Mar 19

Accelerating Atoms with Questacon

Today Questacon launched the Science As a Human Endeavour Virtual Excursion programme by visiting Australia’s own Heavy Ion Accelerator…and we’re going back next week! Go to the Virtual Excursions Australia Calendar for details on how to jump on board the virtual tour.

Kaitlin Cook and colleagues at ANU's Heavy Ion Accelerator

Time: 10-11am

Date: Wednesday 26th March, 2014

Audience: Years 7-10

Cost: $150

Mar 11

Powerhouse Museum and Vandi Tompkins

On the morning of Thursday 27 February, the Powerhouse Museum’s Mars Lab team linked up with eight Australian high schools and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California to speak with Vandi Tompkins, driver of the Mars rover Curiosity.

There was quite a bit of excitement around this event. The Minister assisting the Premier on Western Sydney, Executive Director Public Schools for the Department of Education and Communities and the Powerhouse Museum’s director, Rose Hiscock, all gathered at Casula High School (one of the schools joining in the video conference) to watch the event unfold.

From here at the Powerhouse in the Mars Lab studio, the Mars Lab team chatted with Vandi and invited young people at the participating schools to ask her some questions. Vandi told us about the latest news on Curiosity, having recently crossed Dingo Gap, a region on Mars named after a place in Western Australia, and heading over to a steep rocky region called Kimberley (also named after an Australian region!).

Vandi spoke about her dreams as a young girl in India to one day work in a space related job, to studying robotics and finally ending up working for NASA. She shared some of the maps and planning tools they use to prepare for each drive, showed us images of Curiosity and told us about what she does in her free time – drive motorcycles and rock climb (you know, the usual!)

One of the most memorable questions came from a year ten student: “What if I want to pursue a career in science and am not smart enough”. It made us realise what an important role we play at the Powerhouse Museum in building confidence and career paths for young people, and of course anyone smart enough to want a career in science has taken the first step!
Vandi then connected to our Museum’s Mars Lab rover, Mawson, via the internet and drove Mawson around the Mars Yard. She performed a few manoeuvres as she giggled excitedly saying how much fun it was to drive a rover in Australia through a web browser. She made a few comparisons between Mawson and Curiosity, saying that many of the functionalities were very similar.

The experience was a truly inspiring and memorable one, not only for the lucky young people who participated in the video conference link up, but also for everyone all over the world who watched the event live online as well.


Feb 23

Pi Day

Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world. Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.

Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. While only a handful of digits are needed for typical calculations, Pi’s infinite nature makes it a fun challenge to memorize, and to computationally calculate more and more digits.

pi day

The Powerhouse Museum, The Australian Mathematics Trust and the Australian Museum are pleased to offer a series of session celebrating Pi Day. Join us onMarch 2014 to learn more about this amazing constant.>

International Pi Day- Primary School

Time: 10:00

Overview: To celebrate what has become known as International Pi Day, the Australian Mathematics Trust is presenting a special video conference event for school children hosted at the Australian Museum

International Pi Day: 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

International Pi Day: For Good Measure: Fun with measurement and standards
Time: 11:30

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…

International Pi Day – High School
Time: 13:00

Overview: To celebrate what has become known as International Pi Day, the Australian Mathematics Trust is presenting a special video conference event for school children hosted at the Australian Museum

International Pi Day: Babbage and his Difference Engine
Time: 14:00

Overview: Celebrate International Pi Day with an exciting session on the inventor of the computer, Charles Babbage! Powerhouse Museum’s Principal Curator, Matthew Connell, introduces students to one o…

See the Pi Day website for other ways your students can celebrate Pi Day

www.piday.org/2011/things-to-do-for-pi-day/

Feb 22

Sea Week Video Conferencing Festival

Sea Week Video Conferencing Festival 2014

Sea Week is the Marine Education Society of Australasia’s (MESA) annual education campaign to increase understanding and appreciation of the ocean and its living organisms.

The theme for 2014 is Sustainable Seas! Are there really plenty more fish in the Sea?

Human activities are putting pressure of the ocean and marine environments in many ways. Direct impacts like  overfishing, chemical pollution and litter lower water quality and threaten wildlife.  Less direct activities such as carbon pollution leads to climate change and ocean acidification. It is important to recognise that people have the power to make positive impacts on the ocean in their everyday decisions.

Join the Australian Museum, Manly Environment Centre and the National Maritime Museum in a week long festival highlighting our marine environments

MEC vc 2There are a variety of sessions on offer with topics to suit every school.

Sea Week – Meet the Experts

Monday 3 March at 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. Meet Mark McGrouther Collection Manager; Ichthyology (Fish) to talk about the collection and some of the exciting field trips he’s been on.

