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.

Dec 01

Video Conferencing lessons learned in the United States

Ben Newsome from Fizzics Education shares insights from his amazing journey through the United States

Earlier this year, Ben Newsome of Fizzics Education travelled for seven weeks in the United States to investigate the use of videoconferencing in science education. Visiting 16 science centres, museums, zoos, aquariums and school districts across North America as a recipient of a Churchill Fellowship. Ben met with many distance educators who shared insights and techniques on how to produce outstanding science & technology video conferencing lessons for remote learners.

Among Ben’s findings were:

  • Learning how to incorporate animated games & live dissections into marine biology video conferences at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Los Angeles.
  • Visiting Alaska to learn techniques in remotely teaching ecology at the Alaska SeaLife Center and Alaska Zoo
Darin Trobaugh from Alaska Sea Life Center

Darin Trobaugh from Alaska Sea Life Center

 

  • Touring the Canadian badlands to learn how palaeontology is taught via IVC at the Royal Tyrrell Museum
  • Speaking with the talented team at the Centre for Interactive Learning & Collaboration in Indianapolis & the Central New York Regional Information Center on video conferencing installation and best practices
  • Immersion in the simulated learning environments at Rochester Challenger Learning Center and the Bathysphere Underwater Biological Laboratory plus spending time with the distance educators at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the International Spy Museum, Nina Mason Pulliam Ecolab and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Complex
  • Touring Washington DC galleries & museums offered by the Smithsonian Institution
  • Discovering robotic video conferencing technologies being used at the New York Hall of Science.
  • Learning how social disadvantage and isolation can be overcome through the use of collaborative technologies
‘Vinnie cam’ from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History

‘Vinnie cam’ from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Ben met many video conferencing content providers at the Center for Puppetry Arts as well as leaders of the educational video conferencing community at the International Society for Technology for Education conference in Atlanta.

Following his Churchill Fellowship tour Ben has made many recommendations to improve the delivery of videoconferencing in Australia. These include that professional development in collaborative technologies needs to be ongoing in the school system and should be embedded into pre-service teaching courses at Universities. Video conferencing should wherever possible be incorporated into all mainstream teaching & learning sequences to enrich the K – 12 curriculum, particularly as significant investment has already been made to install H.323 systems in over 3000 Australian schools.

Ben also recommends that where possible mobile H.323 systems also be installed into all schools, libraries, hospitals, retirement homes & juvenile justice sites if funding was available, to ensure better access to educational experiences from around the world regardless of key learning area.

Full report can be read here: www.churchilltrust.com.au/media/fellows/To_investigate_best_practice_in_science_education_B_Newsome_2013.pdf

Nov 21

MARS ONE – A One Way Ticket To Mars

MarsOne

Meet Some Australian Mars One Candidates

HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT MARS ONE — the ambitious project that is under way to send the first humans to Mars? The plan is to send 4 people (2 women and 2 men) in 2024 — and it’s one way! They won’t be coming back. They will be Martians.

Some 200,000 people from all over the world applied for the chance to be one of the first humans on Mars. That number has been narrowed down to about 750, including some 25 Australians. Eventually the number ill be reduced to a total of 24. These candidates will undergo many years of extensive training and eventually 4 will be chosen by a TV audience as part of a reality style TV show to be the first to go.

So, what kind of people are these Australians? What would you ask them if you had the chance? What makes them want to go to Mars and give up life on Earth? What about their families and friends? Why do they think they should be chosen? What training will they need? How will they survive and cope in the tiny habitation modules? What if something goes wrong? What characteristics would they look for in team-mates? How is all of this affecting their daily life now?

This video conference gives students the opportunity to meet and ask questions of a number of these ordinary (or, some might say, extraordinary) Australians who have made it to the second round of the Mars One selection process.

This is a free video conference event
hosted by the Powerhouse Museum
10:30 – 11.30 am (EST) Thursday 27th Novemeber 2014
Bookings Close 24th November 2014
BOOK NOW at dartconnections.org.au

Nov 02

Dinosaur Day 2014

The Australian Museum has been involved in the ClickFest video conferencing festival since it started in 2011 and is proud to be part of this exciting event. ClickFest will be launched with Dinosaur day on 3 November 2014.

