Jul 21

Sleek Geeks Eureka Awards

Join the Sleek Geeks and the 2015 Eureka Awards finalists to view the winning films and hear from the students about how they developed and produced their films.

The Sleek Geeks are two of Australia’s best loved science broadcasters. Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and Adam Spencer mix science with humour as they set out to answer some of the perplexing scientific mysteries we encounter on a daily basis.

The University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize is offered to primary and high school students and encourages students with a passion for science and for communicating ideas to tell a scientific story using a short video.

This event will showcase some fascinating science, provide an insight into science communication and the insider tips might just help your students excel in next year’s competition. You and your students will also be able to tweet any questions you have for the winning students or Dr Karl and Adam Spencer through to @SLEEKGEEKS.

Dr Karl & Adam Spencer

The University of Sydney and the Sleek Geeks are looking forward to sharing this experience with you!

 Book now with DART Connections

See the website for more information on the Sleek Geek Eureka Prize

sydney.edu.au/science/outreach/primary-school/eurek

Jul 07

SciFest 2015

It is time to start planning for SciFest and National Science Week. The SciFest video conferencing festival in August and provides a great lead in to National Science Week. Now in it’s third year SciFest is a great oppurtunity to engage your students in a variety of science workshops and events.

SciFest 2015

Join in with SciFest and National Science Week to enjoy and explore the wonders and benefits of science.

Monday 3 August

SciFest – Minibeast Magnified

Time 10am

Minibeasts Magnified explores the exciting and diverse world of invertebrates. Students will learn how to identify common groups of invertebrates and why they are important.

SciFest – Geology Rocks

Time: 11am

The Video conference will look at the dynamic earth forming processes. There will be explosive experiments demonstrated including the step by step exploration of the different phases of a volcanic eruption.

 SciFest – Museum Secretes Revealed – FREE

Time: 1pm

This video conference provides a glimpse behind the scenes of Australia’s oldest natural history Museum.

Meet the Experts – FREE

Time: 2pm

The Australian Museum is bringing our scientists to you! This is your chance to come face to face with an Australian Museum scientist and ask your question.

Tuesday 4 August

 SciFest – Minibeast Magnified

Time: 10am

Minibeasts Magnified explores the exciting and diverse world of invertebrates. Students will learn how to identify common groups of invertebrates and why they are important.

 SciFest – Geology Rocks

Time: 11am

The Video conference will look at the dynamic earth forming processes. There will be explosive experiments demonstrated including the step by step exploration of the different phases of a volcanic eruption.

SciFest – Museum Secretes Revealed – FREE

Time: 1pm

This video conference provides a glimpse behind the scenes of Australia’s oldest natural history Museum.

Meet the Experts – FREE

Time: 2pm

The Australian Museum is bringing our scientists to you! This is your chance to come face to face with an Australian Museum scientist and ask your questions.

Friday 7 August

SciFest – Minibeast Magnified

Time: 10am

Minibeasts Magnified explores the exciting and diverse world of invertebrates. Students will learn how to identify common groups of invertebrates and why they are important.

SciFest – Geology Rocks

Time: 11am

The Video conference will look at the dynamic earth forming processes. There will be explosive experiments demonstrated including the step by step exploration of the different phases of a volcanic eruption.

Monday 10 August

SciFest: Light & Colour Science
Time: 09:30
Students learn about properties of light in this fun interactive workshop for National Science Week! Investigate rainbows using the visible light spectrum, plus learn about colour addition and subtraction.
SciFest: Light & Colour Science
Time: 11:00
Students learn about properties of light in this fun interactive workshop for National Science Week! Investigate rainbows using the visible light spectrum, plus learn about colour addition and subtraction.

Tuesday 11 August

SciFest: Weather and Pressure
Time: 12:00
What is air pressure? Why are low and high pressure areas important? How are clouds formed? What is our atmosphere made of anyway?
SciFest: Weather and Pressure
Time: 14:00
What is air pressure? Why are low and high pressure areas important? How are clouds formed? What is our atmosphere made of anyway?

Wednesday 12 August

SciFest: Human Body… major body systems and senses
Time: 12:00
Students look at major body systems and how the five senses work in this engaging workshop!Where is heat in your body conserved? How do the lungs work?
SciFest: Human Body… major body systems and senses
Time: 14:00
Students look at major body systems and how the five senses work in this engaging workshop!Where is heat in your body conserved? How do the lungs work?

