17 May 2018:
Superstar of STEM and CNBP researcher Dr Sanam Mustafa has taken her outreach skills to Adelaide High School, speaking to approximately 300 Year 9 students (across two sessions) about her scientific activity, her career as a scientist and what it takes to succeed in a University environment.
“My talk was extremely well received by the students and teaching staff,” said Dr Mustafa. “They loved the personal stories and hearing about the light-focused science that we do at the CNBP.”
As part of her outreach activity at the school, Dr Mustafa also ran an interactive workshop for students, aimed at illustrating the importance of developing tests to quantify levels of pain for both human and animal populations.
“The students, in groups of about 10 were asked to discuss painful conditions that they had experienced and to try to find a common experience (maybe a paper cut or sprained ankle for instance). I then asked them to rate their pain from a scale of 1-10 to see how this varied within the group to demonstrate the subjectivity,” says Dr Mustafa.
“I then asked the groups to discuss if and why this subjectivity is a problem – such as inability of small children to describe pain, an inaccurate description of pain resulting in the administration of wrong medication and deliberate manipulation of pain scores for drug seeking behaviour.”
“Finally, I told the students how I hoped to develop a test to quantify pain to help overcome this subjectivity and showed them a slide demonstrating the ‘colour of pain’ from our ongoing hyperspectral work.”
“Feedback from the day was extremely positive,” concluded Dr Mustafa. “And it was fantastic to see so many engaged students actively thinking about science and how it has the potential to have such a beneficial and positive impact on society.”
Below – Adelaide High School visited by CNBP’s Dr Sanam Mustafa.
11 May 2018:
The launch of a ground-breaking and unconventional permanent exhibition at Scienceworks titled ‘Beyond Perception: Seeing the Unseen’ had more than a touch of CNBP involvement with RMIT based researchers A/Prof Brant Gibson and Dr Tony Orth involved in providing information, content and ideas to the exhibition over a 12-18 month planning and implementation period.
The exhibition, reflecting the latest and greatest stories from science and technology, provides interactive, large-scale experiences that reveals the invisible fields and forces that surround us, such as gravitational waves, invisible light, sound and aerodynamics. It also demonstrates current research which is continuing to uncover these amazing and tantalizing worlds.
“The areas where we contributed were around the use of the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum for optical microscopy applications,” says A/Prof Brant Gibson.
“We looked at the the fact that the diffraction limit of a microscope has now been ‘broken’ with the development of superresolution microscopy such as STED or PALM.”
“It was an absolute pleasure to be involved in this type of activity that takes science out to the broader community,” says A/Prof Gibson.
“The exhibition provides an opportunity for people to immerse themselves and to deeply engage with the exhibition using sound, light and waves in ways which are radically different to other exhibitions I’ve seen.”
Information on the exhibition and how to visit can be found online.
Below – a quote from A/Prof Gibson forms part of an exhibition display.
10 May 2018:
CNBP’s Dr Annemarie Nadort has shone a light on biophotonics, microcirculation, medical device development and a career in science to an audience of 35 Yr 9-10 high school students, at an outreach session at Macquarie University, May 10th, 2018.
The students, attending the University as a part of a ‘career-ready’ day, were given a quick tutorial on blood and light and were then given a hands-on demonstration of a clinical microcirculation imager that was able to provide a real-time view of red blood cells circulating in capillaries under the tongue.
Students were then given a brief history of the imager’s development and then asked how they could potentially improve a mark-two version of the device from a biological, physics, engineering, IT and software perspective. This explained Dr Nadort was the sort of critical thinking required to kick-start a career in medical device design and development; and the skills that could be learnt from undertaking higher education study.
Feedback from the students was extremely positive. Half a dozen students tried the imager under their own tongues. Seeing the body’s cells operate in real-time on a large screen proved insightful and engaging to all in the room.
Below – Dr Annemarie Nadort explains to students how we can use light to see blood using innovative new tools and techniques.
18 April 2018:
Two fantastic sessions of outreach in two days by CNBP researcher Dr Annemarie Nadort saw 100 Year 11 and Year 12 students learn about biophotonics, blood cells and the skills required to create medical devices that benefit society.
The sessions took place at Macquarie University and were part of a highly successful initiative aimed at encouraging students to undertake higher education learning and potentially develop a career in science.
During the outreach sessions, Dr Annemarie Nadort provided the students with a brief overview of light-based imaging and how it could be best applied to examine blood inside the body. Students were then presented with a real-life case-study on the development of a clinical microcirculation imager. A hands-on demonstration of the device then took place, followed by an interactive group discussion on how the device could be potentially improved with future development. Students were then left with the message that there were many opportunities open to them across the scientific and technology disciplines, and that they should study in those areas that they were most enthusiastic about.