Join Winny the Australian Museum’s Muttaburrasaurs as she opens ClickFest and Dinosaur day.

winny roar

Dinosaur Day – Meet Winny

Time: 10:00

The Australian Museum launches the 2014 Dinosaur Day with Winny our Muttaburrasaurs. Come along to meet Winny to learn more about Australian Dinosaurs. Winny Saurs is a life size Muttaburrasaurs dinosaur puppet and she takes you on a journey to explore her world. You will be transported back 100 million years into Cretaceous and discover what life was really like for the dinosaurs.

 

Dinosaur Day – Fascinating Fossils

Time: 13:00

Fossils are fascinating reminders of life in ancient times and provide a window into the past. They can also reveal an amazing amount of information about extinct species and the ancient world. Step inside the shoes of a palaeontologist to use fossil material and modern animals to reconstruct some extinct Australian animals.

 

Further Information: See the Australian Museum website for extra resources.

 

These sessions are being hosted by the Distance and Rural Technologies (DART). DART connections help us by providing a booking system, technical support and marketing to teachers.

Oct 09

Video Conference Checklist

We’ve all been there, you nervously start a video conference hoping that all your equipment works, praying that no one has snuck in and played around with your Tandberg settings in the dead of the night while you weren’t there. You dial the VMR number and ask the magic question… ‘Can you hear me ?!?!’, you hold your breath and never get a response….. booh…. you find yourself on the phone with the remote end for the next twenty minutes trying remove the gremlins that have crawled into your system rather than delivering the fantastic educational experience that you had so meticulously planned.

[pullquote align=”right” textalign=”center” width=”30%”]…you can always have a v/c without the picture, but you can’t have one without the sound![/pullquote]

Wouldn’t it be better if you could just start the video conference and everything just worked straight out of the gate ? There is a way to achieve this, and it can apply to setups of any size and any type and any organisation. I call it a ‘pre-flight check’.

The basic idea of a pre-flight check is to do technical checks on everything BEFORE you start the video conference. Granted most of us delivering video conferencing are not technical and very few of us have the luxury of having a technical person on standby to help with the set up. So it will pay you greatly to spend a few minutes before an event doing some basic checks on your equipment. Even if you know the state of your gear or your gear has not moved it is still a good idea to check everything is working just so you can eliminate your end as being the problem if an issue does crop up it’s ugly head during your event. Following is a checklist that has been implemented at the Powerhouse Museum, since we have started this process we have had very few technical problems and we have also found that our staff are more confident and know the equipment better as a result.

[important]

1. Check Your Network

Check that you have an IP address. On a Polycom unity The IP address is shown at the bottom of the display when the unit first boots up. On a Tandberg you will see the IP on the top left. An IP address has the form nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn, If you do not have or cannot see an IP address try switching to another network port or talk to your network administrator.

[/important]

[important]

2. Check Your Primary Camera

Check that the primary camera is plugged into the correct port and you are getting a loopback image on the screen.

[/important]

[important]

3. Check Your Secondary Camera

If you are using a secondary camera, switch over to it and check that you are getting a loopback image.

[/important]

[important]

4. Check Your PC

If you are planning to use content sharing from an external PC, then you MUST check that it is working beforehand. There are several things that can go wrong here! Make sure you are familiar with the ins and outs of switching your computer from mirrored or extended display modes and check that you have all the right sort of connectors available to connect to your v/c codec. Exactly how this done is something that I can save for another article….

[/important]

[important]

5. Lighting

This seems like an obvious one, but you should keep in mind that a camera does not perceive light exactly as the human eyes does and low light levels can translate into a fuzzy or graining looking image at the remote end. Conversely high light levels can cause the image to look grey or colourless. Critically review the lighting and check via camera loopback that the lighting is not too dark and not washed out. There should be a nice contrast between each half of the face and skin tones should look natural for onscreen talent.

[/important]

[important]

6. Make a Test Call

Once you have tested the above make a test call to another v/c unit, and test everything again from steps 1-5.