Friday 14 August

SciFest: Stars and Planets
Time: 12:00
Students investigate our Universe and space exploration techniques in this hands-on workshop. What did the big bang really look like? How are the tides formed? Where is Earth in the Solar System?
SciFest: Stars and Planets
Time: 14:00
Students investigate our Universe and space exploration techniques in this hands-on workshop. What did the big bang really look like? How are the tides formed? Where is Earth in the Solar System?

Tuesday 18 August

Scifest ANMM Inspiring Stories Lloyd Godson “The man who has lived underwater!” Inventor Extraordinaire!

Time: 10:00

Lloyd Godson is an ambassador for ocean exploration and is committed to encouraging more young Australians to undertake science, technology, engineering and maths. He loves to  put his wild ideas to the test in the real world.

Thursday 20 August

Scifest ANMM Inspiring Stories Lloyd Godson “The man who has lived underwater!” Inventor Extraordinaire!
Time: 12:00

Lloyd Godson is an ambassador for ocean exploration and is committed to encouraging more young Australians to undertake science, technology, engineering and maths. He loves to put his wild ideas to the test in the real world.

Bookings and topics are available at DART connections. Simply search SciFest to see all the exciting events from organisations across Australia.

SciFest event is proudly supported by Virtual Excursions Australia

National Science week_large

Jun 10

NAIDOC Week 2015

NAIDOC Week is held in the first full week of July. It is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and our society.

This year the theme highlights Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ strong spiritual and cultural connection to land and sea. The theme is an opportunity to pay respects to country; honour those who work tirelessly on preserving land, sea and culture and to share the stories of many sites of significance or sacred places with the nation.

Virtual Excursions Australia is presenting the NAIDOC Week Video Conferencing Festival. This event will run before and after the July school holidays for student across Australia. Please join the Australian Museum, Australian National Maritime Museum, State Library of NSW and Sydney Olympic Park for a series of fabulous events.

3245420_237684_Video Classroom Donna Carstens 8929

22 June

NAIDOC – Create YOUR Australian flag

Time: 10:00

Overview: In this special NAIDOC week art workshop students will explore Indigenous culture and art from various regions of Australia. In this lesson students will create their own Australian Flag by investigating their cultural heritage as well as that of Australia’s first inhabitants, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

NAIDOC – Create YOUR Australian flag

Time: 11:00

Overview: In this special NAIDOC week art workshop students will explore Indigenous culture and art from various regions of Australia. In this lesson students will create their own Australian Flag by investigating their cultural heritage as well as that of Australia’s first inhabitants, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

NAIDOC – Create YOUR Australian flag

Time: 12:00

Overview: In this special NAIDOC week art workshop students will explore Indigenous culture and art from various regions of Australia. In this lesson students will create their own Australian Flag by investigating their cultural heritage as well as that of Australia’s first inhabitants, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

 

23 June

NAIDOC week ANMM Unlocked: Unlock Water and Indigenous people

Time: 10:00

Overview: To celebrate NAIDOC week Indigenous Programs Manager Donna Carstens and special guest Uncle Terry will discuss the cultural significance of water to indigenous people. Water is integral to the everyday life of communities for survival, travel and play. Learn an traditional dance, examine an Indigenous artwork and build a canoe replica.

NAIDOC – Create YOUR Australian flag

Time: 10:00

Overview: In this special NAIDOC week art workshop students will explore Indigenous culture and art from various regions of Australia. In this lesson students will create their own Australian Flag by investigating their cultural heritage as well as that of Australia’s first inhabitants, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

NAIDOC – Create YOUR Australian flag

Time: 11:00

Overview: In this special NAIDOC week art workshop students will explore Indigenous culture and art from various regions of Australia. In this lesson students will create their own Australian Flag by investigating their cultural heritage as well as that of Australia’s first inhabitants, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

NAIDOC – Create YOUR Australian flag

Time: 12:00

Overview: In this special NAIDOC week art workshop students will explore Indigenous culture and art from various regions of Australia. In this lesson students will create their own Australian Flag by investigating their cultural heritage as well as that of Australia’s first inhabitants, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

NAIDOC week ANMM Unlocked: Unlock Water and Indigenous people

Time: 14:00

Overview: To celebrate NAIDOC week Indigenous Programs Manager Donna Carstens and special guest Uncle Terry will discuss the cultural significance of water to indigenous people. Water is integral to the everyday life of communities for survival, travel and play. Learn an traditional dance, examine an Indigenous artwork and build a canoe replica.

