Bright Ideas for Science Week 2023

Sciences with Essences by Russell Fernando
Project Manager, De La Salle College, Malvern Victoria

Endless streams of galaxies ought to bounce.
Do distant stars shine like some cosmic ounce
where exo-planets echo, gather, mount,
appearing too many times for us to count?

To know them all, while yet too many to learn,
we search for ones with Earth-likeness to earn.
They say we’re bound to want and wonder more,
explore where no man’s ever been before.

Are perfect life-forms living here unknown,
clueless to how outnumbered they have grown?
Should bright-lit future-dreams be what we chase,
as though we’re blind to see our Earth’s embrace?

During our quest for progress and control,
we’re failing Earth, our mother, home and soul.
It seems our climate’s harmony is lost.
Our actions now impose a perilous cost.

Let’s ponder stars, and contemplate our ways,
to calculate, redeem, ahead of days.
In seeking truth, may mankind also find
a path to heal, to mend and to be kind. 

Fight Microbes for Health  by Harsheen Kaur
Masters Student in Agriculture and Food Science at the University of Tasmania

Here’s some helpful hints we all should know
starting from our head down to each toe:

Soapy water washes bacteria away.
We recommend you try it every day!

Likewise, brushing teeth at least once daily
keeps our gums and breath more sweet than smelly.

Washing hands before we touch a meal
can block infections.  Such a happy deal!

Cleanliness and hygiene are the key.
This can make us feel so very lucky!

Wash raw fruits and veg appropriately.
The naked eye can’t see those microbes properly.

Handle food and cook as recommended
to keep your insides safe and unoffended.

Don’t let harmful bugs become a tyranny.
Our body’s health should surely take priority.



The Surging Tide by Jacinta Lou 

In the sea live many ghosts
of pirates, convicts and more.
Lost sunken treasure.
The remnants of war.

In my yard are fossils
where the sea used to be,
billions of years ago
before there was me.

The sea is claiming back the land.
On islands, it’s a disaster.
The billion year shift of tides
is coming. It’s coming even faster.

It’s speeding up as the globe heats up.
Is that about how we live?
To slow it down do we need to change
how we live, what we take, what we give?

Give back to the sea by keeping it clean
of plastics, oil and junk.
Keep the land cool by reusing more
or one day the land will be sunk.

The tide is turning.


Ultra-black Fish  by Sukarma Rani Thareja
(Associate Professor Retired, CSJM Kanpur University, India)

Ultra-black fish, Ultra-black fish
hide in plain sight in the deepest sea.
So how does it work, this trickery,
their magic invisibility?

Ultra-black fish, Ultra-black fish
have melanin, just like human skin,
but pigment structures found within
are packed so tight –
like a gumball machine –
that almost all light gets trapped right in.

By taking a lesson from fish-skin designs
we could make-up a pigment, right shape and size.
The blackest of blacks would be our prize
for material science that tricks human eyes!

first published 2020



The Curious Unknown  by Elizabeth

The waves crash against the rocks
stumbling about like a teenager,
never knowing when to stop
those tireless tides of flows and knocks.

Carrying others everywhere it goes,
carefree about where it will lead.
A resting place or back for more?
With curious currents – who knows?

Mysteries of the deep adore
diving into endless questions,
searching for new answers,
surfacing each time with more.

first published 2020



One Big Step for Me  by Ruby

Gathered round old televisions
or listening to radio stations
witnessing that “one big step”
fifty years ago.

rising and falling,
controlling the tides,
radiant and bright
though never alight.

Your dusty black land
with rocks, shards of sand,
highlands and craters
makes Moon’s unique textures.

There’s still so much to learn
so, to the Moon we will return.
I wonder … will I ever get a turn?

first published 2019


An Ode to Stephen Hawking  by Rowen

Stephen Hawking, a brilliant mind!
Very clever, successful and kind.
One of our best scientific pioneers
with one of the most glittering careers.

