Our Science Communications team recently visited Manly to help out at the Ocean Care Day Festival, now in its 20th year.

The festival aims to raise local environmental awareness and educate the public on today’s big issues as well as enjoying art and entertainment.

The Australian Museum visits Manly
10-year-old Lilian holding a 1923 Humpback whale barnacle. Image: Catherine Beehag
© Australian Museum

We set up camp alongside our marine institution buddies: the Manly Environment Centre and the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary who had some great hands-on activities and a real-life rock pool with marine life.

The festival enabled us to showcase the knowledge of our own fine Australian Museum scientists who took some of our equally-as-fine biology specimens down near the beachfront which had all ages of the pubic intrigued.

Visitors were able to handle a piece of Humpback whale baleen which acts as a filter-feeder system, large Humpback whale barnacles dating to the 1920s, and they were also able to observe surprisingly sizeable whale lice which are found around the blowholes and nostrils of whales.

Members from our Science Communication team also got to educate visitors about the upcoming Australian Museum Science Festival in August 2014 and the activities that will be held such as Liquid Nitrogen shows, CSIRO presentations, live animal displays, science shows for the little ones and the Australian Museum Science Festival EXPO.

We also discussed our Museum outreach programs, such as Museum in a Box which allows students to sample an Australian Museum experience closer to home. And our arts and crafts table had non-stop visitors engaging in colouring-in activities and temporary T-Rex tattoos in light of our current Tyrannosaurs Exhibition.

We had a fantastic day by the beachfront and look forward to the next Manly Ocean Care Day Festival where we’ll get another chance to give the Manly-siders a taste of the Australian Museum.