 

24 June

NAIDOC Week – Language on Tumblr and Sacred Land Sculpture workshop

Time: 10:00

Overview: This interactive video conference for Stage 2 and 3 students is centred on the NAIDOC 2015 theme of We all stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and Celebrate. Learn about the State Library language resources with the Indigenous Services team, and see how they are now being shared through social media. Use some Sydney Language words in a creative activity where students reflect on sacred places and build a miniature 3D model of their own special place

 

26 June

NAIDOC week ANMM Unlocked: Unlock Water and Indigenous people

Time: 10:00

Overview: To celebrate NAIDOC week Indigenous Programs Manager Donna Carstens and special guest Uncle Terry will discuss the cultural significance of water to indigenous people. Water is integral to the everyday life of communities for survival, travel and play. Learn an traditional dance, examine an Indigenous artwork and build a canoe replica.

NAIDOC week ANMM Unlocked: Unlock Water and Indigenous people

Time: 14:00

Overview: To celebrate NAIDOC week Indigenous Programs Manager Donna Carstens and special guest Uncle Terry will discuss the cultural significance of water to indigenous people. Water is integral to the everyday life of communities for survival, travel and play. Learn an traditional dance, examine an Indigenous artwork and build a canoe replica.

 

14 July

NAIDOC Week – Indigenous Totem workshop

Time: 11:00

Overview: The Indigenous Totems session is a practical workshop where students learn about lifestyles and beliefs of Indigenous Australians whilst creating their own totem. Concepts and culture will be demonstrated with real artifacts and aboriginal cultural material.

NAIDOC Week – Indigenous Totem workshop

Time: 12:00

Overview: The Indigenous Totems session is a practical workshop where students learn about lifestyles and beliefs of Indigenous Australians whilst creating their own totem. Concepts and culture will be demonstrated with real artifacts and aboriginal cultural material.

NAIDOC Week – Indigenous Totem workshop

Time: 13:00

Overview: The Indigenous Totems session is a practical workshop where students learn about lifestyles and beliefs of Indigenous Australians whilst creating their own totem. Concepts and culture will be demonstrated with real artifacts and aboriginal cultural material.

 

15 July

NAIDOC KOORI CLASSROOM: The origins and meaning of NAIDOC

Time: 14:00

Overview: “To know the future we must first know the past” (Aunty Fran Bodkin D’harawal Elder). In this session of our Koori Classroom series, D’harawal knowledge keeper, Shannon Foster will guide students through the origins of NAIDOC – also part of her own family story.

 

NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. Its origins can be traced to the emergence of Aboriginal groups in the 1920′s which sought to increase awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians.

PMC001_15_NAIDOC_logo_inline

 

Virtual Excursions Australia is proud to support this event

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May 25

What is a Tricaster ?

Put simply a Tricaster is a TV studio in a computer designed and built by Newtek. If used properly it has the power to transform your basic video conferencing event into an all singing and all dancing, high quality broadcast event.. Combining a Tricaster into what would otherwise be a standard v/c event enables you incorporate things like, seamless switching between presentation images, video and third party video feeds. Use the Tricaster with a professional audio mixing desk, high quality cameras and microphones and the viewer at the other end would be hard pressed to tell the difference between what you are producing and what they see on TV.

Most cultural institutions would need either the Tricaster 460 or the Tricaster Mini. These would allow you to mix up to 4 digital/analogue camera sources, 2 laptops, and mix video or audio directly from the Tricaster. The Tricaster will allow you to mix, record & stream your v/c events via the web or via traditions H.323 equipment.

But why hear if from me ? Take a listen to the people that use it for real.

 


Stephen Bancroft is an an Electrical Engineer and Computing expert, he has over twenty years experience with internet based technologies and has worked extensively with live sound and broadcast. He is currently writing technical articles exclusively for VEA.

Apr 13

Zoom Video Conferencing

ZOOM VIDEO COMMUNICATIONS LOGO

Recently there has been a bit of excitement in our community regarding using Zoom Video Conferencing as a gateway to reach potential audience that may not have invested in a full suite of Standard Based (H.323) v/c kit. Think of Zoom as Skype on steroids! You can set up a meeting, invite guests, and have them connect simply through their browser. There is no complicated software to install and everything works through the browser without having to install additional software, which is great for companies which have restrictions on such things.