Incredibly gifted throughout his time,
a theoretical physicist in his prime,
he became a role model to many young people,
but sadly one day he was rendered near-feeble.

Diagnosed with motor neuron disease
his health declined in small degrees.
But he didn’t give up, no, he pushed ahead,
although his peers thought he’d soon be dead.

He kept living on, yes, he cheated death
until March 14th when he took his last breath.
His students, and theirs, talk of him in a way,
that connects with us all, every hour, every day.

They say this great man was one-of-a-kind.
Stephen Hawking enshrined that brilliant mind.


first published 2018


Lucky Galileo  by Imogen

Renaissance astronomer Galilei
showed that the Earth revolved round the Sun.
Defying the views of the holiest place,
some Catholics wanted him burned at stake.

Instead, he’s imprisoned in home-arrest
where Bubonic Plague wasn’t a pest.
This “Black Death” caused headache, fever and chills
then lymph glands, like boils, began to swell.

Safe from disease, his life was enhanced.
Protected from getting boils in his pants!


first published 2018



Saving the System  by Reinhold Mangundu


The system is life; this system provides.
Such system collapse is people’s demise.
So what are we doing with unthinking minds?
Can you feel, hear or see Earth’s desperate signs?

Bleached coral reefs; no fishing, no work.
Unemployed poverty mustn’t be shirked.
Less copper, less diamonds: they’re closing the mines.
Can you feel, hear or see Earth’s depleted signs?

Our Earth’s system needs us to save, not plunder
her life-giving riches in all their wonder.
So let’s save the system. Let’s roar out her worth!
And join in becoming Guardians of Earth.


first published 2018


Water Worldwide  by Jonathon

Water glistens, shiny and clear.
From every stream runs Earth’s long tear.
Its floods can cause a lot of strife
and yet it is the gift of life.

Water problems happen worldwide.
With too much water many have died.
With too little water; nothing lives.
So water takes and water gives.


first published 2017


Light Duties for a Photon by Ava

Photons who are unemployed
but keen, hardworking, bright,
we’d like you to be part of
a brand new ray of light.

To be a working photon
you’ll set the world aglow.
Helping plants to make us food
so we can live and grow.

You have to be a lightweight,
move quickly, still be calm.
You must be an optimist
to keep your sparkle on.

After you have left the Sun
aim straight for Earth’s blue sky.
If the photon job’s for you,
we’d like you to apply!


first published 2015


Evolution  by Claire

Changes happen every day
slowly gradually in many ways.

Like humans used to be one little cell.
Now we are complex strong and well.


What is this process called evolution?
It’s like a slow-motion revolution.

Creatures adapting to their home,
wherever they may choose to roam.


Evolution is here in many ways
and doesn’t happen in a matter of days.

Adjusting and adapting to a new area
can take a species many millennia.


Evolution is the fish in the sea
that turned into apes, wild and free.

From those apes humans emerged.
From their trees they scattered and surged.


We wouldn’t be here on planet Earth
if that small cell hadn’t been in the surf.

To think we wouldn’t be alive
if one little cell hadn’t arrived.


first published 2012


Did you know that Australia now has a POETRY MONTH each AUGUST?  What a great combination for celebrating a decade of your BRIGHT IDEAS for Science Week in rhyme!

The Webb Telescope revealed so many amazing and beautiful things about our universe over the last year after successfully unpacking itself in space.  You can see some of those images HERE.

Unpacking the Webb Telescope  by Celia Berrell

First, un-pleat some solar cells
and wag that space antenna tail
to give our telescope some power
for data-sending mail.
Open sides, like two long arms,
then stretch-out layers of silver veils
to make a heat-shield from the Sun.
Too hot, our Webb could fail.

Next, erect the smaller mirror
then a radiator,
before reflective parts hinge wide.
That giant mirror’s locked, both sides,
to make a golden-petal flower
with infra-red its viewing power,
to be an ancient star-locator.
Deepest history translator!

inspired by animation of deployment