Voyager News

Throughout each term, we have several trips away from UNE where we travel to a location and visit three to four schools in and around the area in a week. These are busy weeks, with lots of driving, unpacking, packing, facilitating and interacting with many excited and engaged students. ...

Have you noticed any more or less fungi growing in your area lately? Here in the New England of NSW, where our UNE Discovery team reside, we’ve been spotting quite a lot of interesting and unusual fungi lately....

After a socially distanced virus-altered year, the Discover Voyager team is back on the road and it’s feeling vaguely normal. On 1 March we headed out to small schools in the Taree and Gloucester regions. When on the road we love to explore a little and get our science-play hats on. With a few hours up our sleeve, the team headed out to Wallabi Point, near Taree. The task: slow down, explore, notice, wonder, question and play. ...

International Women’s Day 2021 was, once again, a day for heartwarming collegiality and celebration of strong, amazing women. It was also a day of anger, shame and frustration at the slow rate of change, or complete lack of change of the treatment of women around the world, both in the home, at work and in our communities. It was a day of everything in between too, and I was grateful to see and be the beneficiary of the friendship and camaraderie of women in regional NSW. ...

In late 2020, the UNE Discovery team, in collaboration with Armidale City Public School, Settlement Services International and the Armidale Regional Council via the Armidale War Memorial Library, were successful with a grant application with the Federal Government’s Inspiring Australia program for Maker Projects: Community STEM Engagement projects....

If you are anywhere in eastern inland Australia at the moment, you may have seen an abundance of mice either in your home or on your farm. ...

UNE was the place to be in January 2021. We were very grateful to be able to host The Science Experience 2021 supported by ConocoPhillips and Santos in a COVID- safe environment on campus in Armidale. The Science Experience is a fun 3 days of science activities for Year 9 and 10 students, and enables students to do experiments in labs, meet and hear senior lecturers in the lecture theatres, attend site visits and walk around and experience what it’s like to be on the campus of a university. ...

After what has been a challenging year, we are excited to announce that we are now taking bookings for the UNE Discovery Voyager in 2021! But before I delve into our offerings for this year, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my experience as the UNE Discovery Voyager booking coordinator in the year that was 2020....

The UNE Discovery Voyager program has looked a little different this year. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team have postponed 45 school and community visits, and reduced travel by over 4000km. ...

A very hearty congratulations to educators, parents and students for making it to the end of what has been a challenging year! And a big thank you to the wonderful teachers, students and community groups who welcomed the Voyager team into schools, libraries and community centres, and adapted with us to ensure that we could inspire and engage with students safely....

The Science Experience takes place at more than 20 universities and tertiary institutions around Australia. Each program is designed to provide students who have an interest in science with an opportunity to engage in a wide range of fascinating science activities under the guidance of scientists who love their work. In Armidale, the opportunity to stay at Mary White College for two nights is a draw card for teenagers finding their own interests in science, and thinking about attending university one day themselves. ...

Recently UNE Discovery and the New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM) partnered to offer a two-day Masterclass for anyone interested in how insects shape our planet, our lives and our narratives. Thirteen attendees from around NSW engaged with entomologists and ecologists, artists and museum staff about insect ecology and conservation, identification, pinning and curating; as well as the artistic techniques of natural history illustration....

If you have been keeping up to date with our social media posts you may have seen a new face on the team: George the Geologist! Dr. George is very enthusiastic about geology and knows a lot of things about all kinds of rocks and loves sharing his knowledge....

UNE Discovery, in collaboration with Dr Nic Campione, developed a palaeontology activity in 2018 called Weighing Giants, which over 650 students across northern NSW have experienced. Now you can read about the research behind it! ...

Recently, I was lucky enough to tune in to the webinar series “Well-being, Play and Outdoor Learning”, hosted by Jeavons Landscape Architects in Victoria. Topics covered ranged from garden and playground design in schools, to the importance of the outdoors as learning environments, and the crucial role of nature play in childhood development. Might not sound like explosive rocket science, but can I tell you, my mind was blown! I had so many exciting ‘aha’ moments, and very real connections to my own childhood....

The University of New England owns and operates eight properties, together known as the UNE SMART Farms. The properties, of varying size and function, enable UNE, students, researchers and their industry and community partners to conduct activities across research, education and engagement that encompass Sustainable, Manageable, Accessible, Rural Technologies (SMART). Click HERE to learn more about the Farms....

