NatSciWeek celebrations 2017

This is it!  National Science Week is here (12-20 August).  On Monday, we have our Poetry Presentation of Science Rhymes at Whitfield State School.  Students from years 5 & 6 have created their own poems about WATER to compliment this year’s National Science Week theme of FUTURE EARTH – as water is important for future life on Earth.  (You can view the student’s poems on the Your Poems page.)

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Then on Wednesday 16th August, Jonathon and Coby are sharing their poems on ABC Far North Radio, just before the 7am news during BREAKFAST WITH KIER SHOREY.

Invitation Poster 2

WATER POEMS PLEASE for National Science Week

2017 is the International Year of Sustainable Tourism. As visitors to planet Earth, how we appreciate and care for limited resources such as water is important for our FUTURE EARTH (which is the school theme for this year’s National Science Week).

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At Science Rhymes, we’d love to include your poem about the science, beauty, mystery and/or environmental significance of water as we lead-up to National Science Week in Australia (12-20 August 2017). So put on your poetry hat and take the plunge! Send your H2O poems to

Click on Weird Water to view two colourful presentations about H2O science.

Here are some links to watery topics chosen by students at Whitfield State School:
EXPLODING H2O: a tiny spark is all it takes …


ICE FLOWERS: flimsy threads and graceful ribbons …


ICICLES: hanging like curtains of chandelier crystals …


FLOODS: deceptive and deadly …


We look forward to receiving your poems!


CAT-A-STATIC about World Poetry Day 2017

21st March, WORLD POETRY DAY “is a window onto the breath-taking diversity of humanity”, says UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.  To celebrate, I’ve chosen to share a Science Rhyme  inspired by Nikola Tesla’s story about his childhood pet-cat, the black-Macak.  What sparks your poetic interest?

Cat-a-static by Celia Berrell
(Nikola Tesla 1856 – 1943)

Nicola Tesla's cat MACAK

Nicola Tesla’s cat

Nikola loved his childhood cat
the sleek, majestic black-Macak.
A cat whose fur would click and spark
when days were chilly, dry and dark
as stroking black-Macak’s fur coat
could cause a tiny lightning bolt.

Nikola Tesla loved his cat
the sparkling, zappy black-Macak.
That static electricity
inspired young Tesla, cleverly
inventing things quite technical.
Especially electrical.

From neon lights and radios
to radar and remote controls.
Transistors, robots, X-ray zones
and AC power to our homes.
Tesla had a genius knack
that started through his cat Macak!


You can read Nicola Tesla’s short story of his childhood in Yugoslavia 1939 HERE:

” … It happened that one day the cold was drier than ever before. People walking in the snow left a luminous trail behind them, and a snowball thrown against an obstacle gave a flare of light like a loaf of sugar cut with a knife. In the dusk of the evening, as I stroked Macak’s back, I saw a miracle that made me speechless with amazement. Macak’s back was a sheet of light and my hand produced a shower of sparks loud enough to be heard all over the house. …”


Weird Water

From surf to snowflakes, where would we be without water? The answer is … we wouldn’t! Water is like an essential friend we frequently take for granted. Being inside and around us in so many different ways means most of us are unaware of how WEIRD water can get.

For example: most solid elements and compounds sink if gently dropped into their liquid form. NOT WATER! We all know ice floats, but did you realise none of us would be here if water “behaved” and followed the same rules as the other compounds? H2O molecules act a bit like magnets, which leads to other weird things about water, like liquid water’s sticky skin-like property.

Check out the two PDF presentations below for some fascinating facts and entertaining poems.


  • WEIRD WATER Part 2 shares poems, information and a photo gallery of water as a SOLID, LIQUID & GAS Water Part 2


2017 is the International Year of Sustainable Tourism. As visitors to planet Earth, how we appreciate and care for limited resources such as water is important for our FUTURE EARTH (which is the school theme for this year’s National Science Week).

At Science Rhymes, we’d love to include your poem about the beauty, mystery and/or environmental significance of water on our website as we lead-up to National Science Week in Australia (12-20 August 2017). So put on your poetry hat over the next school break and take the plunge! Send your H2O poems to

Have you ever wondered why a kettle coming to the boil makes so much noise? Let Me Out was first published in CSIRO’s children’s science magazine Scientriffic #90.

Let Me Out! by Celia Berrell

When kettles boil, escaping bubbles
make them rattle, roar and wobble.
Why then, do they wheeze and hiss
before we see some steamy mist?

The element in kettle’s base
is warming water in that place.
Tiny bubbles first appear
and start to float up in the air.

But since the water higher up
is still quite cool, those bubbles flop.
They hiss and wheeze their fizzled fate
returning to their liquid state.

Until the water near the top
of kettle’s body’s all warmed up
the water vapour can’t get out.
That hiss is like a whispered shout …

     LET ME OUT!



We use the word vapour for a gas which easily changes into tiny liquid particles. A boiling kettle will have invisible water gas coming out of its spout. The steam we can see is hot liquid water droplets. Water molecules that become too energetic to stay inside the kettle as a liquid, escape as invisible water gas. But those gas molecules quickly turn back (condense) into tiny liquid water droplets as they touch a cooler surface or mix with cooler air. Steam we can see coming out of a kettle is similar to a cloud, mist or fog. It’s made from lots of tiny water droplets that float in the air.

SUNDAY 9th October PARTY

Our second Picture-Book Poetry Party was at Rydges Tradewinds Resort, 137 Esplanade, Cairns on Sunday 9th October from 2-3pm. It’s like Book Week meets National Science Week … with a poetic twist!

