Helix @ CSIRO

Get your hands on science

6 July 2015
by beth

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

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25 June 2015
by David

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

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 →

12 June 2015
by David

Water on Mars? Super cool!

dark lines on the side of a crater.

Dark fingers point to water in Newton Crater on Mars
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

It’s drier than any desert on Earth. On Mars, pure water exists only as a gas or a solid. Vast amounts of ice are found at the north and south poles and buried underground, but there’s not a drop to drink.

“Liquid water isn’t stable on the Mars surface because of the temperatures and the pressures there,” says Sarah Milkovich, Mars research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

“Water on the surface will sublimate – if it is ice, it will go directly into the atmosphere in gas form.” Continue Reading →

29 May 2015
by Sarah

New rhino calf

A big rhino and a baby rhino.

Black rhino calf and mum Bakhita
Image: Rick Stevens

A black rhino calf born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, New
South Wales, is cause to celebrate. It’s a precious addition to the family, as rhinos are critically endangered and face extinction due to poaching.

The rhino calf is doing well. “We’re really happy with the way he’s coming along,” says Andrew Clow, keeper at Taronga Zoo. “He’s growing really fast and getting more adventurous every day.” Continue Reading →

28 May 2015
by David
1 Comment

Young Aussie scientists on the international stage

Five people and an inflateable kangaroo.

Our five winners, and Kevin the Kangaroo

Five winners from this year’s BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards, and an inflatable kangaroo called Kevin, were among just eight Australian students competing at the prestigious Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) – the ‘world cup’ of student science and engineering competitions.

Almost 1700 high school students from 78 countries competed for around $4 million in scholarships and prizes and the Aussies did us proud! Continue Reading →

26 May 2015
by David

A game of Hex

You will need

Someone drawing a circle inside a hexagon.

Take turns marking a hexagon.

What to do

In Hex, you have to try and link two opposite sides of the board with your hexagons. Your opponent is trying to link the other two sides with their hexagons. Continue Reading →