When you see these National Science Week characters, what springs to mind? Do you see scientists and technologists? Engineers and mathematicians? Do you see curious individuals, wanting to explore the world around them? Is it how you imagine yourself in the future? ...

From 25th March through COVID-19 lockdown in Australia (the first one!), I was home with my two children, partner and two dogs (multiple house plants, vege garden, compost critters, backyard birds….you get the picture). My kids, in Year 4 and Year 8, had different schooling experiences, and one of the things that most intrigued me was what other kids were doing at home during this time! I really wanted to know what they enjoyed, what they didn’t enjoy, what they looked forward to when school resumed, and more. ...

The Term 2 LEGO Construction Challenge, run in collaboration with Modern Teaching Aids and Armidale City Public School, wrapped up last week, and boy oh boy was it amazing! Judges were so impressed by the overwhelmingly spectacular 202 entries, finding their way to our inbox from all over Australia. From Christmas Island in the far north western waters, to Melbourne in the south; Sydney, Sawtell, Tenterfield, Scone and everywhere in between – a huge congratulations to all involved. ...

I recently caught up with Dr Jean Holley, exploring the idea that there’s nothing like a hands-on experience for deepening our understanding and appreciation of all things science. Dr Jean Holley is an entomologist and insect ecologist. She is also UNE Discovery Voyager’s Schools Liaison and Booking Officer, as well as a developer and facilitator of several of our activities, including Plants, Poop and Pollinators and Busybots. During her undergraduate years Jean undertook a major in Zoology before completing her Bachelor of Science (Honours). Her PhD focused on insect behaviour. ...

I’m sure you’ve all heard of Beatrix Potter who wrote “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” and many other children’s classics but what you may not know is that she was also a landscape and natural history artist, diarist, farmer and conservationist, responsible for the preservation of large areas of the Lake District in the United Kingdom through her gifts to the National Trust....

In 2005 an inspired young man, Jack Manning Bancroft, founded AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience) to find a solution to Indigenous inequality in Australia. ...

Our new Geology show is ready to take to schools! We’ve had so much fun putting it together and, while COVID-19 prevents us from visiting schools just now, as soon as we’re given the green light we’ll be there with bells on. Theatre communicates on many levels. It can tell a story through narrative, explore ideas and themes, aim to move the audience to laughter or tears or get them thinking. Sometimes theatre can impact an audience so powerfully that they are moved to go out into the world and make a difference. In Rocking Through Time, we playfully explore the story of rocks, tapping into the idea that the clues to the past are beneath our feet. ...

The world is certainly an unusual place at the moment. Unprecedented in modern times, in fact. And as we navigate what may be the new usual for a little while, it’s important we reflect on our guiding principle here at Discovery - to stay curious, to collaborate, to be creative, to hold confidence within ourselves and those around us, and to have a ‘can do’ attitude through these testing times. Staying true to these, we understand how different, and let’s be honest at times difficult, it can be having the whole gang back at home; balancing schoolwork with careers, learning with playing, schedules with free-time, and generally re-wiring our brains to adjust. ...

400 Million years ago the New England region was on the bottom of the ocean. Almost all of the rocks to be found look just like the types of sedimentary rocks forming on the deep ocean floor today: lots of mudstone and shale. There are a few places where there are layers of sandstone as well, which tells us that there may have been violent storms that stirred up sand from the beach and washed it out to sea, or perhaps the sea levels dropped and rose again and this would have changed where the beaches were. ...

The global coronavirus pandemic has required us to think about, among other things, what constitutes an essential service to society. In Australia it is only ‘essential services’ that can remain open for business while individuals, families and whole communities are asked to physically isolate themselves from other humans; to prevent transmission of virus particles between people. ...

You can join Australia's original pollinator citizen science project between 12-19 of April to help count wild pollinators in your local environment and help build the database on wild pollinator activity....

The UNE Discovery Voyager bookings in Term 2 of the 2020 school year ARE NOT AFFECTED at this point in time by the advice to prevent spread of the coronoavirus in Australia. Due to the ever-changing nature of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and advice to Australians, we are observing safe practice in everything we do at the university. ...

Dr Cameron Webb has spent the last 20 summers sloshing about in gumboots and chasing mosquitoes around the wetlands of Australia. He is a Principal Hospital Scientist in Medical Entomology (NSW Health Pathology), Clinical Lecturer (Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity (MBI), University of Sydney), Senior Investigator (Centre for Infectious Diseases & Microbiology Public Health) and Academic Leader (Research Education) (Sydney Medical School Westmead, University of Sydney). He provides advice to local, state and government agencies on the management of mosquitoes with a particular interest in balancing the need for wetland wildlife conservation while minimising the pest and public health risks associated with mosquitoes....

