The Science Centre has just completed a very big

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January -

March 2012

Big Year in 2011, Bigger in 2012!

The Science Centre has just completed a very big

year. Attendances have increased, as have our of-


One of the major changes has been the expansion of

the Outreach Program. With a large new planetarium

dome sponsored by the IMB Community Founda-

tion and a vehicle sponsored by Illawarra Coal, we

can now take not only science shows to schools but

also high quality full dome planetarium presenta-

tions. We have also expanded the full dome presen-

tations beyond astronomy with topics such as natu-

ral selection and nanotechnology.

It is very satisfying that Public as well as School at-

tendances have increased. Many of the major social

issues for the public are science based and an im-

proved understanding of the processes of science are

important for better decision making. A recent spon-

sorship from The Australian Institute of Physics will

enable an expansion of the Cutting Edge Science Lec-

tures. These lectures are presented by experts in ar-

eas of great public interest and relevance and add

another dimension to the Centre’s offerings.

Located at: Squires Way, North Wollongong Web:

Ph: (02)4286 5000 Fax: (02)4283 6665 Twitter:




Watch light come to life in one of our

spectacular Laser Concerts and

Planetarium Shows in the

BlueScope Steel Planetarium.

Available Shows include:


* Beatles - Across The Universe

* Laser Fun

* Dance Of Light, featuring:

The Boston Ballet Orchestra

* Pink Floyd

- Dark Side of the Moon,

The Best of Echoes, The Wall

* Enya * Holiday


* Secret of the Cardboard Rocket

* Oasis in Space

* Origins Of Life

Ask us about NEW shows!

Book your group or social club now. All you

need is a group of between 30 - 60 people.

Tickets are $15 per person

and bookings are essential.

Call the Science Centre on 4286 5000

Children's Holiday Science Workshops

Day/Date Workshop

Monday 9/1/12 Flowers & Seeds (6 - 10 yrs)

Tuesday 10/1/12 Pirate Science (6 - 10 yrs)

Wednesday 11/1/12 Kitchen Chemistry (8 - 12 yrs)

Thursday 12/1/12 Crystals & Ice Cream (8 - 12 yrs)

Friday 13/1/12 Worms & Creepy Critters (6 - 10 yrs)

Times: Each workshop runs for 90 minutes. Workshop ticket holders for all workshops will be

admitted at 9.15am for a PROMPT 9.30am start.

Cost: $13 per child per workshop for Science Centre Members and $18 for non-members.

Children must be the required age to attend each workshop.

Please check your child's age against the indicated age next to the workshop title.

If your child has any allergies, please let us know when you book.




The Science Centre Shop has garnered a reputation for

presenting a wonderful range of science related stock from the

smallest bouncy ball and tiny dinosaur through to slime, logic

games, kits, puzzles, glow mobiles, umbrellas, candles,

microscopes and of course, our telescope range. It also houses

quite a number of objects that are just sheer fun and provide

hours of pleasure.

The shop has recently taken delivery of some very beautiful

lighted trees. While the foyer boasts two rather large models,

there are also two smaller sizes available for sale. The trees

have black branches and white cherry blossom style flower

lights. The trees connect easily to mains power and the

blossoms are individually connected to the branches. These

trees are very reasonably priced and have proved so popular

that they have already been re-ordered twice.

For some quirky fun, try our range of household and kitchen

items. Perhaps a set of plastic ketchup and mustard bottles

that have blinking faces. Maybe world map or even ginger-dead

skeleton cookie cutters. How about brain shaped ice trays or

ones that produce icy deep sea divers and sharks? The ultimate

science amusement must surely be fossil shaped cup cake

moulds. Clearly working in the kitchen should be fun.

Maybe some of our crazy toys could provide hours of fun. The

Space Wave is an interactive flying UFO that is truly amazing

and is controlled by the palm of your hand moving beneath it.

Perhaps our croaking frog sensors appeal more. We have

always had a noisy frog announcing the entrance of customers

to the shop. Our original model finally gave up and we now

have a new range of croaky sensor frogs. If these suggestions

don’t appeal, then perhaps the new volcano will. This model

lights up and produces bubbling red spheres that recycle

themselves through the eruption cycle.

