Far Out Science is in the Bush at UNE

Published 21 October 2013

Science in the Bush PicHundreds of high school students will be donning lab coats and brandishing beakers at UNE’s annual Science in the Bush program on November 7-9.

More than 800 high school and primary school students from 34 schools around New South Wales will take part in Science in the Bush, part of UNE’s Far Out Science Program that celebrates the fun, intriguing and exciting sides of science. Secondary students from years 7-9 will attend the first day, with years 5 and 6 students having their turn the following day.

Science in the Bush is a unique opportunity for country kids to get hands-on science experience in university labs, with experiments and activities from a wide range of disciplines including chemistry, pharmacy, nursing, zoology, sports science and agricultural science amongst others. The activities are designed to encourage kids to think of science as exciting, and consider it as something they would like to pursue in the future.

For over a decade, Science in the Bush has been an annual event. This year, for the first time thanks to an Inspiring Australia Grant, Science in the Bush is also being extended to members of the general public on Saturday morning for anyone interested, young or old, to come along and get involved.

Event organiser Dr Michelle Taylor is looking forward to a great program. “Science in the Bush is about giving kids the opportunity to see how exciting science can be,” she said. “Kids need to know that science isn’t just about being geeky – at Science in the Bush most kids realise pretty quickly that science can actually be very cool”.

In anticipation of the program students also exercised their artistic talents, with many entering a t-shirt design competition. The final design is based on year 6 Ben Venue student Raquel Remigio-Smith’s entry, and will feature on the shirts worn by Science in the Bush guides and demonstrators.

Last year, Dr Taylor and Dr Erica Smith received a Federal Government grant for Unlocking Australia’s Potential through the Inspiring Australia Strategy and a grant from NSW Department of Trade and Investment’s Science Leveraging Fund to help extend Far Out Science. Along with this government funding, the program is being run with the support of UNE, the Poultry CRC, ChemSupply, and Wiley.

“Science in the Bush is very inclusive, schools with just a handful of students are taking part along with local students and schools travelling several hours to participate,” Dr Smith said. “These grants have enabled us to offer travel grants to assist with travel costs, which would otherwise prevent some from attending.”

The program will run on November 7th for secondary students and November 8th for primary students. The public open day will be held on the morning of November 9th so put the date in your diary because you don’t want to miss this!

More details about the public event will be posted on our website shortly http://www.une.edu.au/science-technology/far-out-science.ph