[/important]

[important]

7. Test the sound

Finally, while on the test call confirm that there is two way audio. The sound should be loud and clear and not distorted. Remember you can always have a v/c without the picture, but you can’t have one without the sound!

[/important]

Some v/c setups are easier then others.

Some v/c setups are easier than others.

Another good idea is to use a service like VTC Call Back (http://vtctest.pointsofdata.com/) Using this you can make a test call and it will call you back and check your video and audio is working.

Try to plan the time it takes to do this into your event schedule, I would recommend that you allow yourself at least 15 minutes for the basic checks written above, longer if you have a more complex setup. If you make a good habit of running through this before every event you will save yourself a lot of heartache in the long run.

Keep up the good work !

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.

Oct 03

ClickFest 2014

ClickFest is an annual video conferencing festival run in November each year. ClickFest is an exciting initiative from education organisations across Australia. It highlights the diversity and scope of video conferences available to schools across Australia. Sessions are delivered free or at reduced cost to schools, providing a great opportunity for teachers to give it a go.

Topics and programs will vary over the month long video conferencing festival to provide flexibilty for teachers and students. Each day multiple sessions will be available on a variety of topics from content providers around Australia.

SciFest showcases science across Australia

4 November 2014

CLICKFEST: Transport Past & Present
Time: 10:00
Overview: Have you ever wondered what types of transport zoomed around our streets, railways and skies before motor cars, electric trains and planes? Come find out with Finn, our 20th Century transpor…

CLICKFEST: Sustainable Solutions Workshop
Time: 11:30
Overview: Put on your eco-designer thinking caps and take part in this hands-on workshop! Learn about ecological footprints and what it means to be sustainable. Meet Mr Airhead and teach him how to th…

CLICKFEST: Creative chemistry workshop
Time: 14:00
Overview: Designed to cover a broad range of chemical concepts that is accessible to primary students.- kitchen chemistry found at home- physical changes vs. chemical reactions- acids vs bases and ind…

CLICKFEST: Primary PD Session – Simple science experiments for Staff Development
Time: 15:30
Overview: Find out how your primary classroom can be transformed into an interactive science environment without breaking the bank. Learn how to use easily obtainable materials from the local shops to…

5 November 2014

CLICKFEST: For Good Measure fun with measurement and standards
Time: 10:00
Overview: What do ‘Peter Piper’ and ‘Jack and Jill’ nursery rhymes have to do with maths and measurement? What are gills, bushels, pecks and the smoot? Find out in this special hands-on maths video co…

CLICKFEST: Minibeast Magnified
Time: 11:00
Overview: 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.Minibeasts Magnif…
5 November 2014 cont.

CLICKFEST: Museum Secrets Revealed
Time: 10:00
Overview: Become a detective and discover how scientists collect, preserve and display the many extraordinary specimens in their collection. Explore the Australian Museum specimens to investigate how …

CLICKFEST: Geology Rocks
Time: 13:00
Overview: 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 vo…

6 November 2014

CLICKFEST: Human Body – Look at the major body systems and senses
Time: 09:00
Overview: 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? Heart, kidneys, bones, liver and other…

ClickFest – Australian Giants

Time: 09:30

Overview: Giant animals from dinosaurs to megafauna have roamed the Australian continent at different times. Find out about some of these Australian giants. Look at fossils and learn what they tell us…

ClickFest – Australian Giants

Time: 10:30

Overview: Giant animals from dinosaurs to megafauna have roamed the Australian continent at different times. Find out about some of these Australian giants. Look at fossils and learn what they tell us…

7 November 2014

CLICKFEST: Innovation (Yr 4-10)
Time: 09:30
Overview: Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre offers engaging workshops that enable students to explore science, technology and innovation through experience. Whether they are inves…

CLICKFEST: Innovation (Yr 4 – 10)
Time: 11:30
Overview: Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre offers engaging workshops that enable students to explore science, technology and innovation through experience. Whether they are inves…

CLICKFEST: Innovation (Yr 4-10)
Time: 13:30
Overview: Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre offers engaging workshops that enable students to explore science, technology and innovation through experience. Whether they are inves…