One of the new additions that has proved incredibly popular is

Artgames 3D range. The images are truly amazing and feature

frogs, dinosaurs, planets, butterflies, geckos, clownfish and even

tigers. These have been translated into a wonderful range of

key-rings, bookmarks, iPhone covers, puzzles and mazes.

The Science Centre Shop here in Wollongong is the largest in

Australia and is gathering a reputation as a great place to shop

for stocking fillers or that unusual gift. We accept Mastercard

and Visa and are open every day from 10am until 4pm. For

further enquiries call 02 4286 5022.

WH A T ' S I N T

Jan: Mercury begins the month in the eastern dawn sky moving through

Sagittarius and into Capricorn by month end. Venus is brilliant in the early western

evening sky where it will remain until the end of May. Mars will rise in the late

eastern evening sky in Leo before moving briefly into Virgo. Jupiter is visible in the

early north-western evening sky moving into Aries. Saturn, in Virgo, rises in the

east around midnight mid-month.

Feb: Mercury moves into the western evening sky after the 7th but will remain very

low to the horizon. Venus remains in the early western evening sky, crossing from

Aquarius into Pisces. Mars leaves Virgo and returns to Leo where it will remain

until June. Jupiter is visible in the western evening sky in Aries. Saturn rises in the

mid-eastern evening sky in Virgo.

Mar: Mercury spends the entire month in Pisces, the planet will be bright in the

western twilight sky just above the horizon. Venus moves from Pisces into Aries

early in the month, then into Taurus by month end. Venus & Jupiter will be closed

in the sky between the 11th & 16th. Mars can be seen as a bright orange object in

the early western evening sky in Leo. Jupiter is visible in the early western evening

sky in Aries. Saturn, still in Virgo, rises in the early evening eastern sky.

1 What is the most distant point in a planet's orbit


2 In what year was it discovered that the planet

Uranus had a ring system?

3 How far above the earth does the Hubble Space

Telescope orbit?

4 For what is the Saturn V rocket most famous?

5 Launched in 1977 and at more than 11.8 billion

kilometers from earth, what is the most distant

human-made object?

6 With its light taking 4 years to reach us, which is

our nearest bright star?

7 A light year is the distance that light travels in

one year - In kilometres this equals 9 followed

by how many zeros?

8 Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka are the 3 stars that

make up which distinctive feature in the sky?

9 Name the outer atmosphere of the Sun seen

during an eclipse?

10 Of the millions of stars in the sky, approximately

how many are visible to the unaided eye?

ANSWERS on previous page.

Reference Sources: "Astronomy, The Definitive Guide" Robert Burnham,

Alan Dyer, Jeff Kanipe, Fog City Press

School Holiday Opening Hours & Show Times

The Science Centre and the Science Shop are open between 10.00am & 4.00pm every day

except Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day, Australia Day, Good Friday and

Easter Sunday. The kiosk is open from 11.30pm to 2.30 pm during school holidays.

Planetarium, Laser Concerts and Science Shows are performed at the following times

throughout the school holidays.

11.00 am Family Science Show (Sound & Music)

12 Noon Children's Planetarium Show (Secret of the Cardboard Rocket)

1.00 pm Family Laser Concert (Laser Jukebox)

2.00 pm Family Science Show (Liquid Nitrogen Show)

3.00 pm Planetarium Show (Cosmic Journey)

For more information please call the Centre on (02) 4286 5000




Have you ever been camping? Ever had the wind whip up and blow your tent away? This

experiment shows how aeroplanes fly, but in reverse. Instead of using air pressure to push a

plane's wings up, we are going to use it to keep our miniature tent from blowing away.

What to do:

Fold a piece of your paper in half and crease the fold. Unfold

it and place it on the edge of a table, so that it resembles a

tent. Before you actually try this experiment, think about

what you expect to happen. You are going to blow very hard

into the inside of the tent, trying to blow the paper away. Do

you think you can do it? Try and see.

What happened?

Instead of blowing away, the tent flattened out. The harder you blow, the more stubbornly the

tent holds its ground.


According to Bernoulli's Principle, fast moving air produces less air pressure than slow mov-

ing air. Blowing inside the tent reduces the air pressure on the inside. This lets the higher

outside pressure push the tent downwards. The harder you blow, the lower the inside pressure

and the harder the outside pressure pushes down.