In early March, the Voyager team visited St Mary's Primary School, Grafton, as well as Corindi, Maclean and Coutts Crossing Public schools. These are some of the schools which last year's fires prevented us from travelling to in 2019. On the way home we drove through busily regenerating country. Blackened trunks sprouted fresh pipe-cleaner growth, bringing colour and life to the recently thirsty and fire-ravaged bush. ...

In celebration of International Women’s Day (8 March), we thought we’d pay tribute to Katherine Johnson, a remarkable American woman who passed away at the age of 101 on 24 February 2020. Katherine Johnson was an American mathematician who played a key role in numerous NASA missions during the years of the Space Race, perhaps most notably calculating the trajectory needed to get the Apollo 11 mission to the moon and back. As a black woman working for NASA in the 1950s and ‘60s, Katherine overcame social boundaries and racial discrimination. ...

Do you love gazing at the stars and staring at the Moon? Have you ever wondered how far away they are? Knowing the distance to the Moon and how it moved around the Earth was essential for NASA to send people to the Moon 50 years ago. The calculations for the Moon journey were done manually by wonderful scientists, including Katherine Johnson, before powerful digital computers. More about Katherine later....

Northern NSW, and specifically the New England area of NSW, is fortunate to have the amazing facility that is Thalgarrah Environmental Education Centre located on Rockvale Road, about 18km north-east of the Armidale CBD. Thalgarrah is a Department of Education school that serves a large area, stretching from the upper Hunter to the Queensland border and from the coast to as far west as Bourke. ...

The Tiny Gardeners Project is a nationwide citizen science project that studies how ants are planting seeds across the vast Australian Landscape! Ants are some of the most important animals living beneath our feet. They carry out important ‘ecosystem services’ like bioturbation (the disturbance of sedimentary deposits by living organisms), soil aeration and pollination. One of their most important services is called ‘myrmecochory’. This is when ants pick up and carry plant seeds. In doing so they disperse the seed and help it survive. ...

Dr Phil Bell, Senior Lecturer within the School of Environmental and Rural Science at UNE, has been hooked on dinosaurs since the age of 3. Phil runs digs in western Canada where he is co-leader of the Northern Alberta Dinosaur Project and more locally in Lightning Ridge (NSW) exploring Cretaceous ecosystems. Phil is an authority on Australian dinosaurs, "duck-billed" hadrosaurs and dinosaur skin, although his research covers a wide range of dinosaurs and other Mesozoic vertebrates....

Have you ever wondered what scientists do after they have finished an experiment? How do they communicate their data and the conclusions they have made to other scientists around the world? One of the most important ways that data and ideas can be shared is by peer reviewed publication in scientific journals. But what does that mean? How do you publish in a scientific journal, and what is peer review?...

Research tells us students should be ‘doers of science’ rather than receivers of facts, but if the main purpose of studying science at school is to do and inspire, and increase the flow of graduates into STEM related fields, then shouldn’t kids be excited to enter the science classroom? Eager to learn? ...

2019 was the third official year of the Discovery Voyager program, and my third year with the Discovery Voyager team. I’m both excited and a little sad to say I will be heading off on a different adventure in 2020 – parenthood! My partner, James, and I are expecting a little girl in February, and I’ll be spending the year off navigating this new journey....

UNE Discovery Voyager and the New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM) joined forces during January 2020 to bring students from Kindergarten to Year 10 a big dose of holiday science....

In this year’s program at UNE, held on 14-16th January, students from as far south as Sydney and Condobolin, north to Brisbane and from Coonabarabran in the west, got to work with scientists in industry and academia. From lab based-diagnostic testing to field-based insect sampling; pure science exploration to industry-based applications, students were given the chance to explore possibilities for careers in science that they may never have considered....

Happy three year anniversary to Discovery Voyager! The end of 2019 marks three years of the Voyager program traveling to regional, rural and remote schools in northern NSW to facilitate innovative and novel play-based experiences in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) focused on students from 4 to 16 years old....

