Led by Prof. Nancy Longnecker, first-year students from the Centre recently teamed up with Associate Prof. Debra Waters from the Department of Medicine to codevelop an interactive science exhibit at the Otago Museum as part of the The Ageing Well National Science Challenge. The product is a fun, educational exhibit, titled "Well Balanced," that was designed for all ages and consists of a series of hand-on, immersive activities based around the principles of strength and balance. Visitors get to test their hand and trunk strength, dexterity, and balance by using a range of devices such as Wii Fit (Nintendo gaming console), hula hoops, and balance boards. Engagement with this museum exhibit is meant to convey the importance of strength and balance in people's everyday lives. The Well Balanced exhibition is free, and runs until 29 January.
A big congratulations goes out to former student Samuel Chen (pictured here with his Australian cinematography awards he won last year). His student film, Kangaroo Island: Life on the Edge, just won Best Independent Production at the Green Screen International Wildlife Film Festival.
The commendations from the judges are as follow: "The films of this category have one thing in common: The filmmakers start on their film journey without outward pressure on the choice of subject, the view point, the design and without attention to viewing figures. The winning entry tells the story of a woman who loves her native nature and wants to raise her childÊs awareness for their environment. This miniature is a metaphor and an appeal to everyone to take careful note of their immediate environment and show it its due respect".
This past June, American designers Dr. Beth Ferguson from the University of California, Davis and Dr. Sara Dean from California College of the Arts visited Dunedin as part of Climate Kit, an international art project produced in partnership with ZERO1 American Arts Incubator, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the U.S. Embassy in Wellington. During their month-long stay in Dunedin, Ferguson and Dean worked with a select group of Centre for Science Communication students enrolled in SCOM406 ("Science Exhibitions and Interpretation"). The collaboration culminated in a public exhibition at the Otago Museum during the month of July. After several weeks of highly concentrated (and fun!) work behind the scenes, two unique climate-related displays were featured. One, "Stones and Bones," showcased a creative rendering of the extraordinary geology of the Otago Region of New Zealand, and was arranged by students Rebecca John, Kat Marino, and Amy Smith. The other museum display, organised by students Conor Feehy, Emma Hanisch, Ravi Ratnam and Colin Smilie, highlighted the Otago Dark Skies initiative, a campaign to conserve the astonishing night skies of the region by curbing urban sources of light pollution.
During this year's International Science Festival, Staff from the Centre for Science Communication and a group of talented young woman from Queen's High School premiered a series of 'Pocket Films' about their views on global climate change. It was a fun-filled night and the students were very excited to see their final films on the big screen of St David's lecture theatre, University of Otago.
These films were part of a research project that explored the use “pocket filmmaking”—whereby media is captured and manipulated on a portable device—as a way to engage school children in science. In this MBIE funded project, the high school students were taught how to make and edit a film on an iPad, and they were then asked to produce two films: one on glaciers and climate change, and one on cats and biodiversity.
Armed with iPads, half the students travelled to the magnificent West Coast for a few days’ filming for their films and as a way for them to experience the glaciers. The other half of the students were also provided with iPads, as well as footage from the glaciers for them to use in their films. For the second film, we asked the student to translate the skills they’d learn to their own device and to make a second film.