Now, tape some ends onto your tent so that it looks like the flaps are closed. What happens if

you blow against the tent now? Try it from all differ-

ent angles.

Because the tent is now closed the air is moving faster

on the outside. The pressure on the inside is greater

and therefore it lifts the tent into the air so it blows


Planes use the same principle to fly. As the plane speeds

up on the runway the air moves faster over the wings

causing less air pressure than the slower moving air

under the wing. This is how the plane gets lift.

Experiement courtesy of

Robert Krampf's Science Education Company

4850 A1A South St. Augustine, FL 32084

(904) 471-4578

Kid's Crossword

How much do you know about Earthquakes? Try doing the crossword below. All of the answers you need can be found by

reading the information below. If you don't know how to get started, ask an adult or a friend for help.


Earthquakes are the result of rocks breaking under stress. The constant movement of the jigsaw-like pieces that make up

the thin outer shell of the earth - referred to as tectonic or lithospheric plates - causes stress to build up beneath the earth's

surface. Sometimes rocks are able to adjust to this stress by folding, but from time to time the stress is released by the

fracturing of the rocks. These fractures form geological faults and cause the sudden and sometimes disasterous vibrations

we call an earthquake. The vibrations, technically known as seismic waves, travel outwards in all directions from the fault

and, if the earthquake is large enough, are recorded round the world on instruments called seismographs.

Earthquakes occur throughout the world, but mostly along narrow belts, from a few tens to hundreds of kilometres wide,

that mark the bounderies of the lithospheric plates. Ninety percent of all earthquakes take place at plate bounderies and

are the result of the constant movement of the plates against each other.

Because of these interactions, stress builds up comparatively rapidly at the edges of the plates, until it is suddenly released

in an earthquake. The energy liberated may cause no more than a slight tremor near the epicentre - the point on the earth's

surface immediately above the the source point or focus of an earthquake. In fact, the energy of most earthquakes is small

and causes little or no damage. But if high levels of stress accumulate, large and potentially damaging earthquakes may


The first reported earthquake in Australia was felt at Port Jackson Sydney in June 1788, when Governor Phillip reported

"The 22nd of this month we had a slight shock of an earthquake; it did not last more that 2 or 3 seconds. I felt the ground

shake under me, and heard a noise that came from the southward, which I at first took for the report of guns firing at a great

distance". In 1837, the first settlers in South Australia were made aware of the existence of earthquakes. Similarly,

earthquakes were felt in the early days of Melbourne (1841), Hobart (1827) and Perth (1849).

We now know that, although seismic activity in Australia is low relative to countries such as Japan, Papua New Guinea

and New Zealand, which are situated on active plate margins, earthquakes with magnitudes of 6 or greater occur on

average about once every five years. The largest known earthquake was the 1941 Meeberrie earthquake, which was felt

over most of Western Australia and measured 7 on the Richter Scale.

By far the most damaging event in Australia was the 1989 Newcastle earthquake. The size of the earthquake was moder-

ate (5.6 on the Richter Scale), but the damage bill was about $1.5 million.

If we are to minimise the damage from future earthquakes, we must be able to estimate the risk of them happening, so that

buildings can be designed and constructed not to collapse in the event that an earthquake does occur.

Earthquakes - Geoscience Education, by Gary B Lewis, AGSO


1. The thin outer shell of the earth is like ______ pieces.

5. From time to time stress is released by the _______ of rocks.

6. Seismic activity in which country is low?

8. ______ percent of all earthquakes take place at a plate boundary.

13. The largest earthquake recorded in Australia measured 7 on

what scale.

14. Earthquakes mostly occur along narrow _______.

15. Vibrations are technically known as ________ waves.


1. The first reported earthquake in Australia was felt at Port _______.

2. Movement of the plates causes stress to build up beneath the

earth's _______.

3. Which Governor wrote about an earthquake in 1788?

4. Which town felt an earthquake in 1927?

7. Fractures form _________ faults.

9. The most damaging Australian earthquake was in which city?

10. The earth's outer shell has lithospheric plates or _______ plates.

11. Earthquakes are the result of rocks breaking under what?

12. Rocks can adjust to the stress of movement by _______.


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