Fire season in regional NSW began early this year. It was in early September that fires started engulfing bushland near Drake, despite statutory Bush Fire Danger Period being from October the 1st each year. The UNE Discovery Voyager team are lucky enough to visit some of the most beautiful, picturesque and welcoming small regional and rural schools, many of which have been seriously affected by fires this year. It is with a heavy heart that we saw buildings and grounds at Wytaliba Public School succumb to ferocious fires in the past month. Wytaliba Public School and students appear in many of our Discovery photos and the Voyager video....

The Shell Questacon Science Circus rolled into town during the same week as Far Out Science as part of their regional tour of northern NSW. The 20-strong team spent time in local schools as well as facilitating teacher professional development workshops throughout the region. After helping us with Far Out Science too, they unpacked their huge semi trailer of SCIENCE into SportUNE for their fabulous pop-up science event over two days on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th November. ...

1000 curious students, 62 inspiring facilitators, 34 primary and high schools, 27 energetic guides, 22 hands-on activities, over 20 amazing behind-the-scenes staff and two enormous days - that’s Far Out Science for 2019!...

The final Science in the Club night was an extravagnaza of palaeo entertainment, the science of reeeaaallly old things (including invertebrates, dinosaurs and small shelly fossils!), and a celebration of FOUR years of Science in the Club in Armidale! Held on Wednesday the 30th of October at the Wicklow Hotel, the event was timed so that Professor Flint (aka Michael Mills) could host the evening, and his colleagues, taking us on a journey of our own identity. In his words:...

“Aha!” moments – something we see all too often in the facilitation of Discovery activities. Students’ faces reacting with such creative insight, it often produces a whole-body response, a sudden jolt as the lightbulb switches on. “Ohhhhh yeahhh!” the say, and wow is it rewarding for us. It is likely you too have experienced these moments, whether it be working on a relative problem or solving that pesky number 23 Down in the Sunday crossword. The feeling of confusion followed by a sudden realisation often produces feelings of surprise, yet confidence. The ‘you can do it’, coming from the depths of our neurological pathways. As the facilitator of our neuroscience activities, and lover of all things brain, for me these realisations produce a curiosity and an itch to find out exactly what is going on up there. To have my own “Aha!” moment. ...

National Science Week is Australia’s annual nation-wide celebration of all things science. Not only is it an essential week to remember the incredible quality of life that science and technology have provided, but a chance to engage in fun science yourself!...

The Discovery Voyager team are fortunate to have the support of Telstra in our endeavours to take innovative experiences in STEAM to students around northern NSW. We use technology provided by Telstra – beebots, spheros and dash robots – to teach concepts of coding. We also introduce the idea that automation can be useful in environments that are inaccessible or inhospitable to humans, like the deep sea or on Mars, or where efficiencies are time and money saving, like in factories and on farms....

I joined the UNE Discovery Voyager team earlier this year and I am loving my work as a science communicator. I am the facilitator on Science of Soils, Plants Poop and Pollinators, Smart Farming and I also help out with Creative Chemistry. This week we travelled west to Fairfax Public School at Maules Creek, St John’s in Baradine and we spent two days at Coonabarabran High School including a huge day at their Ag Skills gathering....

Sometimes when we hear the word “chemical” we think of toxic, harmful substances. But the truth is that a chemical is any substance consisting of matter. Matter consists of particles that may be molecules, atoms, subatomic bits (like protons, electrons etc). It has mass and takes up space in our world. Chemicals can be ‘pure’ – an element like carbon, for example, or a mixture – liquid, solid or gas. So anything you can taste, smell, or hold consists of matter and is therefore a chemical....

In the spirit of partnerships and our 5 C’s*, UNE Discovery teamed up with Armidale City Public School (ACPS) in the July school holidays for the inaugural school holiday LEGO Challenge! Thirty five participants, aged between 7 and 12 years, arrived in the ACPS CoLab space at 9am excited to see thousands and thousands of LEGO bricks and mini-figures waiting for them and their imagination. The students gathered 9 themes to inform their build, and picked out of a hat which theme they would focus on for the day. The themes to build to were Space, Deserted Island, Rainbows, Seasons, The Circus, Star Wars, Fairytales, Treehouse, and The Desert. ...

Look no further for your fix of science in the New England. On the chilly winter night of Wednesday, 26 June, the New England North West Regional Hub and partners, including UNE Discovery, will be hosting their latest ‘Science in the Club’. This will be the 24th event in a series of science engagement pub events that have now been running successfully for 4 years. Science in the Club is an open invitation night of talks, trivia and Q&A on topics from quantum computing to agriculture in a changing climate; from the science of lifestyle diseases to dinosaurs and fossils. The informal and relaxed atmosphere is accompanied by pub food and local beers to create a regular, and increasingly popular, science forum for curious citizens. Over 2000 people have participated in the regional science hub’s pub nights....

