SANI at Science Alive!
Science Alive is a Science Expo held annually as part of National Science Week. It provides an “opportunity for people of all ages to come and see entertaining and educational displays”. SANI has participated at Science Alive since 2006.
Held annually in the Goyder Pavilion at the Royal Adelaide Showgrounds, Science Alive attracts crowds of up to 30,000 over the course of the weekend.
For more information on National Science Week activities, visit the following website www.scienceweek.gov.au
SANI at Science Alive, 5th - 7th August 2011
Science Alive 2011 was held in the Goyder Pavilion at the Adelaide Showgrounds. It is Australia’s largest community science expo presenting amazing science shows, native animal shows, magic shows, robots, circus workshops and over 50 interactive science booths. Displays included a giant stardome, electric vehicles, bugs and slugs and a multitude of hands-on activities set to engage people of all ages.
Entrance to the event was free for U18’s, $10 for adults and $5 concession – a modest charge for a day packed with activities.
The SANI Booth was once again very popular, with volunteers kept busy most of the time helping with activities and answering a range of interesting questions. This year’s theme was “Biological Rhythms”, with a booklet based on this theme provided to visitors to the booth. Also on offer were a wide variety of demonstrations and interactive displays including:
- Interactive illuminated brain
- Gut motility demonstrations
- Brain anatomy models
- Cognitive tests
- Optical Illusions
- Rest and activity blood flow change demonstrations
- Biological rhythm puzzles, displays and activities
A very special thanks goes to all the volunteers who helped over the weekend:
Simona Carbone (PhD Candidate, Flinders Uni), Yvette DeGraaf (Anatomy & Histology, Flinders Uni), Dr Patrick Falckh (Centre for Neuroscience, Flinders Uni), Robyn Flook (Human Physiology, Flinders Uni), Dr Susan Hillier (Health Sciences, UniSA), Mel Kyloh (Human Physiology, Flinders Uni), Dr Michelle McDonnell (Psychology, Uni SA), Dr Carola Meyer (Marburg University, Germany – visiting Human Physiology, Flinders Uni), Dr Mazher Mohammed (Human Physiology, Flinders Uni), Karen Price (Human Physiology, Flinders Uni), Dr Tiong Cheng Sia (Human Physiology, Flinders Uni), Pam Simpson (Human Physiology, Flinders Uni), Dr Nick Spencer (Human Physiology, Flinders Uni), Dr Nicole Thomas (Psychology, Flinders Uni), Dr Kingsley Whittenbury (Medical School, Adelaide Uni).
Friday – Career’s Day
Students talking to Dr Kingsley Whittenbury (University of Adelaide Medical School).
L-R: Nicole Thomas helping with the interactive brain model; A young enthusiast playing with one of the activity boards; Yvette DeGraaf measuring blood flow changes in a volunteer.
L-R: Tiong Cheng Sia with the illuminated brain and potential students; Mel Kyloh helping with brain anatomy; Busy times at the SANI booth.
L-R: Michelle McDonnell conducting some cognitive tests; Susan Hillier helping with optical illusion activities.
L-R: Nick Spencer demonstrating the illuminated brain model; the illuminated brain model was a big hit with the kids; there were activities and displays to engage people of all ages.
L-R: Carola Meyer measuring resting and active blood flow changes; Mazher Mohammed helping with puzzles and some neuroanatomy advice!
SANI at Science Alive, 6th-8th August 2010
In light of the enormous support over the last few years, Science Alive 2010 was moved from the Stirling Angus Hall to the newly built Goyder Pavilion at the Adelaide Showgrounds. This year we were once again overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the public.
The SANI Booth demonstrates the multifarious nature of neuroscience, providing an opportunity for the public to talk to neuroscientists and neuroscience students about their work. People can also try out some ‘brain’ activities. In previous years we have focussed on “The Senses” and “Memory”. This year’s theme was “Emotion”. In addition to theme activities, we had “reflex”, “optical illusion”, “gut motility” and anatomy activities and demonstrations.
It was an enjoyable experience for the 12 volunteers who helped at the SANI booth over the weekend.
Friday at Science Alive, students from South Australian High Schools find out more about neuroscience. Honours Student Anna Kontos provides information about SANI.
L-R: Dr Damien Keating discussing his "reflex test" demonstration; Honour's Student Anna Kontos helping with neuroanatomy; Research Associate Yvette DeGraaf helps the children with some activities.
L-R: A young science enthusiast and her mum enjoy the activity "drawing board"; Damien Keating testing reflexes; Master's degree student Kim MacKenzie helping with activities.
L-R: PhD candidate Heshan Peiris helping with neuroanatomy; A busy time in the SANI booth; Dr Nick Spencer discussing his "gut motility" demonstration.
L-R: A budding neuroanatomist puts the brain model back together; PhD candidate Simona Carbone helps with blood flow experiments; Dr Mary-Louise Rogers helping with activities.
L-R: A busy day at the SANI booth; Biomedical Laboratory Assistant Pam Simpson helps with activities; Dr Rainer Haberberger helping some young science enthusiasts; Honour's Student Stephanie Shepheard helps with blood flow experiments.
