Our Day out at the World Science Fesitval Brisbane 2019


On Saturday March 23rd, my family (including my parents) headed into Southbank for the World Science Festival, Brisbane. It’s become an annual event for us. One we look forward to, and mark on our calendar every year as a must do.

The kids love the Street Science section of the festival. On the Cultural Forecourt, a large, outside area of Southbank parklands becomes a street of tents from all different science related institutions and providers. Each tent providing it’s own wonders for the kids to explore and learn from. There were tents from QUT, University of Queensland, Healthy Land and Water, Micromelon Robotics and Robotics Playground, Channel 9,  Griffith University, Great Barrier Reef Foundation, Brisbane Astronomical Society, among many, many others. The displays were on so many different topics. We saw a few on environmental science, some chemistry, some biology, robotics, and marine science, just to name a few. There was also a great range of age and ability appropriateness. Some of the activities and displays were to old for my 5 year old to understand, and some she loved, my 9 and 11 year olds found a bit boring, but they all found things that interested them. There were several different tents that they all really enjoyed. One was catching and trying to identify little bugs from creek water (the water had been scooped out of the creek that morning and put into small containers for the kids to catch the bugs out of). Another was making marine animal out of Lego blocks. My kids made whales, fish, and turtles.

My 7 and 9 year olds got to have a go at “Ducky Town” - a programming game where they had to program a little car carrying rubber duckies along the road that circled Ducky Town. They had a ball. It was so interactive, visual, and immediate, but mostly just fun. I don’t even think that they realised that they were learning a skill that is going to be vital for them in this day and age. It was definitely one of the highlights of the day for them both! There were also ticketed talks and events available in various locations around the festival, but with the range of ages in our group we decided just to explore this year. (At previous festivals we’ve seen turtle hatchlings and also seen a talk on science for kids by Dr Karl). (I have to admit I was also disorganised in the lead up this year - if you think you might be interested in attending the festival, then I’d recommend keeping and eye on the Facebook pages of the Science Festival and Queensland Museum).

With four kids, we did what we often do to make outings more affordable, and took snacks and a packed lunch in with us. So once we’d gone through what we could of the Street Science section of the festival, we went and found a shady spot next to the Art Gallery and Museum to sit down and have a bit of a picnic. Then let the kids have a bit of a run around before we headed inside to the Museum. (Did I mention that it was a really hot day? Getting inside out of the hot sun was so good!).

There were one off displays and activities in the usually empty spaces of the museum. Unfortunately there was quite a big crowd at these by the time we got to this area. Instead we headed up stairs and took a look around the newly reopened Discovery Centre. The kids (and I admit, us adults) absolutely loved it! So much to see and investigate. My oldest loved the gem and crystal display, (but wasn’t so keen on the “dead things”), my seven year old on the other hand couldn’t get enough of the animal displays! The other two (5 and 9 years old), really loved looking through and discovering what was in all the draws that are throughout the centre. We spent a good hour or more just wandering around all the displays in the centre, even though it was really busy and full of other budding scientists. We didn’t leave until we were tired enough to decide to go home for a much needed rest.

We are aiming to head back into the Museum during the school holidays. We will definitely be heading into the NASA - A Human Adventure exhibit (we’ve been excited about that since it was announced). We also have annual passes to Sparklab, so we need to fit that in, and we all really want to go back and take another long look through the Discovery Centre, and that’s not even all of the Museum. I think we might need more than one visit!