Carinya Christian School in Tamworth values and facilitates high quality science programs. In June this year they held their inaugural STEM investigation evening for Year 9 and 10 students to showcase a research project they had completed. Year 9 students conducted germination trials, and examined factors that affected the germination of various edible species. Year 10 students topics were open, and broad ranging. ...

Principal of Warialda Public School, Dan van Velthuizen, has set high standards for STEM education out in central western NSW. Over the past two years, the Discovery Voyager team has been part of an annual STEM conference for primary and high school students that Dan organises. Students come from schools in Warialda as well as Pallamallawa, North Star, Boggabilla, Croppa Creek and Moree to share in a one day extravaganza of curiosity and challenging science; they choose their own sessions from a diverse program and have an experience much like a science teachers’ conference! This year, the format was different with the Voyager team visiting schools separately rather than all joining in for a STEM day in one location....

Being a chicken lover, a visit to the poultry pavilion was on my “to do” list for the Easter Show. So on one of my free afternoons, I grabbed some lemon pancakes for lunch, and started wandering through the Poultry pavilion. I came to a pen holding a large male turkey (called a gobbler). He was puffing himself up and strutting to impress the ladies. As I watched his face, the flap of skin that hangs down over his beak started to retract and it was pulled right up over to the top of his head. What??!! Did I just see that??...

Natural history museums are some of the most amazing institutions on Earth. They are treasure troves of knowledge housing specimens collected over many decades, or even centuries! I find myself in the very lucky situation where I manage the UNE Natural History Museum (NHM) in conjunction with UNE Discovery. As such, I felt it would be nice to document different aspects of my position and the use of the museum itself....

Dr Mary McMillan, UNE Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences and Dr Debbie Bower, UNE Lecturer in Ecosystem Rehabilitation, were members of the 2018 Homeward Bound leadership program – an initiative that aims to heighten the influence of women making decisions that shape our planet. ...

The UNE Discovery team recently joined in the fun at Minerama, the annual 3-day Fossicking, Gem and Jewellery Festival in Glen Innes, the centre of Australia’s Celtic highlands. It is the largest annual gem and jewellery show in NSW. Held at the Glen Innes Showground for the first time, the event attracted around 3000 people. ...

Let’s play a word association game. Ready…..What is the first word or emotion that comes to you when I say “insect”? What did you think of? Did you feel a sense of wonder, fascination or curiosity? Or did you feel a bit icky, or maybe even scared or repulsed?...

On March the 8th every year we celebrate International Women’s Day. In modern times the day is generally a celebration of women and the strength, diversity and vital perspective they bring to all aspects of our lives. It is also a day to reflect on slow progress on many issues. But not as slow as back in 1917 in Petrograd when International Women’s Day was born. ...

This January (amidst an Armidale heatwave and during their school holidays, no less!), 26 bright eyed and enthusiastic high school students from years 9-11 joined us for an intensive, fun filled, three days of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics (STEAM) at UNE. Known as the ConocoPhillips Science Experience, this annual program is run in over 35 participating universities and tertiary institutions across Australia, giving students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of science. From seminars to lab experiments, flying drones to forensics, students get exposure to all that a tertiary education in science has to offer....

UNE’s Discovery Voyager program delivers hands-on, interactive, curriculum-aligned science-based activities to schools across the northern NSW region. The UNE Discovery Voyager team of scientists, science communicators and educations, pack up the Voyager truck and hit the road to bring the kids of NSW an exciting immersion in all things ‘science’. In 2019, we’ll be adding four new activities to our repertoire. While the team are busy testing out their theories and putting the final touches on these activities, we can give you a sneak peak into what will be on offer....

In October this year, UNE Discovery joined forces with the Australian Museum to bring science to life in Tamworth!...

From July 2019, the Discovery Voyager crew will be piloting professional development sessions for regional, rural and remote school teachers in their own schools. Teachers have repeatedly indicated that participating in professional learning workshops much closer to home would relieve time and budget constraints for many who are juggling multiple important roles in a community and find it difficult to get away to upskill....

