Our recent Scientist for a Day program kicked off 2015 with the exploration of science and culture.

The kids jumped in to a world of mysterious rituals and glittering treasures for Aztecs - bling, bling, bling! learning that with the strict rules of the classes, keeping to the straight and narrow was a tough job! The morning was also spent exploring the workings of the famous Aztec calendar and the astronomy behind some of the beliefs of this culture.

Once they had interpreted the messages from the skies, the kids set out to investigate the science behind the glittering “bling” of the Aztec culture with Interpretive Officer Melissa Murray teaching us about the precious minerals and gemstones used for their dazzling jewellery and impressive sculptures. While teaching the kids that geology rocks, Mel gave them the rare opportunity to get a close up view of the museum’s fantastic minerals collection.

Life among the Aztecs

Exhibitions Project Officer Fran Dorey holds a skull icon from the Aztecs exhibtion. Death played a central role in Aztec cosmology.

Image: Stuart Humphreys
© Australian Museum

Next in line to help the kids step into the shoes of an archaeologist was Australian Museum Research Fellow Dr. Nina Kononenko to demonstrate how stone tools were made, and Senior Principal Research Scientist, Dr. Robin Torrence to explain some of the resources and techniques that may have been used by past societies.

The following week our program From Caves to Computers - the story of evolution saw us delve further back in history to meet our family and unearth fascinating Australian Megafauna in a day dedicated to evolution. The morning started off with a visit from Exhibition Project Co-ordinator Fran Dorey to help us map the movement of mankind and check out some skull casts of our ancestors to see if we could spot the changes over time. Fran also gave the kids the chance to engage with some of the stone tools that would have been used.

Megafauna - Scientist for a Day
Scientist for a Day - examining models of fossilised bones. Image: Ashleigh Harrington
© Australian Museum

After learning about our more distant relatives we brought the search closer to home to look at the evolution of Australian fauna. Museum Outreach manager Karen Player joined us for our exploration of evolution to help us as we identified some of Australia’s past Megafauna using fossil casts of some of the more well known giants of Australia’s past.

To finish up the day the kids explored natural selection through a tasty experiment with jellybeans and created their own immortal beast that could evolve to adapt to any environmental changes.

Wondering how you can keep your kids busy next school holidays? Keep an eye out for our April Scientist For a Day programs!

Age: 8 to 12 years old
Time: 9am to 3pm
Price: $135 general, $110 member’s price

To book call 9320 6389.