“I was extremely impressed as to how engaged these students were,” said Dr Annemarie Nadort. “They provided some great answers during the group discussion stage of the session and had really thought through issues and potential solutions. I could see the keenness for science and technology in the room and hopefully my sessions added to that keenness and passion for science. I’d love to see some of these students become the researchers of the future, developing their own fantastic new medical devices over the years and decades to come.”
Below: Dr Annemarie Nadort communicating the wonders of science to high school students and explaining what it takes to become a successful academic research scientist.
28 February 2018:
CNBP welcomes Dr Melanie Bagg, Director of Communications and Outreach, Australian Academy of Science as the new Chair of its Education and Outreach Advisory Committee.
The Committee provides guidance to the CNBP in marketing, public relations, communications and outreach with Melanie a PhD qualified medical research scientist and professional science communicator.
In this role, Melanie will bring her extensive knowledge of science communications and engagement strategies to the Centre. This includes prior experience gained as Manager of Business Development, Australian Science Media Centre (AusSMC) as well as various senior marketing and outreach roles at the University of Adelaide.
As Chair of the CNBP Education and Outreach Committee, Melanie will also be welcomed as a member of the CNBP Advisory Board. This high level Advisory group advises on the strategic directions for the Centre and monitors delivery of organisational outcomes.
“I’m extremely excited to be able to help CNBP continue its great work in communicating its scientific outcomes to a wide range of stakeholders including school students, the general public and media,” she said.
“The research coming out of the Centre is simply fantastic and I look forward to being involved in such an exciting and interdisciplinary scientific space.”
Below – Melanie Bagg joins Team CNBP. L to R – Kathy Nicholson (CNBP Chief Operating Officer), Melanie Bagg (Outreach Committee Chair), Prof Mark Hutchinson (CNBP Director) and Catriona Jackson (Advisory Board Chair).
8 February 2018:
Professor Mark Hutchinson, the Director of the Centre for Nanoscale Biophotonics, in the School of Medicine, at the University of Adelaide talked with Sonya Feldhoff, ABC Adelaide about fibromyalgia and what can be done to treat it.
The interview can be heard in its entirety on the ABC radio website.
11 November 2017:
Fantastic TV talents (and CNBP researchers) Prof Brant Gibson and Dr Philipp Reineck from RMIT University featured on SCOPE TV for kids, 11th November 2017.
Check them out as they discuss the use of diamond nanoparticles in biophotonics to help shed light on cells and the living body!
6 November 2017:
Thirty-one Year 11 students from Concordia College visited CNBP headquarters at the University of Adelaide, 6th November 2017, further strengthening outreach engagement and linkages between the school and Centre researchers.
The students, part of the International Baccalaureate Science program, enjoyed presentations from CNBP researchers, participated in a Q&A regarding CNBP science, and undertook lab tours with Dr Jiawen Li who did a show and tell with Miniprobes technology. Students were then able to get hands-on with the mini-probe, experimenting with its capabilities on pieces of fruit which mimicked potential use on the human body.
As part of the outreach session – CNBP’s Dr Kyle Dunning talked about her research and its focus on reproductive health, Patrick Capon and Aimee Horsfall presented chemistry and its use in CNBP sensing technology and Dr Georgios Tsiminis talked about his own physics journey and the sensing work that he is now working on in the meat and dairy space.
Feedback from Joanne Rogers, Head of Science at Concordia College, noted that she thought this outreach session was, “The best yet with CNBP.”
Below – photos from the visit.
16 October 2017:
Centre Associate Investigator, Dr Kate Fox from RMIT University has participated in the Ecolinc STEM for Women program in Melbourne, Oct 16th, 2017.
Ninety students (Years 9 and 10) attended the event where they got to learn of the experiences from a range of women who work in a variety of STEM related areas. They also heard from education providers about potential career pathways in STEM and listened to the career journeys of successful women in science.
The students were from Upper Yarra, St Albans, Dandenong, Southern Cross Grammar, Bacchus Marsh, Overnewton College, Highview College, Bellarine and Whittlesea.
23 September 2017:
CNBP scientists joined forces with astronauts, astronomers, scientists, stargazers and artists to present a night starring astronomy and light at the annual AstroLight Festival, held at Scienceworks in Melbourne, Saturday 23 September, 2017.
The public event, which attracted more than 1,500 attendees, saw eleven CNBP team members involved – giving talks, undertaking light-focused science demonstrations and hosting an interactive stall.
Specific talks included:
- Science Fiction Science Fact – Laser Combat in Movies from A/Prof Brant Gibson, CNBP node leader at RMIT
- The Spark of Life – Dr Hannah Brown, CNBP Fellow from the University of Adelaide
- Fluorescent Proteins – From Nature to the Lab from CNBP PhD student Emma Wilson
Event feedback from A/Prof Gibson was extremely positive. “There was plenty of interest in our light-based CNBP science and some great questions from the public both young and old. The team really pulled together to make our participation such a success – both on the night and in the lead up activity, and with the development of the displays and demonstrations.”
Below – The CNBP team ready to do outreach!