CLICKFEST: Museum Secrets Revealed
Time: 10:00
Overview: Become a detective and discover how scientists collect, preserve and display the many extraordinary specimens in their collection. Explore the Australian Museum specimens to investigate how …

CLICKFEST: Minibeast Magnified
Time: 11:00
Overview: 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. Minibeasts Magnif…

CLICKFEST: Geology Rocks
Time: 13:00
Overview: 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 vo…

10 November 2014

CLICKFEST: 4 Slimes in 30 minutes – Kitchen Chemistry fun!
Time: 14:30
Overview: 4 slimes in 30 minutes…. how could you go wrong?!?Join Fizzics Education for SciFest as we dive into kitchen chemistry in this fun yet educational workshop. Slimes we will investigate are:-…

11 November 2014

CLICKFEST: Transport Past & Present
Time: 10:00
Overview: Have you ever wondered what types of transport zoomed around our streets, railways and skies before motor cars, electric trains and planes? Come find out with Finn, our 20th Century transpor…

CLICKFEST – Art Around the Library Session 3 – Captain Cook – Portrait drawing

Time: 10:00

Overview: Explore the extraordinary Pictures Collection of the State Library of NSW in this exciting new series of video conferences held on Tuesdays during Term 4. Highlighting five different artwork…

CLICKFEST: Sustainable Solutions Workshop
Time: 11:30
Overview: Put on your eco-designer thinking caps and take part in this hands-on workshop! Learn about ecological footprints and what it means to be sustainable. Meet Mr Airhead and teach him how to th…

CLICKFEST – Art Around the Library Session 3 – Captain Cook – Portrait drawing

Time: 12:00

Overview: Explore the extraordinary Pictures Collection of the State Library of NSW in this exciting new series of video conferences held on Tuesdays during Term 4. Highlighting five different artwork…

12 November 2014

CLICKFEST: For Good Measure fun with measurement and standards
Time: 10:00
Overview: What do ‘Peter Piper’ and ‘Jack and Jill’ nursery rhymes have to do with maths and measurement? What are gills, bushels, pecks and the smoot? Find out in this special hands-on maths video co…

18 November 2014

CLICKFEST: Transport Past & Present
Time: 10:00
Overview: Have you ever wondered what types of transport zoomed around our streets, railways and skies before motor cars, electric trains and planes? Come find out with Finn, our 20th Century transpor…

CLICKFEST: Sustainable Solutions Workshop
Time: 11:30
Overview: Put on your eco-designer thinking caps and take part in this hands-on workshop! Learn about ecological footprints and what it means to be sustainable. Meet Mr Airhead and teach him how to th…

19 November 2014

Clickfest – Law of the Land: Troopers, Trackers and Bushrangers

Time: 09:30

Overview: In this virtual excursion your students will go back in time to the 1850s to share an hour in the life of a Mounted Trooper (played by a costumed interpreter) as he talks about the difficult.

CLICKFEST: For Good Measure fun with measurement and standards
Time: 10:00
Overview: What do ‘Peter Piper’ and ‘Jack and Jill’ nursery rhymes have to do with maths and measurement? What are gills, bushels, pecks and the smoot? Find out in this special hands-on maths video co…

CLICKFEST: Museum Secrets Revealed
Time: 10:00
Overview: Become a detective and discover how scientists collect, preserve and display the many extraordinary specimens in their collection. Explore the Australian Museum specimens to investigate how …

CLICKFEST: Minibeast Magnified
Time: 11:00
Overview: 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.Minibeasts Magnif…

Clickfest – Law of the Land: Troopers, Trackers and Bushrangers

Time: 11:00

Overview: In this virtual excursion your students will go back in time to the 1850s to share an hour in the life of a Mounted Trooper (played by a costumed interpreter) as he talks about the difficult.

CLICKFEST: Geology Rocks
Time: 13:00
Overview: 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 vo…

21 November 2014

Time: 09:30
Overview: In this virtual excursion your students will go back in time to the 1850s to share an hour in the life of a Mounted Trooper (played by a costumed interpreter) as he talks about the difficult…

Clickfest – Law of the Land: Troopers, Trackers and Bushrangers

Time: 11:00
Overview: In this virtual excursion your students will go back in time to the 1850s to share an hour in the life of a Mounted Trooper (played by a costumed interpreter) as he talks about the difficult..

