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ChemCentre a hit at Perth Science Festival

ChemCentre a hit at Perth Science Festival

Date Published: 19-Aug-16

ChemCentre had a very successful outreach weekend in the heart of the Perth Science Festival in Northbridge, as part of National Science Week.

An estimated 6000 people enjoyed hearing and watching and smelling our chemistry-based activities, with more than 2000 of our (very!) popular beaker kits going to homes around Perth. 


ChemCentre Media and Communications Manager Jean Burton said the success of the event came from the interaction between our volunteers and the visitors – adults and kids alike.

“I had so many people tell me how much they’d enjoyed the activities, and found them educational and engaging. Mission accomplished,” Jean said.

Jean acknowledged the hard work of the many ChemCentre staff who volunteered their time over the weekend and those who helped prepare behind the scenes before the event and pack up afterwards.

“It was a real team effort with many staff working on the stall and demonstrating the various activities,” Jean said. “We had a handheld electronic microscope with a range of sample slides, ‘magic’ transient oxidation reactions, ‘what smell is that?’ (nice v not nice, and why), pH demonstrations with acids and alkalis, and our ever popular metal flame demonstration.

“My thanks also to Emergency Response Chemist Sasha Christianson (left) for participating as the ‘cut-out chemist’, who was very popular over the weekend. The cut-outs were an initiative of Engineers Australia to help promote National Science Week, and Sasha was one of five scientists chosen to represent the variety of careers that science offers. We will have access to ‘cut-out Sasha’ for future ChemCentre and promotional events, and she will continue spruiking on our behalf at other STEM events too.

“As well as volunteering with our ChemCentre stall activities, Dr Kari Pitts (below) also presented a condensed version of her Bayliss Youth Lecture on case studies in physical evidence not once, but twice on Saturday: as part of the festival schedule in a presentation at the State Library Theatre, and again as part of the SkillsWestExpo Women In STEM – Be Inspired seminar at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre – thanks Kari.”

Events such as Perth Science Festival are an important part of how ChemCentre fulfils its outreach and education role. For more information contact Jean Burton, or phone 9422 9823.

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