Helix @ CSIRO

Get your hands on science

27 July 2015
by David
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Budgies catch a yawn

A budgerigar with its beak open.

Warning: this picture might make you yawn!
Credit: ©iStock.com/vitalsss

Sometimes watching someone yawn makes you want to yawn yourself. And sometimes, watching a yawning video or even just reading the word yawn will do it. Feel like yawning now? It seems a very human reflex, but it turns out that budgies do it too. Continue Reading →

14 July 2015
by David
1 Comment

Five tips for NASA when preparing to encounter Pluto, by Aussie kids

The Pluto Nine

NASA has spent the last nine years navigating New Horizons towards Pluto. Within days, the first high resolution images will be beamed back to earth giving the world its first real insight into what makes the tiny ‘planet’ tick. But for now, not even NASA can claim to know very much about it. So we thought we’d speak to some of Australia’s youngest and brightest minds to see what they think. Continue Reading →

10 July 2015
by David
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Scientists get blood from a stone

A duck-billed dinosaur.

Scientists found fosilised blood cells in the bones of a hadrosaur similar to this one.
Credit: Wikimedia commons/ДиБгд

Fossilisation is not a gentle process. Flesh, skin, organs and feathers are often destroyed, leaving just the bones. Now, a team of scientists think they may have found something protected deep within those bones – dinosaur blood!

To begin, the team took small fragments from the insides of several different fossils. Looking closely with an electron microscope, they found plenty of shapes that looked like the soft tissues inside modern bones. More surprisingly, they found some shapes looked like cells. Continue Reading →

9 July 2015
by David
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Kerry’s random walk

a six pointed star with each point numbered.

Draw a compass rose and number each line coming out of it.

Kerry is at the country show, but Kerry is lost. In this activity, we’ll explore the maths of random walks, and find out if Kerry can see all the show has to offer!

You will need

Continue Reading →

7 July 2015
by David
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Five ways Indigenous science is helping us understand the world around us

DSC03542

Did you know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been employing scientific methods of data collection, such as observation and experimentation, for tens of thousands of years – long before western science came to Australia?

As the world’s oldest continuous living cultures, Indigenous Australians are renowned for their historic and enduring high-level science inquiry skills. Continue Reading →

6 July 2015
by beth
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Friction frog

A paper frog attached to two strings in a tree.

Make a paper frog walk along a string with the power of friction!

Make your own crazy climbing frog, using the power of friction.

You will need

  • A 20cm x 20cm piece of cardboard
  • Two 5cm long pieces of drinking straw
  • String
  • Sticky tape
  • Scissors
  • Coloured pens, pencils, crayons, paints or textas
  • Other decorations

What to do

Continue Reading →

25 June 2015
by David
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Panda Poems!

A panda sitting behind a branch.

Image: Aaron Logan CC BY 1.0

Congratulations to all our Panda poem competition winners! The following people have won tickets to see Pandas 3D at IMAX.

Tayissa Hermence, Talei Whiteside, Sam Lang, Naomi Brick, Loren Pugh, Kayla Geertsema, Jed Sullivan, Isabel Rothwell, Daniel Verberne, Daniel Alexander.

 

We had heaps of amazing entries for our panda poetry competition. Here are two of our faves!

Continue Reading →

19 June 2015
by David
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Counting pictures

A picture of the cover of Double Helix magazine.

Choose a picture in your magazine at random.

Want to practice how scientists count whales in the wild? In this activity, we’ll use mark and recapture to count the pictures in a magazine!

You will need

  • A magazine
  • Pen and paper
  • Two smartphones or cameras (optional)
  • A friend to count with

    Somone taking a photo of a magazine.

    Take a photo of your picture.

What to do

Continue Reading →