Launching National Science Week in Cairns

It’s 2015 and we’re celebrating the International Year of Light!

010 poem for blog








Since June, students from Whitfield State School have been helping to create an entertaining & educational resource of poems about LIGHT to share during National Science Week. Our first performance was on Saturday morning 15th August at Handmade Cans, 1/47 Shields Street, Cairns.


Handmade Cans: The Science & Poetry of Light presentation

Celia, Tayler, Ava & Tehya

Celia, Tayler, Ava & Tehya

Ava, Tayler and Tehya recited all the poems in our presentation The Science & Poetry of Light to a friendly audience at Bones & Jones Café / Handmade Cans craft shop at 10am & 11am on Saturday.

If anyone was nervous, it didn’t show because we all had too much fun sharing poems & science about rainbows, twinkling stars, blue skies and more.

Congratulations to the children in the audience who had a go at reciting poems too!

Thank you Tania & Steve at Handmade Cans for providing such a colourful & cosy venue, and to all the parents who supported this project.


James Cook University’s Launch for National Science Week

NSW screen







An impressive line-up of JCU scientists shared their latest research through talks and exhibits at the Tanks Art Centre, Edge Hill, starting at 3pm on Saturday 15th August. Because I had registered the Science & Poetry of Light presentation at Handmade Cans on the National Science Week website, JCU’s event organiser Lisa Jones made contact and kindly invited me to be part of the JCU celebrations.

I agreed to help children write and recite poems about science at a small craft table, one of the many side-shows for the event. But when I received the programme schedule on Friday, I discovered they’d also allocated a 5 minute segment at the beginning of the event for me to deliver a Science Rhyme recital!

The MC for the afternoon’s presentations was Professor Andrew Krockenberger. On discovering I was reciting a science poem to open the event, he was inspired to share a science poem too, about the microscopic creature called a Tardigrade.  I was unable to find the poem on the internet, but Prof Krockenberger kindly supplied it:

Waterbear Down by the blogger “Miss Prism”
I serenade the Tardigrade
He’s nature’s superhero.
He can’t be killed by being chilled
To near absolute zero.
He’s happy to be dried or fried
With X-rays or with heat;
He will my dears, survive for years
Without a bite to eat.
He lives in soil, and springs that boil
And every hostile place
He’d even thrive in – well, survive –
The vacuum of space.
You need a blade or hand-grenade
To slay the hardy tardigrade.

I then shared the Science Rhyme Aurora Borealis (find it on the Science Rhymes homepage or in the book Celia Berrell’s Science Rhymes). Earth’s Auroras are great examples of natural “light shows” of excited electrons in our atmosphere. So I dressed in fairy-lights and explained that the honour of being on stage made me “… so excited, if I was an electron, I’d be jumping up and down emitting photons of light”.

Fairylights at JCU









What a fantastic start to National Science Week here in Cairns!