Sapphire Coast Science Festival 2017 lifts off

EXPLORE: Bournda's Doug Reckord and Luke Brown are two science enthusiasts helping bring Science Week to the Bega Valley. Photo: Alana Beitz
EXPLORE: Bournda's Doug Reckord and Luke Brown are two science enthusiasts helping bring Science Week to the Bega Valley. Photo: Alana Beitz

Over 900 local students are expected to pass through the doors of the Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre when it is transformed for Science Week.

This weekend marks the opening of the Sapphire Coast Science Festival, which brings the edge of technological progress to Bega’s doorstep.

A collection of 23 exhibitions, including virtual reality, 3D printing and music technology, will draw attention to the significance of science.

Displays from Canberra’s popular Questacon museum will be brought to the festival, offering an exploration of scientific principles through 33 hands-on experiences, such as turning yourself into a battery, catching sounds and seeing the world through coloured filters. 

Science enthusiasts across the region have volunteered their time and knowledge to the creation of the festival.

Bournda Environmental Education Centre principal Doug Reckord is one of the volunteers. He said the event was about developing a better understanding of the world around us.

“If we are a science illiterate society, we are at risk of poor development and decision making,” he said. 

“This is a way that we can make science really engaging and exciting, and foster a curiosity in young minds.”

He hopes the displays will begin conversations around the direction of science, especially technology that is still developing. 

“3D printing just blows peoples’ minds, we’re already printing organs, so we’re looking at the science, but we’re also exploring the complex ethics that surround it,” he said. 

Mr Reckord is also excited to explore the virtual reality technology, which he said can offer much more than gaming. 

“Virtual reality is being used in really reactive ways in education, it’s even being used in psychology as a controlled form of exposure therapy,” he said. 

Other displays will focus on environment, citizen science and game development. Documentaries will also be screened throughout the festival. The festival begins 1pm on Saturday, August 12 until August 19.

It will then run 10am until 3pm daily all next week.

Science Festival program. Click the image for an enlarged version

Science Festival program. Click the image for an enlarged version

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