Museums Victoria announces a jam-packed program for National Science Week

Meet real-life palaeontologists, marvel at the stars with a NASA scientist, see rare natural history specimens, dance with dinosaurs and have fossils identified by experts. 

Science on Show: the teeth on a Diprotodon jaw up close.

These are a few of the intriguing offerings across Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks and IMAX Melbourne during 2018 National Science Week, 11-19 August.

For science buffs of all ages, National Science Week is an alluring and mind-bending opportunity to explore first-hand the fascinating world we live in. It is a celebration of the contributions scientists make in understanding our environment, our history and our future.

At Melbourne Museum and IMAX Melbourne, the week-long program puts palaeontology under the microscope, highlighting the significant discoveries that this often-misunderstood field has made to help us piece together prehistoric life on Earth.

While the program at Scienceworks will look to the skies to explore the wider universe with a special guest from NASA. Also on offer is a rare chance to learn the art of coding or build your own robot.

The Museums Victoria National Science Week program highlights are detailed below. Full program details here.

Melbourne Museum

Science on Show

Sunday 19 August, 10am-4:30pm | Free with Museum entry

For one day only, rare and fascinating specimens and objects from Museums Victoria’s Palaeontology collection will be brought out from the vast collection storerooms, giving visitors an exclusive opportunity to view these intriguing items up close. Running all day at Melbourne Museum, Museums Victoria scientists, volunteers and associates will share the stories behind each of the fossils and specimens on display. Visitors can watch fossil preparators excavate fragile bones and teeth from rock, and learn how conservators preserve fossils so that they remain part of the collection for millennia to come. More info

Fossil Identification in Curious?

Wednesday 15 – Sunday 19 August, 10am-4:30pm | Free

The expert staff in Melbourne Museum’s Curious? are encouraging members of the public to bring their fossils in for identification all throughout National Science Week. These skilled scientists will be able to ascertain whether it’s important evidence of prehistoric life in Victoria or simply just…a rock. Who knows, by the end of the week it might led to a new discovery about life on Earth thousands of years ago.

Citizen Science: People-Power Building Knowledge of Nature

Wednesday 15 August, 1-2pm | Adult $12, Concession $10, Members $8

Three Museums Victoria scientists; Dianne Bray, Dr Erich Fitzgerald and Dr Karen Rowe introduce three fascinating and collaborative citizen science projects. Redmap for marine monitoring, palaeontology fieldwork to find fossils, and Communities Listening for Nature for recording and analysing nature sounds. Perfect for those curious about the natural world and who want to help local scientists to understand the world around us. More info and tickets

Hello Museum Disco

Friday 17 August, 6-8pm | Members $16, Non-Members $18

Dance beneath the dinosaurs with No Lights No Lycra as Melbourne Museum hosts a special dinosaur disco for families. Young ones can dress-up, get their dancing shoes on and dance in the museum at night. More info and tickets

The Giants of Palaeontology

Sunday 19 August, 2-3pm | Free

In this special talk for National Science Week, Dr Erich Fitzgerald and Dr Tom Rich, Senior Curators of Vertebrate Palaeontology at Museums Victoria each talk about significant palaeontological discoveries from Victoria including the extraordinary evolution of whales and Victoria's polar dinosaurs. More info and tickets

IMAX Melbourne

Still from Jurassic Park: Sam Neill nestling against a dinosaur outdoors
Still from Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park 3D + Palaeontology Talk

Saturday 18 August, 6:30pm | Premium $32, General $20

This special screening of the original Jurassic Park 3D at IMAX Melbourne includes an introduction to the film from Museums Victoria palaeontologist Dr Erich Fitzgerald and Swinburne University of Technology palaeontologist Dr Stephen Poropat. Dr Erich and Dr Stephen will provide fascinating insight into how our understanding of dinosaurs has changed dramatically from 1993 when Jurassic Park was originally released. More info and tickets


NASA's Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn
Cassini vs Saturn

NASA's Planet Hunters

Monday 13 August, 6-10pm | Adult $22, Concession $20, Member $15

Stargazers can join a NASA scientist to hear stories about the Kepler and Cassini space missions. Listen to tales about searching for planets beyond our solar system, and learn how these missions changed our view of the universe.

One of the most ambitious efforts in planetary space exploration, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft spent thirteen years orbiting Saturn and collecting data, before diving into the planet’s atmosphere last September. Meanwhile the Kepler Space Telescope, is an observatory in space dedicated to finding planets outside our solar system and will run out of fuel sometime this year.

This special event celebrates these two big missions and their extraordinary contribution to our expanding knowledge of the universe. More info and tickets

Planetarium shows

Saturday 11 August – Sunday 19 August, times vary
Adult $23, Concession $8, Child $8, Members $6 (prices include museum entry)

The Melbourne Planetarium presents a simulated display of the night sky that allows people to enjoy the wonder of the stars regardless of the time of day – or the weather! Each session involves a half hour feature that explores an astronomical topic from stars to black holes and is followed by a live presentation of what you can see in the night sky in the southern hemisphere and the major planets and constellations that can be seen. More info here

Lightning Room shows

Saturday 11 August – Sunday 19 August, times vary
Adult $23, Concession $8, Child $8, Members $6 (prices include museum entry)

The Lightning Room offers 30 minute live shows that are entertaining and electrifying! A highlight of each show is the giant Tesla Coil, capable of generating more than two million volts of electricity to produce three metre lightning bolts. Other displays include an electromagnetic can crusher, a Jacob’s ladder, lightning safety strategies and a high voltage pickle cucumber that can really light up your day! More info here

Coding with ScratchJr

Saturday 11 August, 10:30am – 12noon | Child $30, Member child $25

This introductory workshop is for children who are ready to make, play and explore! Sharing an iPad tablet, you can work together to build your own ScratchJr program. It uses a drag-and-drop block-based interface to allow children to get into coding quickly and easily. More info here

Beginners Robotics for Adults

Sunday 19 August, 10:30am – 12noon | Adult $30, Concession $25, Member adult $20

Visitors can come and find out what the fuss (and, arguably, the future) of robots is at this robotics and coding workshop. This 90-minute robotics workshop is for adults and is aimed at absolute beginners with no prior coding experience. Using supplied robots, iPads and teamwork visitors will learn how robots move and sense their environment, and how to program their way out of challenges. More info here


News tip, not for print: New fossil discovery to be announced on August 9.

Stay tuned! On Thursday 9 August, Museums Victoria will share exciting new evidence of prehistoric life in Melbourne along with a new display to be launched at Melbourne Museum. Information on this exclusive and utterly intriguing new discovery will be released under embargo on Monday 6 August, please inquire if you are interested.

For interviews and media enquiries, please contact:

Portrait of Anna Quinn
Anna Quinn
Media & Communications Manager, Immigration Museum
[email protected]
0437 565 300

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