On of the most exciting things for us is that Zoom is free, so anybody you invite to a meeting can use it. And the fact that they provide what they call a H.323 Room Connector. This optional extra can be purchased for a small price of $US49/mo and enables H.323 video conferencing units to join the meeting. Which finally means that we can connect all our v/c units and users together in one big conference!

This all sounds fantastic but there are a few caveats that you should be aware of. Firstly you need to know that DART has (for the moment) put a ban on using Zoom to dial directly into their system. The main reason for this is that the connection that Zoom creates is forced to a connection speed of 6 megabits per second. This is far to fast for DARTs front end points and causes congestion and high usage, resulting in poor experience for other users on the network. To work around this you will need to dial directly into Zoom using your H.323 device so as a result means that it is unusable with DET schools as you need to use DART to connect to them. However as you will read I have been able to work around this using two H.323 devices.

Secondly, unless your guest using the H.323 room connector and a standards based v/c unit, then they will be using their computer which mean they will also be using the webcam and microphone which is included. Generally these built in devices are fairly cheap and are designed to work with just a single person not an entire room of people, so depending on your application the results not be acceptable.

If you really want to take full advantage of what Zoom has to offer you can configure a set up in which you use two H.323 units and a video switcher such as a Tricaster. To do this you would dial the first H.323 unit into DART as you normally would and the second unit would dial into Zoom. In this scenario any schools you need to engage would be connected at the DART end and any ‘special guests’ could be connected to Zoom. Exactly who sees what is controlled by the vision switcher. However, doing this requires quit a bit of technical know how! I have personally done this with a video conference at The Powerhouse Museum and the results where similar to that of a TV broadcast. You can see for yourself HERE.

Is Zoom worth the investment ? Probably….. for $US49/mo I think it’s worth at least trying out, you may find that you have no use for it or your organisation does not have the technical ability for it, but you would not have lost much in doing so. But you may also find that your audience reach has been massively extended and the return will be far greater than the small investment.

Stephen Bancroft is an an Electrical Engineer and Computing expert, he has over twenty years experience with internet based technologies and has worked extensively with live sound and broadcast. He is currently writing technical articles exclusively for VEA.

 

Mar 23

Dialling H.323 from a mobile device.

Ever wanted to join in a video conference (H.323) from a your phone or tablet? Well it is possible. Start by installing the Polycom RealPresence application for Android or iPhone. Start the application and you should be greeted with a screen similar to this. I am using Android 4.4.4 so your screen may look a little different.

2015-03-23 02.38.54

At this point just enter your email address and click next. Now you will get the following screen.

2015-03-23 02.39.05

At this point you would be forgiven for thinking that you need to sign into some sort of Polycom server or infrastructure, but you don’t need to, just click ‘Skip Sign In’ and you will get this screen.

2015-03-23 02.39.39

Now your in business, you can enter a H.323 IP and dial directly. Test it out your self by dialling one of the VTCTEST numbers.

2015-03-23 02.43.44

Enjoy !

 

Stephen Bancroft is an an Electrical Engineer and Computing expert, he has over twenty years experience with internet based technologies and has worked extensively with live sound and broadcast. He is currently writing technical articles exclusively for VEA.

Feb 12

Inspiring Stories – Women and Science Symposium

It all started with a discussion my environmental scientist daughter and I had about the numbers of girls opting out of science and scientific careers because of the negative stereotypes. She said it was such a shame that girls by not considering science as option were locking themselves out of some amazing careers. We were talking at the time about some of the scientists I have worked with and have met here at the museum and some of the incredible experiences they have had. She commented, it is disappointing that those stories aren’t common knowledge and available to students making decisions about their future.

From that a small conversation an idea began to germinate, I ran it past a couple of my colleagues who all thought that could have potential. A little more research and contacting some possible speakers my idea of a Women and Science Symposium began to blossom. Another conversation with my daughter who again urged me to do this (or else!) and my idea has now taken on a life of its own.

A newsletter lead me to my final link to my day with how to guide students from school to university life and to employment opportunities through a inspiring conversation with UNSW Australia’s Veena Sahajwalla and the Science 50:50 program, who agreed to come and chair the day also bringing many of her industry partners and having the Sydney launch of Science 50:50.