CLICKFEST: Museum Secretes Revealed
Time: 14:00
Overview: Become a detective and discover how scientists collect, preserve and display the many extraordinary specimens in their collection. Explore the Australian Museum specimens to investigate how …

Clickfest – Law of the Land: Troopers, Trackers and Bushrangers

Time: 12:30

Overview: In this virtual excursion your students will go back in time to the 1850s to share an hour in the life of a Mounted Trooper (played by a costumed interpreter) as he talks about the difficult…

25 November 2014

Clickfest – Law of the Land: Troopers, Trackers and Bushrangers

Time: 09:30

Overview: In this virtual excursion your students will go back in time to the 1850s to share an hour in the life of a Mounted Trooper (played by a costumed interpreter) as he talks about the difficult…

CLICKFEST: Transport Past & Present
Time: 10:00
Overview: Have you ever wondered what types of transport zoomed around our streets, railways and skies before motor cars, electric trains and planes? Come find out with Finn, our 20th Century transpor…

Clickfest – Law of the Land: Troopers, Trackers and Bushrangers

Time: 11:00

Overview: In this virtual excursion your students will go back in time to the 1850s to share an hour in the life of a Mounted Trooper (played by a costumed interpreter) as he talks about the difficult…

CLICKFEST: Sustainable Solutions Workshop
Time: 11:30
Overview: Put on your eco-designer thinking caps and take part in this hands-on workshop! Learn about ecological footprints and what it means to be sustainable. Meet Mr Airhead and teach him how to th…

Clickfest – Law of the Land: Troopers, Trackers and Bushrangers

Time: 12:30

Overview: In this virtual excursion your students will go back in time to the 1850s to share an hour in the life of a Mounted Trooper (played by a costumed interpreter) as he talks about the difficult…

26 November 2014

CLICKFEST: For Good Measure fun with measurement and standards
Time: 10:00
Overview: What do ‘Peter Piper’ and ‘Jack and Jill’ nursery rhymes have to do with maths and measurement? What are gills, bushels, pecks and the smoot? Find out in this special hands-on maths video co…

 
Clickfest: Water and Indigenous people

Time: 11:30

Overview: Join Indigenous Programs Manager Donna Carstens as she discusses the cultural significance of water to indigenous people. Water is integral to the everyday life of communities for survival, ..

 

27 November 2014
Clickfest ANMM Unlocked: Unlock Maritime Archaeology

Time: 11:30

Overview: ANMM UNLOCKEDWith ANMM unlocked series, go behind the scenes at the museum and direct to our experts. Maritime Archaeology Manager Kieran Hosty will give students an insight into the role of…

 
Clickfest Pirate School From Cyberspace Attack!

Time: 14:00

Overview: All is not right on the world wide web! The news is out that there has been a series of pirate attacks at a virtual excursion near you! Join the Australian National Maritime Museum’s Pirates…

28 November 2014
Clickfest Pirate School From Cyberspace Attack!

Time: 14:00

Overview: All is not right on the world wide web! The news is out that there has been a series of pirate attacks at a virtual excursion near you! Join the Australian National Maritime Museum’s Pirates…

 

These sessions are being hosted by the Distance and Rural Technologies (DART).  DART connections help us by providing a booking system, technical support and marketing to teachers.

Sep 19

WORLD SPACE WEEK: Meet the Mars robots

3133153_237684_MAMMOTH
Join the Mars Lab team at the Powerhouse Museum and meet the Mars Lab’s robotic experimental Mars rovers. See these impressive robots in action on the Museum’s re-creation of the surface of Mars and find out why robots are used in space exploration.

Then, have your students try their hand at driving the Mars Lab’s robotic rovers remotely from your classroom over the internet!

This is a free video conference event
hosted by the Powerhouse Museum
9:00 – 10.00 am (EST) Wednesday 8 October 2014
Bookings Close 8 October 2014
BOOK NOW at dartconnections.org.au

Sep 19

WORLD SPACE WEEK: Mars Mission 5

mm5

TAKE YOUR STUDENTS ON A MISSION TO MARS!

