Our recent Scientist for a Day programs saw budding young scientists get to know our Terrifying Tyrannosaurs and become DNA Detectives.

Scientist for a day extract DNA from strawberries
Day in the Life of a Scientist Image: Science Communications
© Australian Museum

Last school holidays, we opened the doors to young dinosaur enthusiasts ready to discover more about our new residents. The morning involved getting to know some of the terrifying tyrannosaurs that have recently made their homes in the Museum.

We kicked off the first session of the day with Karen Adams, a volunteer who shared her knowledge about dinos, digs and her recent work in Canada.

After learning all there is to know about Tyrannosaurs, we made our way down to the Museum's new exhibition to explore the various species of the Tyrannosaur family. The kids’ favourite activities in the exhibition were reconstructing the family tree, testing their strength and meeting the incredibly cheeky Scotty, our resident T.Rex in the exhibition.

The next part of the journey took us to the park in the sunshine where the kids competed in the exciting Dinosaur Olympics! They were tested in strength, speed and team work. It was a battle of Asia versus North America to take out the gold.

The adventure continued the week after as we welcomed more excited young scientists to the museum ready to become DNA detectives.

The morning kicked off with a visit from Jo and Simon, scene of crime officers from the central metro team. They showed us the ropes and taught the kids different techniques for collecting evidence at a crime scene.

The kids then got the chance to put their skills into practice later during our CSI World workshop with Shenali Boange and Ashleigh Harrington. They received a hands-on experience and insight into the world of forensic science. After getting suited and booted they entered a ‘crime scene’ and collected all the evidence to help identify the criminal offender.

Special guests from the Australian Museum DNA Laboratory, Dr. Rebecca Johnson, Dr. Greta Frankham, Andrew King, Georgina Cook and Alex, then took the kids through some of the work they do with wildlife crimes, DNA and genomes. After discovering that museums hold more than what we can see, the kids finished off the day by carrying out their own DNA extraction on strawberries.