UNE and the Australian Museum join forces in October to host “Science on the Road”, a 3-day event in Tamworth from Thursday 18th to Saturday the 20th of October 2018. The teams will bring hands-on shows, activities and experiences in STEAM to our region for primary students (Years 5 and 6), high school students (Years 7–10) and the general public. ...

The wheels of the Voyager truck have been covering a lot of miles this year, with a full calendar of travel and discovery in places near and far, large and small, quirky and familiar. Our scientists and educators love inspiring science learning through play while helping create a platform for natural curiosity, and the great diversity of schools that we visit makes this even more rewarding....

Barely two weeks ago, the UNE Discovery Voyager team stepped aboard our new, specially kitted-out truck! This 4.5 tonne Izuzu Pantech vehicle will be helping us bring our gear - and our enthusiasm for science and creative learning - to schools all over Northeast NSW. ...

I was privileged to travel recently to the United States to attend Interactivity, the annual International Children’s Museum conference, this year called “Open Source Play: Sharing the Creative Code”. And not to waste a minute in such a rich learning environment, in a country where museums, galleries, playscapes and culture intertwine to create inspirational moments 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, I took the opportunity to immerse myself in these places in New York and St Louis, Missouri....

Keep an eye out for the Voyager truck while you’re on the road and let us know if you’ve spotted it in your travels!...

The UNE Discovery Voyager is the University of New England’s (UNE) outreach and engagement program that takes curriculum-aligned, interactive activities in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) to schools across northern NSW. ...

With the start of Term 2, the Voyager team were on the road again visiting schools southeast of Armidale. These schools included Comboyne PS, Long Flat PS, Lansdowne PS and Stratford PS. A common characteristic of the schools we visited is that they are rural schools, away from major towns, fully based in their local community. As soon as the team rolled up at the schools we were embraced by staff and students and welcomed into their community....

Driving back into Armidale after an exhilarating week on the road, we were warmly welcomed by the magnificent flourish of autumn leaves donning our cherished tree lined avenues. The riot of once rich, lush green leaves had been transformed into the softer whispers of yellows, oranges and burning reds. Highlighted by the setting sun, the leaves seemed to bring unusual warmth to the brisk New England air, and with it an excitement that it may finally be acceptable to light our beloved wood fires. ...

If ever you drive down the sleepy main street of Glen Innes, a number of grand old heritage buildings are likely to catch your eye. Many of these came about off the back of a mining boom that happened in the late 1800’s when tin was discovered in the area. As a result of dramatic increase in the number of people digging around in the ground, sapphire was also found in the area, leading to a couple of gem mining booms in the 1920’s and 1970’s. While not so much large scale commercial mining happens nowadays in the area, Minerama is a tip of the hat to these fossicking heydays. ...

In December I had the chance to sail the tall ship 'SV Tenacious' across the Tasman Sea. 'Tenacious' is a remarkable and unique wooden sailing ship built to accommodate people with disabilities - including wheelchair users and the visually or hearing impaired - sailing alongside able-bodied crew. It’s a remarkable program that offers otherwise inaccessible experiences. Whilst on board and I was also able to think about the driving forces that allow this amazing mode of transportation to take place. So what’s really going on?...

Congratulations to the University of New England’s Discovery Voyager team for taking out the 2017 Northern Inland Innovation Award for Research & Education! The Discovery Voyager program has been running since May 2017, taking hands-on, exploratory experiences in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Maths) to schools across northern NSW. ...

As part of our Discovery Voyager PURPOSE OF POLLINATORS activities we make forays in school grounds with students to see what pollinating insects we can find. Recently we observed the pollination of spring flowers in Tamworth – it was a warm day and lots of insects were busy buzzing around the ornamental plants in the grounds....

As part of the UNE Discovery Voyager school program we have a wonderful opportunity to visit and observe the natural world in many different locations throughout northern NSW. Collection and observation of soil samples at these schools during the SCIENCE OF SOILS sessions has enabled us to investigate the physical properties, pH, microbiology and biodegradation processes of many different soils and sites....

The pilot project started 8th August 2016, and up to and including the 9th of December 2016 the bus visited 41 schools, including being part of 3 agricultural field days (inc. Ag-Quip), and facilitated a Brain Break for 190 students from 5 schools during National Science Week. ...

Science enriches the way we live and connect with the world around us. As scientists, it can seem that we are trained to remove emotion from our work, and be objective. Objectivity is of course crucial to unbiased scientific inquiry, but we are human, and therefore cannot be completely objective. ...

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