Veena50-50 Credit - Tamara Dean

Veena Sahajwalla – Image Credit – Tamara Dean

The 11.30am panel chaired by Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla, features four scientists with a distinct maritime feel. (Well we are a Maritime Museum). Micheline Jenner from the Centre for Whale Research Western Australia, Dr Katy Croff Bell Expedition Leader Vice president and Chief Scientist Ocean Exploration Trust USA via video link and Dr Katherine Dafforn and Dr Inke Falkner both from Sydney Institute of Marine Science. The panellists will discuss their work and different experiences as well as inviting questions from students.

After the first panel presentation, students who visit the come to the museum will be offered a behind the scene, tour of the ANMM conservation lab with conservator Rebecca Dallwitz. The 1.30pm session will feature the launch of Science 50:50 a program that aims to inspire young women to pursue degrees and careers in science and technology so they can succeed in an innovation driven future. Science 50:50 makes the simple point – since half the population is female, why not half the scientists and technologists? By informing and engaging young women with the power of science and technology to solve complex problems and transform lives, and by introducing them to Australian scientists and innovators who are doing just that, Science 50:50 can help recalibrate the gender balance.

Image Credit - Maja Baska 2014

Image Credit – Maja Baska 2014

The session be once again chaired by Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla will feature a keynote speaker, as well as panellists from Science 50:50 industry partners such as CSIRO, IBM, Cochlear, Woolworths, Arrium, Brickworks, Australian Museum Research Institute, Global Product Stewardship Council. Students will have the opportunity to learn about scientific careers beyond university, internships and competitions. A panellist meet and greet will be held at the conclusion of the session for any students who attend the day.

I believe that the day will be in the spirit of International Women’s Day, with the aim to inspire the next generation of scientists, who also happen to be girls to do amazing things.

Women in Science Symposium at the Australian National Maritime Museum

Inspiring Stories – Women and Science Symposium 50:50 project is on 6 March 2015.

Bookings essential bookings@anmm.gov.au or 92983655

2 session are available through video conferencing with DART Connections

Inspiring Stories Women and Science Symposium 50:50 project – 6 March 2015  11:30am

Inspiring Stories Women and Science Symposium 50:50 project – 6 March 2015  1.30pm

 

Science 50:50 – Inspiring Young Women into Science

UNSW_logo

Feb 09

Get roving video conference robots at your school or museum!

There has been much talk around the video conferencing robot at the National Museum of Australia. Developed in collaboration with the CSIRO and the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, the telepresence robot roving the NMA’s floors has allowed multiple remote schools and libraries to simultaneously connect to an onsite educator to ask questions as well as explore the exhibits themselves using the panoramic cameras that create a 360 degree view with zooming capability. The only issue is that whilst the technology is very exciting the associated price tag makes it difficult for other sites to attain easily.

 

Double Robotics

Double Robotics iPad robot seen in Atlanta at ISTE 2104

There are low cost options that have been roaming educational halls and hospitals for years and represent an exciting way to scale the concept for Australian needs. During my Churchill Fellowship tour I came across a couple of these solutions and was very impressed with how easy they are to operate and the attainable price for implementation. The New York Hall of Science uses a VGO robot as a way for remote learners to interact with summer science camps occurring within the galleries. The learner is able to log onto the robot and control its movement, effectively acting as an autonomous student. There are other models available too; a popular one in schools is the one from Double Robotics that is effectively an iPad rolling on a small version of a Segway. In both cases these VC robots have found uses in hospital systems for bed ridden patients to provide virtual mobility as well as in schools for remote students to participate in lessons. The remote site simply downloads an app and controls the robot from their location. The result is the ability of a remote student to move around the school or similar and interact with classes… not unlike ‘Shelbot’ seen in the Big Bang Theory comedy series! At Fizzics Education we had a Double Robot roaming around our offices for a bit… even my 5 year old daughter was able to control easily although it did freak out my two year old when she moved it towards him :)

Schools have been using these systems to allow sick kids still attend classes, even for students to present their oral presentations to their class whilst on an excursion. The technology also be used as a way of giving visitors a virtual tour of your site before they even step foot on your grounds – as a former boarding school student I reckon this also presents an interesting possibility for families looking to get an idea of where they are sending their kids! Regardless of how you look at it, these robots and other similar products add yet another dimension to an already exciting field for distance education!

Dec 04

Becoming a content provider

At the last Virtual Excursions Australia meeting discussions came back to some of the fundamental questions about becoming a content provider.