Sea Week – Catchment Health

Wednesday 5 March at 10am

The Catchment Health video conference explores some of the impacts facing our marine environments. This session looks at the importance of catchments and how everything we do on land has impacts in our marine environments.

Sea Week  – Claws, Tentacles and Spines

Wednesday 5 March at 11am

The Claws, Tentacles and Spines session explores the fascinating diversity of marine invertebrates. Join the Australian Museum to discover some of the amazing adaptations of these spineless wonders.

Sea Week – Meet the Experts

Thursday 6 March at 2pm

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. Amanda Hay will talk about her research into the ecology of larval fishes.

Feb 07

Videoconferencing at the Powerhouse Museum

2014 is set up to be an exciting year for videoconferencing at the Powerhouse Museum! We are launching a whole new suite of regular programs starting Friday February 14th. Book your Powerhouse Museum virtual excursion on the DART Connections website.

 

Here’s a snapshot of what the Powerhouse Museum has to offer:

 

For Good Measure: Fun with measurement and standards

MATHEMATICS: Stages 2-3

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 conference! JoinPowerhouseMuseum Curator Matthew Connell on this mathematic adventure which includes access to the measurement collection usually kept locked away from the public. Students interact throughout the session with fun hands-on activities in your classroom. Get your students experimenting with measurement and mathematics!

Matthew_head_shot

 

Sustainable Solutions Workshop

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY: STAGE 3

Put on your eco-designer thinking caps and take part in this hands-on workshop! 

Learn about ecological footprints, what it means to be sustainable and how to think sustainably using the 6 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair, Refuse and Rethink. Get creative and get your hands dirty — students make their own creation using an eco-friendly, sustainable material.

 Dart image making bioplastic

 

Babbage & his Difference Engine

MATHEMATICS: STAGES 5-6

Celebrate International Pi Day with an exciting session on the inventor of the computer, Charles Babbage! 

Powerhouse Museum’s Principal Curator, Matthew Connell, introduces students to one of the first computing machines ever invented, the Babbage Difference Engine No. 1.

 babbage

Transport: Past & Present (Available from May 9)

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY & HISTORY: Stages ES1-2

A unique character-guided tour through Sydney’s transport history and future options. Using objects from our PowerhouseMuseum collection as well as archival images and footage, students will be transported back in time in this engaging and interactive program.

IS-5922-0026

 

Visit the PowerhouseMuseum’s page on DART Connections website to book a session and for full details of upcoming sessions.

 

If you would like to participate in a session on another time that is not listed, or have any other questions, pleaseemail video.conferencing@phm.gov.au

1.1.1 PHM Primary col cmyk

Jan 20

ITEC 2014 Call for Papers

Interactive Technology in Education Conference Call for Paper

ITEC 2014 is fast approaching and an exciting program of international and national keynote speakers and a range of other presentations is currently being developed. The programming committee is currently calling for submissions to present in a number of different strands.

ITEC 2014
Papers may be submitted in a number of strands:

Strand 1 (Wednesday 9 July)

Industry Professionals, Interactive Technology Experts, and/or Innovators in Content or Program Design and Delivery – this is your chance to share your valuable experience and insight. We particularly encourage papers which deal with innovation, experimentation, new uses for technology and are forward-thinking in their approach; with real case studies and real solutions used as examples.

Strand 2 (Thursday 10 July)
Teachers, Education Providers or Practitioners, Policy Makers, Academics, Research and Training Organisations are encouraged to make submissions for this strand. Papers could focus on: case studies demonstrating of exciting digital educational projects; innovative uses for technology in educational practice; benefits of using technology for education; evaluation and research; policy decisions and developments affecting digital education.

Showcase Sessions (Thursday 10 July)
Schools engaging with interactive, real time education partnerships (i.e cultural/ language exchanges, cross school projects, virtual delivery of lessons) and providers of interactive, real-time educational programs from cultural institutions, museums, science organisations and libraries are encouraged to submit a proposal to be part of a ‘Showcase’ session. Successful submissions will be offered 7-minutes to showcase their programs. Presentations are encouraged to feature live, interactive demonstrations and/or utilise AV to fully demonstrate the programs in a short space of time.

See the 2013 conference video for paper ideas.

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
Paper submissions close 7 April 2014 and all papers must be submitted electronically using the Conference’s Online Submission System.

For more information see the full ITEC 2014 site

Dec 30

Virtual Excursions Australia 2013 wrap up

It’s been an amazing year for Virtual Excursions Australia (VEA). Throughout 2013 we have been busy setting up and writing content for the website, Twitter feed and Facebook pages, planning events and consulting on virtual excursions and video conferencing.

