia College engaged with for National Science Week and it was great to see so many students interacting directly with our researchers,” said Partnerships Manager Mel Trebilcock.
“There were some great questions from the students and the CNBP team really enjoyed getting out of the laboratory and inspiring the next generation of young scientists,” she said.
12 August 2018:
The CNBP team at the University of Adelaide had their light-based science, advanced new tools and innovative startup companies on show at this year’s Open Day, Sunday 12 August, 2018.
Members of the public and aspiring students had the opportunity to see ultra small 3D imaging needles from Miniprobes, the sensor from MEQ Probe that utilises spectral analysis to objectively determine the quality of meat in seconds, and chemistry demonstrations from CNBP PhD students Aimee Horsfall, Kathryn Palasis & Patrick Capon demonstrating a pH Universal Indicator.
The Open Day showcases the University’s programs, facilities, and staff, with the aim of helping those individuals who are thinking about entering higher-education study. CNBP’s efforts were focused on displaying the benefits and career opportunities possible in the biophotonics space (academically and commercially) following a strong undergraduate degree in science.
Below – Photos from the Open Day. Top photo shows a demonstration of pH levels. Bottom photo shows Prof Mark Hutchinson, CNBP Director demonstrating the “MEQ Meat Probe”.
12 August 2018:
250 members of the public including families and potential students visited CNBP laboratories at RMIT University, Sunday 12th August, 2018, as a part of the institution’s Open Day activity.
Learning about the science of light, as well as sensing and imaging at the nanoscale, attendees were able to tour the biophotonics and cryogenic confocal laboratories, as well as experience first hand, demonstrations which included fluorescence microscopy.
“At times, the labs were packed with interested and engaged prospective students and their friends and families, said CNBP Deputy Director and RMIT node leader A/Prof Brant Gibson.
“It was amazing to hear the passion for science by some of the prospective students – some really knew what they wanted to study and some didn’t.”
“There was also excellent feedback from public regarding the the passion from my team when discussing CNBP research and why it is having such an impact for society, he says.”
Below – Emma Wilson demonstrating fluorescence microscopy! Bottom photo – Dr Philipp Reineck demonstrating fluorescence with UV light in the lab.