Science Alive! 2009
Science Alive! 2009 was held in the Stirling Angas Hall from 10am - 4pm, Friday 7th - Sunday 9th August 2009. This year's event attracted over 30,000 people over the 3 days.
The SANI Booth theme this year was "Making Sense of your Memory" with a wide variety of memory games and activities.
Friday's career day was once again very popular. Robyn Flook (SA Brain Bank - Flinders Uni/Hanson Institute Centre for Neurological Diseases) represented SANI running the activities and answering questions.
Saturday was more well attended than ever before and the roster of SANI volunteers were kept very busy. Professor David Powers demonstrated the Thinking/Teaching Head, while Yvette DeGraaf, Sarah Todd, Sandra Egege and Robyn Flook ran the activities
Sunday was once again very well attended and Dr Nick Spencer spent the morning demonstrating a "Gut motility" model. Simona Carbone, Dr Mary-Louise Rogers, Dr Rebecca Anderson, Robyn Flook and Professor Marcello Costa were on hand to help with activities and answer any questions.
The overwhelming popularity of this event has forced organisers to look at a bigger venue for 2010!
SANI at Science Alive 2009
L-R Families line up to participate in SANI activities; Professor David Powers demonstrating his "Thinking Head" project; Professor Marcello Costa and Dr Nick Spencer talking to an interested visitor.
Science Alive! 2008
Science Alive! 2008 was held at the Stirling Angas Hall from 10am - 4pm, Friday 8th - Sunday 10th August 2008. Organisers decided to add an extra opening day on the Friday for High School Students, a special “Careers@Science Alive” day.
The SANI Booth theme was "Making Sense of your Senses" with a wide variety of activities and demonstrations to "test your senses".
Over 1,200 high school students registered for the Friday Careers Day. They began arriving around 9am and moved from booth to booth asking questions and trying their skills at the various activites on display. In addition to the booth activites, students attended a "Great Big Science Gig", 60 minute presentation in the adjacent "big top". Most of the students were at Year 9-10 level, so having activities/information/stuff that appeals to 14-16 year olds was crucial. Volunteers who manned the SANI booth were Robyn Flook, Carol Berryman, Dr Mark Zanin, Sarah Todd and Dr Chris Lunam.
Saturday: Doors opened at 10am and the day was very busy. Volunteers for the day included Dylan DeLosAngeles who provided a demonstration on brain rhythms, followed by Dr Damien Keating who set up a computer based "Think Quick" demonstration. Volunteers throughout the day included Robyn Flook, Talitha Best and Professor Marcello Costa.
Sunday: Doors opened at 10am and the crowds never stopped coming! Dr Nick Spencer demonstrated a Gut motility display in the morning and then Dr YoYo Ootsuka ran a Finger blood flow experiment in the afternoon. Other volunteers for the day were Robyn Flook and Dr Mary-Louise Rogers.
SANI at Science Alive! 2008
L-R: SANI Booth; Carol Berryman helping with activities; Damien Keating with his "Think Quick" demonstration; Dylan DeLosAngeles with an EEG demonstration.
Science Alive! 2007
Science Alive! 2007 was held at the Stirling Angas Hall from 10am - 4pm, Saturday 11th - Sunday 12th August 2007.
The SANI booth had a focus on "Optical Illusions" with posters and brain exercises available for visitors to enjoy and neuroscientists available to answer questions.
On Saturday, Dr Mark Zanin from the Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience Lab at Flinders University and Ms Robyn Flook (SA Brain Bank), spoke to visitors about the importance of research into the way our nervous system works. The brain games and exercises were extremely popular, as were the optical illusions. At times the booth was overflowing with children and their parents trying to work out the puzzles. Take home activity sheets proved to be very popular.
Science Alive! 2007
On Sunday, Dr Eugene Nalivaiko from the Neurocardiology Lab, Flinders University, set up a demonstration of changes in finger blood flow during stress. He used one of the brain puzzle posters as a “stressor”. He was kept busy from 10am –1pm demonstrating this technique on willing volunteers. At 1pm Dr Kath Moores and Rebecca Penrose from Flinders’ School of Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience Lab conducted computer demonstrations of Brain Imaging. They also brought along a plastic brain model from the Anatomy Museum which the children loved examining, pulling it apart and putting it back together. Kath and Bec were kept busy until the Expo closed at 4pm.
Bec Penrose and Kath Moores, Science Alive! 2007
The Advertiser reported that over 20,000 people attended the Expo during the weekend (including the Minister for Science, Paul Caica, on Saturday).
The SANI booth was very popular and extremely busy all weekend, with questions from the intrigued children about the puzzles and illusions, and from their parents and older attendees (including some current and potential new students) about the finger blood flow, brain imaging demonstrations and other scientific posters.
With the closure of the Investigator Science Centre at the end of 2006, it is important to keep the next generation interested and motivated about science and the world around them and the SANI volunteers certainly did that during this exhausting but exciting weekend.