Virtual Excursions Australia's activities during 2013

Virtual Excursions Australia’s activities during 2013

It has been really exciting to see VEA grow into a collaborative network of content providers.  During 2013 the network has expanded to include members from New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, South Australia and Northern Territory. In 2014 we will continue to expand and have participants from across Australia.

Virtual Excursions Australia network met every 6 weeks to discuss new technology, share ideas and coordinate events. These meetings generated some amazing discussions and helped create content for teacher professional development sessions, conferences and the video conferencing festival and one day event throughout 2013.

The Virtual Excursions Australia network, website and social media presence were launched by Senator Lundy at the Interactive Technology in Education Conference at Sydney Opera House in July 2013. We have over 120 people that are part of the VEA network and 18 organisations listed on the VEA website.

There have been a great list of event coordinated through Virtual Excursions Australia ensuring that there is something that would suit every school including:

  • Pi Day to celebrate International Pi Day
  • Slime Day just for fun
  • SciFest Video Conferencing Festival promoting science and technology.
  • ClickFest Video Conferencing Festival highlighting the diversity and scope of video conferences available to schools across Australia
  • Marine Day linked to Ocean Care day to promote healthy marine environments

Thousands of students from across Australia have participated in these event and we are planning to run even more events during 2014.

Keep an eye out for the new calendar feature on the website for upcoming 2014 events.

Nov 24

Marine Day

To recognise Ocean Care Day on Sunday 1 December Virtual Excursions Australia is presenting Marine Day on Friday 6 December. Join us for a range of video conferences promoting healthy waterways and marine environments.

Participate in sessions from OceanWatch, Taronga Zoo and the Marine Stewardship Council and the Australian Museum. There are a range of topics to suit every school.

Photographer: Lyle Vail and Anne Hoggett Rights:© Australian Museum

Photographer: Lyle Vail and Anne Hoggett Rights:© Australian Museum

 

Marine Day – Catchment Health

Time: 09:30

To recognise Ocean Care Day on Sunday 1 December the Australian Museum is participating in the Marine Day video conferences. The Catchment Health video conference explores some of the impacts facing our marine environments. This session looks at the importance of catchments and how everything we do on land has impacts in our marine environments.

 

Marine Day – The World Of Commercial Fishing 

Time: 11am

Learn all about commercial fishing and the NSW seafood industry from those who know it best. Join Sydney fisherman Paul Bagnato and OceanWatch’s Brad Warren to get an up-close and personal view of an important local industry that puts food on our plates and export dollars in the bank. Paul and Brad will also discuss the marine environment, sustainability and how fishing is managed.

 

Marine Day – Meet the Experts

Time: 13:00

Meet the Experts brings Australian Museum scientists to you! This is your chance to come face to face with an Australian Museum scientist and ask your questions. Mark McGrouther the Collection Manager; Ichthyology (Fish) will talk about the collection and some of the exciting field trips he’s been on.

 

Marine Day – Claws, Tentacles and Spines

Time: 14:00

The Claws, Tentacles and Spines session explores the fascinating diversity of marine invertebrates. Join the Australian Museum to discover some of the amazing adaptations of these spineless wonders.

 

Marine Day – Fish For Good, Schools-TEACHER video conference

Time: 15:30

Taronga Zoo and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) have teamed up to educate students about healthy marine life, sustainable seafood and how their choices matter. We are holding FREE teacher video conferences to informally introduce the 2014 student based project.

 

Join us on Friday 6 December

Nov 14

Tandberg URI Dialing

Recently I had some fun and games with our two Tandberg Video Conference units at the Powerhouse. It had been report to me that it was not possible to dial into any VMR’s (Virtual Meeting Rooms), DARTs VMR’s included. To dial into a VMR it is necessary to use what is known as a ‘URI Dial String’, this string consists of two parts, firstly some text or a number followed by the ‘@’ symbol then an IP Address or Domain name so,  <text>@<ipaddress>, this is typically implemented by inputting the VMR as the first part of the string then the IP address as the second part.

As you would imagine not being able to dial into the DART VMR is a big problem for us, and since I am still relatively new here I am not really sure how this was achieved in the past, but I set about fixing the problem, and after much back and forth and much googling I came to the conclusion that the firmware in our Tandberg units was way too old!

As it turns out URI dialing cannot be used with Tandberg software version prior to TC4.2 unless the system is registered with a gatekeeper. We do not have a gatekeeper and you would only really need one if you had to implement inbound URI dialing. Cisco only introduced full support for H.323 Annex O (URI Dialing) in TC4.2, we had TC4.1 so could only do IP dialing. Problem is that we do not have a CISCO support contract on our VC units and getting firmware upgrades is usually done through support contract channels.