  • What equipment do I use?
  • Should we charge for our sessions?
  • How much should we charge?
  • How can I make sure my sessions interactive?
  • How many students or classes can be involved in a session?

The difficulty with most of these questions is that there is no right answer and depends on your organisations content, audience and purpose.

However these guideline will help you make an appropriate decision for your organisation.

Equipment

All state schools in NSW have H.323 video conferencing equipment, usually Polycom or Tandberg units. Victorian schools are also rolling out H.323 platform equipment. The advantage of this equipment is the ability to send multiple content streams – main camera, second camera or document cameras, Powerpoint presentations, and content from a DVD.

In terms of equipment the next questions is do I install a fixed unit or a portable unit on a trolley. A portable unit gives you the flexibility to move spaces; into a different office or classroom or even into a gallery or exhibition space. This is also a useful option if you have competing programming demands on your space. However a fixed unit can reduce your set up and pack down time and allows you to create a themed space.

I use a fixed unit for our Indigenous Australians session and it creates an amazing atmosphere.

Derek from the Australian Museum presenting the Totems workshop

Derek from the Australian Museum presenting the Totems workshop

For other sessions I use our mobile unit which allows me to get close to some of our incredible specimens.

Karen form the Australian Museum presenting Giants from the past

Karen form the Australian Museum presenting Giants from the past

To Charge or not to Charge?

The question of charging also varies; some organisation are mandated to deliver free programs, other have to cover additional staff costs and therefore have to charge. Projects that have been developed with grant funding will usually be free during the funding period.

Currently in Australia session prices range from free up to $350 for the high end unique experiences. You can see that there is a big variation and cost recovery is something to consider when setting prices. I believe offering a range of free and charged sessions is a good option and provides the greatest opportunities for schools to connect with your organisations content.

Remember if your content is high quality schools will pay to connect with you, free session also don’t automatically book out.

The other challenge we discussed at the meeting was the issue of schools booking a place in your session and not showing up. This seems to be more common when sessions are free. Some content providers find that if there is a small charge on their session instead they get less no shows. This is something to consider and trial.

Interactivity

There are many different ways to make a video conferences interactive and you need to find options that work for your content. I’ve created a list of a few different options you can try.

  • include short activities
  • incorporate actions or movement
  • have group answers eg. get everyone to answer simple questions together
  • create artworks during the session
  • run experiments
  • include a quiz
  • leave plenty of time for questions

There are many other ideas but this list is a start. You can also combine options depending on the type of session you are running.

How big should I make the session?

This depends on the type of session you are running. If you want a detailed discussion with an expert, then  1 or 2 classes is appropriate. If you have a special high profile guest, then you will want to open up the bookings to multiple schools. If you have over 10 schools try using Twitter or a messaging channel to get questions in, this will make the session feel more interactive without disrupting the flow.

I generally limit class number to 4 – 6 schools for the sessions I deliver. This has been determined over the last 5 years of delivering programs. However we limit the numbers of schools when we have designed sessions with more discussion.

 

I hope this information helps you get started and Virtual Excursion Australia content providers are happy to help out if you want more information.

Dec 01

Virtual Science Club

In May and June 2014 a number of Virtual Excursions Australia members were involved in a video conferencing science club that brought students from across Sydney to do science experiments in an informal after school session in 3 Sydney libraries.

Coordinated by Fizzics Education, Sydney Olympic Park and Greater Western Sydney GIANTS Football Club, the 7 week program linked hands on science experiments with leadership and life skills.

Each week guests from a number of Virtual Excursion Australia members were able to join the sessions whereby the students could learn all about organisations such as the Australian Museum, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, ReefHQ, Australian Fossil & Mineral Museum, State Library NSW, Powerhouse Museum, Macquarie University and the Australian National Maritime Museum.

Video Conferencing Science Club presented by Fizzics Education with special guests from the Australian Museum

Video Conferencing Science Club presented by Fizzics Education with special guests from the Australian Museum

This science club represented the first of its kind in Australia and showed the strong potential for collaborative technologies to bring together distant communities together to learn about their world and culture in a real time environment.

Check out the video of the program at Vimeo – Video conferencing science club

Thanks to Blacktown Libraries, Auburn Library and Hurstville Museum & Gallery for hosting the students!

For further information about how you can get involved please contact Ben Newsome at Fizzics Education.

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