Go science mad in Brisbane

Go science mad in Brisbane

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Sophie Cullen 14 May 2018

What do you get when you cross dry ice, bubble mix and boiling water? A pretty amazing experiment, that’s what! 

A successful experiment at Brisbane's World Science Festival © Jen Dainer/ Tourism and Events Queensland

Brisbane has amped up the science and the novelty factors. The riverside capital hosted the World Science Festival in March and continues to welcome waves of wannabe archaeologists, zoologists and tech-heads through the Queensland Museum doors. We heard from Samantha and Natalie Ephraims about their Brisbane visit, and why the city’s educational and interactive experiences are a perfect fit for families.

Natalie and some hands-on science in Brisbane © Jen Dainer/Tourism and Events Queensland

Our mother-daughter duo from Bundaberg took the Science Festival by storm. The annual event operated from the 21st to 25th of March this year, and is only rivalled in scope and prestige by its New York equivalent. Since New York is a bit further away, Samantha and Natalie recommend making the visit to Brisbane for a science-themed long weekend with a difference.

Natalie jets off at the start of her trip to Brisbane © Samantha Ephraims

“I would definitely say to other families in our region that it is worth travelling for,” says Samantha, “even for a hurried trip during school term time. There were activities on robotics and reef conservation, for example, as well as quick events that were high interest to littler kids. There was something for everybody.”

Natalie watches a demonstration on Science Street © Jen Dainer/ Tourism and Events Queensland

Samantha and Natalie got to hear from Aussie celebrity scientist, Dr. Karl, and watch a ‘mathemagician’ demonstrate the magic of patterns and numbers. Other kid-friendly seminars on this year’s program included Stargazing, Frog encounters, Paper Plane competitions, a Chalk Mural and a Hologram workshop. You can expect even more on the 2019 program.

Building paper planes © Samantha Ephraims

For 11-year-old Natalie, the highlight was Science Street, a series of stalls conducting interactive demonstrations tailored to families. “It was like a big street market with lots of different experiments,” says Natalie. “It was really cool because I got to do all sorts of science-y stuff that I didn’t know existed.”

“Kids my age would probably have liked the Paper Plane competition and making Fake Snow. I loved the Milky Bubbles. Using dry ice, bubble mixture and a hot kettle, they made a bubble in your hair that disintegrated into dry ice ‘smoke’ as soon as you touched it!”

Milky Bubbles experiment on Science Street © Jen Dainer/Tourism and Events Queensland

If you aren't there in time for the Festival, don't despair. Year-round, the scientifically-inclined can get their dose of history, Egyptology, animal encounters and more at Queensland Museum. “The Egyptian mummies were really fascinating but a bit freaky at the same time,” says Natalie of the Ancient Egypt exhibit showing until late August 2018. 

Mummies at the Queensland Museum © Samantha Ephraims

“There were real mummies there and they explained how mummies worked. They also had spiders at the Museum. After a while, I let the spider on to my hand and I had to stand still and let it crawl on me. I’m really ticklish, so I was scared I was going to drop it!”

Brisbane is jam-packed with family-friendly fun, so even if you aren’t a mad scientist, there is plenty to keep you occupied. “Between shows, food, science, trips into the CBD and all the galleries, there was a great variety of activities on Brisbane’s Southbank,” says Samantha.

Samantha and Natalie were hosted by Tourism and Events Queensland.