Tandberg C60 at the Powerhouse

Tandberg C60 at the Powerhouse

Thankfully, if you are in the same situation, there is a way out. You can either go to the trouble of installing gnugk a free gatekeeper application on a seperate server or you can in fact get a firmware upgrade for your unit. CISCO only require that you have a support contract to get the most recent version of the firmeware TC6.3, the older versions TC4.2 and TC5.1.8 are freely avaliable HERE.  You will need a CISCO Tac login to be able to download it, but that is free as well.

There is a step-by-step process to installing a new firmware package in the administrators guide for your system. But basically you will need to;

- Download the package.
- Upload the packaged to the unit using the web interface that your unit provides.
- Wait about 10 minutes for the upgrade to finish and the system to reboot.
- Login to the CISCO Tac and obtain a Release Key from HERE.
- Login back into the web interface and apply the ‘Release Key’ from the maintenance menu.

Be warned though, a firmware upgrade like this is not for the faint hearted, things can go wrong, and if something breaks you will need advanced knowledge to recover from the situation!

So, if you’re brave, go forth, upgrade and enjoy all the new features that you never thought your VC Codec could do!

Oct 26

ClickFest 2013 Program Spotlight: Australian Museum

ClickFest 2013 Program Spotlight.

ClickFest is an annual video conferencing festival run in November each year. Clickfest highlights the diversity and scope of video conferences available to schools across Australia.

The Australian Museum has been involved in ClickFest since it started in 2011 and is proud to be part of this exciting event. In 2013 ClickFest will be launched with Dinosaur day on 4 November 2013.

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

Dinosaur Day

Meet Winny
The Australian Museum launches the 2013 Dinosaur Day with Winny our Muttaburrasaurs. Come along to meet Winny to learn more about Australian Dinosaurs
10am Monday 4 November

winny roarAustralian Giants
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 about these extraordinary animals.
11am & 1pm Monday 4 November

Dynamic Earth
The Video conference will look at the dynamic earth forming processes. There will be experiments highlighting different earth processes. You will also see Australian Museum specimens and there will be opportunities to ask questions, so have some ready.
2pm Monday 4 November

ClickFest

Geology Rocks
The Video conference will look at the dynamic earth forming processes. There will be experiments highlighting different earth processes. You will also see Australian Museum specimens and there will be opportunities to ask questions, so have some ready.
11am 5 & 19 November

Minibeast Magnified
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.
10am 5 & 19 November

ClickFest – Life in Freshwater

This event provides a glimpse into life in freshwater. You will find out how to use water quality collecting and testing equipment and we will look how we impact our water ways and what we can do take to improve our catchments.

10am 6 & 14 November

Meet the Experts – FREE
The Australian Museum is bringing our scientists to you! Meet the Experts aims to provide quality science education and research resources. This is your chance to come face to face with an Australian Museum scientist and ask your questions.
10am 15 November

ClickFest – Museum Secrets Revealed

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 they were discovered and why they are important.

10am & 2pm 20 November Bookings can be made through the Dart Connections or See Share Shape

The Australian Museum has been involved in ClickFest since it started in 2011 and is proud to be part of this exciting event.

ClickFest will be launched with Dinosaur day on 4 November 2013.

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

Winny

See below for Australian Museum session throughout ClickFest

Dinosaur Day

Meet Winny
The Australian Museum launches the 2013 Dinosaur Day with Winny our Muttaburrasaurs. Come along to meet Winny to learn more about Australian Dinosaurs
10am Monday 4 November

Australian Giants
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 about these extraordinary animals.
11am & 1pm Monday 4 November

Dynamic Earth
The Video conference will look at the dynamic earth forming processes. There will be experiments highlighting different earth processes. You will also see Australian Museum specimens and there will be opportunities to ask questions, so have some ready.
2pm Monday 4 November

ClickFest

Geology Rocks
The Video conference will look at the dynamic earth forming processes. There will be experiments highlighting different earth processes. You will also see Australian Museum specimens and there will be opportunities to ask questions, so have some ready.
11am 5 & 19 November

Minibeast Magnified
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.
10am 5 & 19 November

Meet the Experts – FREE
The Australian Museum is bringing our scientists to you! Meet the Experts aims to provide quality science education and research resources. This is your chance to come face to face with an Australian Museum scientist and ask your questions.
10am 15 November

All booking can be made through the Dart Connections website dartconnections.org.au/home

- See more at: http://australianmuseum.net.au/blogpost/Lifelong-Learning/ClickFest-2013#sthash.KMCQwsdr.dpuf

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