Sydney Science Festival 2018

The Sydney Science Festival 2018 (#SSF2018) runs from 7–19 August 2018 and includes talks by some of the world’s best researchers, hands-on workshops, exhibitions, panel discussions and family events. This is WSU’s second year participating at the Sydney Science Festival and we have eight events happening across the University ranging from forensic science demonstrations to ‘It’s all about wombats!’ providing kids from 5 to 95 an opportunity to learn about science!

Please register via the OneStop link provided below for each event you'd like to attend.

For more information, please contact Judy Foster at judy.foster@westernsydney.edu.au or call 02 9678 7419.

Our Sydney Science Festival Ambassador - Erin Mackenzie


Our Sydney Science Festival Events

Designing for Health and Wellbeing in a Smart City

Date: 10 August 2018
Time: 10am – 4pm

Location: Parramatta South Campus -  Building EB Ground Floor, Crn James Ruse Drive and Victoria Road, Rydalmere

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Speak to talented young designers at the forefront of design innovation. See rapid-prototyped models and discover how the synthesis of science, technology and imagination are crucial in designing the products of the future. Industrial design staff and students will showcase a variety of exciting concepts that solve important human issues. This event is suited to anyone with a curious and creative mind.

It’s all about wombats!

Date: 10 August 2018
Time: 1pm – 3pm

Location: Parramatta South Campus -  Building EB Ground Floor, Crn James Ruse Drive and Victoria Road, Rydalmere

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Come and learn all about wombats – what is a wombat, where do they live, what do they eat, is it true they have square poo? Learn what everyone can do to conserve wombats.

A presentation will be given Associate Professor Julie Old on wombats. It is aimed at people of all ages and will a cover a range of topics. Attendees will be shown how to use WomSAT, a citizen science-based website with associated mobile phone applications, to aid the conservation of wombats, specifically how to log wombat sightings. Everyone will be encouraged to log their wombat sightings using WomSAT, particularly on #WombatWednesday during National Science Week.

Feel the Groove: Getting in sync with the musical beat

Date: 10 August 2018
Time: 10am – 3pm

Location: Parramatta South Campus -  Building EB Ground Floor, Crn James Ruse Drive and Victoria Road, Rydalmere

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This ‘InSync’ event explores the limits of how well humans can synchronise with music and with one another. Questions addressed include whether there are certain tempos (speeds) at which synchronisation is no longer possible. And how important is it to see as well as hear someone else in order to synchronise musical sounds with them. The activities designed to answer these questions include simple tasks involving tapping to music and tapping together with a partner. These activities are run using specially developed Apps and feedback about the accuracy of synchronization is provided in real-time during the task. Each event session lasts approximately 30-minutes and is designed for individuals aged 13 years and older.

Travel through space and time with Virtual Reality

Date: 10 August 2018
Time: 10am – 3pm

Location: Parramatta South Campus -  Building EB Ground Floor, Crn James Ruse Drive and Victoria Road, Rydalmere

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Western Sydney University researchers from the Digital Humanities Research Group have recreated places of the past for you to experience in virtual worlds. Using state of the art Virtual Reality headsets you can explore ancient Mesopotamia, walk through Parramatta as it was before Captain Cook’s time, traverse the Pacific islands listening to languages of the region, or step into the Rocks in 1901.

Your guides to these time travel experiences are:

  • Artificial intelligence researcher Dr Tomas Trescak, who can explain how he has programmed simulated humans for his ancient worlds experiences
  • Multimedia artist and producer Kate Richards, who can show you how old photographs can be brought to light in a 3D animation
  • Linguist Rachel Hendery, who will show you how we have brought recordings from the archives back to life in her Pacific languages visualisation.

Searching for ET

Date: 10 August 2018
Time: 2pm – 4pm

Location: Parramatta South Campus -  Building EB Ground Floor, Crn James Ruse Drive and Victoria Road, Rydalmere

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The question 'Are we alone in the universe?' has intrigued humankind for hundreds of years. This talk will discuss the latest developments in the search for life in the universe. The speaker was involved in one of the longest searches in the Southern Hemisphere for laser pulses from ET. This search was based on the assumption that if ET was out there they would use laser pulses rather than radio waves to send signals. The Patron of the project was the late science fiction writer Sir Arthur C Clarke.

Public Astronomy Night

Date: 11 August 2018
Time: 7pm – 9pm

Location: Werrington North Campus -  Observatory, Great Western Hwy Werrington

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Join us for an evening of astronomy fun and stargazing.

All ages are welcome and curiosity is encouraged.

This event includes a presentation with time for Q&A, a short 3D astronomy movie, a tour of the dome area and an opportunity to view the night sky through a variety of telescopes (weather permitting).

WSU Forensic Science: Crime Scene Investigation

Date: 12 August 2018
Time: 10:30am – 1:30pm

Location: Hawkesbury Campus - Building H16, Hawkesbury Campus, Science Road, Richmond

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Find out what it's like to study forensic science at Western Sydney University and tour the Crime Scene Investigation Training and Research Facility that is used by the NSW Police Force to train their crime scene examiners. See an instrument demonstration in Western Sydney’s new mobile forensic laboratory and learn about the fingerprint detection techniques used in forensic investigations. Hear about forensic science from Professor Chris Lennard, Dr Val Spikmans, and Dr Rob Ebeyan.

The event, which will suit high school students interested in forensic science as a potential career path, will finish with a barbecue lunch and informal discussions with staff.

Focus on Photosynthesis: A look into the fascinating world of plants and plant researchers

Date: 9-19 August
Time: 9am – 5pm

Location: Western Sydney University, Building EHa (Foyer), Cnr Victoria Road and James Ruse Drive, Rydalmere

No registration required.

Enter the hidden and fascinating world of plants and plant research through a photographic exhibition that will take you from the leaf to the field. Some of the images will open a window to the microscopic realm of the structures responsible of producing the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat inside the leaf. Other images will allow you to enter the day-to-day life of plant scientists, working in the field and in the laboratory to grow the crops that feed us now and will feed us in the future.

The images of this exhibition, are the result of a photographic competition organised by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis, aimed at telling the story of the Centre, showing the people behind the Centre’s research and sparking people’s curiosity in plant science and photosynthesis.