I am passionate about communicating the excitement of science and the natural world to young people and their families. Children learn best by seeing and doing. That is why the CSIRO’s Double Helix Science Club is so successful – it exposes young people to hundreds of events throughout the year. These events range from making and launching model rockets, banding bats and birds, behind-the-scenes tours of hospital laboratories, hands-on experiments, field trips, astronomy viewing nights, electronics and so much more.
My commitment to educating families about the need to protect our environment led me to start up a junior field naturalists club almost 30 years ago, and I still coordinate that Club today, with club memberships growing each year.
National Science Week is an important time of the year to celebrate and highlight the work of scientists, and how it impacts on our every day life in ways that most people never realise. National Science Week in SA was launched at a huge 3-day event held at the Adelaide Showground and which attracted over 25,000 people who were amazed by the range of interactive science-related exhibitors in over 60 stalls. The massive event also featured amazing science shows, including performances by those wonderful Curiosity Show stars, Prof Rob Morrison and Deane Hutton.
Stretching over almost 3 weeks in SA, National Science Week is a full program of events throughout the state, including planetarium sessions, a science-art trail, robotics, science workshops, forensics science presentations, using chemistry to combat crimes, science busking in the city streets and so much more – all presenting science in a fun and exciting way. Two of our regional events are “Tracking the Home Range” on Kangaroo Island with global Cetacean experts and “Arid Recovery Open Day” at Roxby Downs, highlighting the biodiversity of the arid zone.
So plenty of scientific fun and excitement for people of all ages during National Science Week!
Rona Sakko is the Chair of the National Science Week Coordinating Committee in South Australia. She also coordinates the CSIRO’s Double Helix Science Club in SA, is the Secretary of the Australian Science Communicators (SA branch) and President of Junior Field Naturalists SA.