CIBIT Researchers at School Science Challenge Day

CIBIT theme leader A/Prof Kris Thurecht and his research group held a Science Challenge day at the Springwood Road State School on 19th of September. The event was a joint community engagement and educational initiative between CIBIT and the ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science & Technology (CBNS). Three primary schools participated in this event: Springwood Road State School, Chatswood Hills State School and Springwood Central State School. Each school was represented by a group of Grade 3 pupils who undertook four different science experiments and competed to be the best school in the science challenges.

The experiments were:

  1. Surface tension racers: powering boats across the water using soap to disrupt the surface tension and comparing the effect of soap with other liquids.
  2. Using red cabbage juice as a pH indicator to test the pH levels of common household liquids, introducing the concepts of acids and bases and how they relate to different liquids.
  3. Creating colourful calcium alginate beads and strings by adding coloured sodium alginate solution to calcium chloride solution.
  4. Filling balloons with a mixture of yeast, baking soda, sugar and water and investigating which ones sink or float in a bucket of water.

It was a great day of inciting curiosity in school kids to learn about science and witnessing their excitement during the fun experiments. At the end of the day, students were rewarded with a well-deserved ice cream made with liquid nitrogen.

Participants in the Science Challenge day held at Springwood Road State School on 5th September

CIBIT researcher Dr Chris Howard demonstrating the yeast balloon experiment

Liquid Nitrogen ice-cream to end the day- a tasty reward after all the hard work!