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This year’s feature author was Trudie Trewin with her picture-book Calpepper’s Place. As well as hearing an accomplished published author read some of their own work, we had the opportunity to learn aspects of Trudie’s writing journey as well.

Bringing your own Picture-Book entitled you to go into the draw for a book voucher from Collins Booksellers Smithfield.

This FREE event of Storytelling and Science Rhymes happened during World Space Week. Students from Whitfield State School recited their poems about Flight and Trinity Anglican School students shared their passions for Space and our Solar System. It’s was a cosmic event!

You can:

Hosted by Science Rhymes & Rydges Tradewinds, we plan to do it all again next year!

Please email to confirm your attendance and/or ask any questions about the next event.

In Conversation – August 2016

For a while there, I imagined I was famous!CB-2 small

Talking with Rob Farquhar about some of the milestones that led to a modest income from my literary passions was a great honour. Rob is a fellow writer and accomplished Paid To Play Podcast host. If you have time, please check it out HERE. I hope we connect along the way – through topics including wild flowers and sci-fi writers, to the life-changing empowerment afforded by a health scare.

Informally, this is the tenth anniversary of my poetic journey which became Science Rhymes.  So there’s a present for you – a new free volume of poems! My appreciation goes to the network and support received from talented friends and associates of many ages. And the necessary bravery and enjoyment for this interview process was thanks to my participation with Mt Sheridan Toastmasters Club.

PAID TO PLAY PODCAST: Celia Berrell, Science Poet: Episode 92


Can you write a poem about FLIGHT?  It could be about birds, insects, the freedom of flying, aircraft or even spacecraft.  To help you get inspired and in a slightly scientific mood, here are two 10 minute presentations combining science, poetry and pictures.  The Science & Poetry of Flight 1 is a PDF about FLIGHT IN NATURE.  The Science & Poetry of Flight 2 is a PDF about MAN-MADE FLIGHT.  These presentations were part of a Poetry Club project at Whitfield State School in Cairns, for Year 5 and Year 6 students.  We are now creating a collection of poems about FLIGHT and invite you to take part to help us celebrate National Science Week (13-21 August)!

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Homing in on DRONES

DroneThis year, National Science Week has chosen to feature the technology breakthroughs we are experiencing with drones, droids and robots. Science Rhymes is focusing on fantastic flight in all its forms. So here are some links (many include videos) about drones – to fire you up and help you choose your own flight of fancy!  My favourite video is Loon Copter :)

  1. Drone crashes into Empire State Building in New York
  2. Learn to be a Drone Pilot at a training school in the UK
  3. Loon Copter flies, floats and swims!
  4. MegaKopter lifts over 60kg
  5. TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson advertises Amazon’s proposed fast delivery by drone.
  6. Can we really make a drone that’s the size of a drone (bee)?
  7. Solar-powered sea-floating drones can hunt in packs, looking for submarines:
  8. CBS News has a collection of articles about drones: from drone-racing sports, to drones being more of a hazard than a help.
  9. Dutch Police train birds (hawks) to remove hazardous drones from their skies!
  10. Snot-Bot is helping save the whales:
  11. Drones will be used in Australia to help fight fires and other disasters:

Double Helix Book Review

Celia Berrell’s Science Rhymes is quietly collecting book reviews! It is a great honour to receive a positive review, because someone took time to read this book and then compose a thoughtful response. A big “thank you” to all those reviewers! If you ever have the time to share your own comments or review about this book, or the Science Rhymes website, they will be most graciously received.

Double Helix 7 15 Apr 16 SR Review

The latest book review is by school student Leo Marland. It appears in Issue #7 of CSIRO’s Double Helix Magazine. Congratulations Leo on having your kind words printed in this fantastic publication!

In 2015 school student Harmonie Larsen’s review was published in the Cairns Post newspaper’s “Post-Ed” section. Harmonie has a selection of science poems on this website (including the first guest blog about the Mangrove Army).

You can purchase the hard-copy version of Celia Berrell’s Science Rhymes on-line from Harley’s Educational or in-store at Collins Booksellers, Smithfield. The Kindle eBook version is available through Amazon.

Cairns Post Ed 2015












A fellow poet from USA, Kevin D Taylor (author of The Cosmic Oddball) gave the first Science Rhymes review, providing fatherly approval and encouragement for author and reader alike.

Mangrove Army

Do you care about the ecosystem? I do! My name is Harmonie Larsen and I am the “founder” of the Mangrove Army. This is an organization that takes care of mangroves by looking out for illegally removed and damaged mangroves.

We are ordinary people with a difference – we care. We want to help out however we can. We want to get Mother Nature back on her feet, and we are doing this because we can.

You can join the Mangrove Army by sending in a report about a damaged mangrove, a bare bank or someone illegally removing mangroves. The Mangrove Army does not require payment to be a member, just commitment to keeping a lookout for damage to our ecosystem.


Mangrove Army  by Harmonie Larsen

Long, winding branches reach for the skyMangrove2
Like tall spindly animals stretching their necks
Mangroves that sway with the slightest of breeze;
these are the trees that we try to protect.

We need a group that will strive to defend
These beautiful, perfect and delicate trees
For they are important, they’re crucially vital
They are the plants that everyone needs.

So the Mangrove Army must work to protect
These trees that are so important for all
They protects our animals and cover our banks
We need your help – so answer the call …


Mangrove Army lectureHarmonie presenting her Mangrove Army concept to an audience at James Cook University in 2015



Celia Berrell
PO Box 220
Fortitude Valley QLD 4006

0408 069 192
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