In this exciting 2 PART virtual excursion workshop, your students get the unique opportunity to drive a robotic rover via a web browser from your classroom across the Mars Yard (a re-creation of the surface of Mars) located at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.

Led by the Mars Lab team via video conference, your students will explore the various landforms and features of the Martian surface to examine Mars’ history, geological evolution and potential evidence of past habitable environments. During the excursion your students will:
– work collaboratively to plan their mission using a mapping application
– practice driving the rover using a virtual simulation
– work collaboratively to drive the rover to sites of interest on the Mars Yard
– take photographs of sites of interest using the rover’s camera

The program focuses on collaboration, planning, observation and scientific investigation.

PROGRAM OUTLINE

Part 1| Introduction to Mars exploration and the Mars Lab (45 minutes) – Oct 8 at 9:30AM
Part 2| The mission (90 minutes) – TBD (Please book PART 2 by calling 02 9217 0349)

Part 1| Introduction to Mars exploration and the Mars Lab (45 minutes)

Via video conference, the Mars Lab team in Sydney will introduce your class to Mars exploration and the Mars Mission 5 activity. They will explain how the class will prepare for their Mars Mission.

Part 2| The mission (90 minutes)

The mission is the highlight of the session where mission teams get to drive the real robot rover and to play 5 different operational roles that will contribute to the class’ successful completion of the mission. Students will use the rover to capture images of features and landforms associated with their ‘clues’ for later analysis.

*For a more detailed outline of the program, please visit the Mars Lab website at: http://www.themarslab.org/unit/mars-mission-5/

This is a free video conference event
hosted by the Powerhouse Museum
9:30 – 10.15 am (EST) Wednesday 8 October 2014
Bookings Close 3 October 2014
BOOK NOW at dartconnections.org.au

Sep 03

History Week FREE Video Conferences

The State Library of NSW and the National Maritime Museum are offering a selection of FREE video conferences for Stage 2-6 students as part of History Week from 6-14 September.  These virtual excursions will cover topics including migration, art in the trenches of World War 1, diaries from World War 1 and content curation in museum/library spaces, and provide a wonderful opportunity for students to connect with curators and other experts in the field of History.

William Dyson sketch

State Library of NSW History Week VC

Life Interrupted: WW1 Exhibition Curation with Curator Elise Edmonds

Monday 8 September 2014, 12:45pm-1:15pm, Stage 5 & 6

How is public history created and conveyed and what methodology is employed to do this? Join Elise Edmonds, curator of our latest exhibition ‘Life Interrupted: Personal Diaries from WWI’ for this special History Week VC and explore these questions with your Senior History students.

Sketches from the Trenches with Mitchell Librarian Richard Neville

Wednesday 10 September 2014, 12pm-12.30pm, Stage 5 & 6

In December 1916 Australia’s first war artist was commissioned and Lieutenant William Dyson joined Australian troops on the Western Front. His drawings provide a unique insight into the conflict.
In this interactive video conference Richard Neville, the Mitchell Librarian will showcase images created by William Dyson and reveal the man behind the pencil.

A Collection in a Suitcase with Manager of Learning Services Megan Perry

Thursday 11 September 2014, 10am-10.30am, Stage 2 & 3

The State Library of NSW has more than 5 million collection items, but how do these collections come to the State Library? In this special exclusive history week video conference Megan Perry, Manager, Learning Services, will reveal the contents of a suitcase containing items from World War I and 2, recently received by Learning Services. Join us as Megan unpacks this treasure trove of memorabilia and help us uncover the details of this intriguing collection.

Australian National Maritime Museum History Week VC

Unlock Migration with Curator Kim Tao

10 and 11 September 10am-10.45am, Stage 3, 4 & 5

With ANMM unlocked series, go behind the scenes at the museum and direct to our experts.
For History Week in September we offer the opportunity to go behind the scenes as Migration History curator Kim Tao discusses the role of a curator, the process taken for the collection of artefacts and how the stories are told. Kim will use artefacts from the collection that reflect migration stories.

World War 1 diaries

 

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