I spent Sunday at UWA Open Day. It was my opportunity to find out more about the campus I was enrolled in. Even though I’m a postgrad student a lot of my experiences transport me back to being a first year uni student especially when I discover things like UWA having multiple libraries specialising in particular subject areas. My favourite library is UWA’s Science Library. Yes, I’m biased but it really is an awesome library. It even has a song!
I was supposed to help run the stall for Science Communication for an hour in the morning. In the end, I spent two hours because I lost track of time and was enjoying playing with the science toys that Scitech brought as well as our very own batch of oobleck that enticed many to our stall.
Puzzle solving at the Scitech Table
Our very own Oobleck!
And just as I was about to leave the Science Communication marquee, the Vice Chancellor, Alan Robson dropped by to say hi.
I didn’t have to go very far before I came across some colourful characters. These two came from the Mathematical and Chemical Sciences building where free popcorn and balloons were being handed out to visitors. The green slime wasn’t meant for topping and I was told that if I wanted some that I had to go make my own at the Chemistry table. I didn’t make any in the end. It was a very popular activity amongst kids and big kids.
I hadn’t gone very far when I heard the very distinct sound of a powerful car engine and squealing tyres. It was coming from behind the MCS building where the guys and gals of the UWA Motorsport Team had set up a track for one of their racing cars to be driven every half hour. This was no leisurely Sunday drive as rubber was burnt leaving impressive burnouts in the loading bay behind MCS. The sound of the engine could be heard from the top of the Physics Building where telescopes were set up for people to look at the Sun, (safely via a solar telescope!), Moon and Mars.
In the Clinical & Education Centre, (CTEC), I tried keyhole surgery. After all one of my lofty ambitions in high school was to become a surgeon. It’s probably a good thing that I’m not. I don’t like seeing large amounts of blood and it turns out that I’m a disastrous keyhole surgeon. This boy here was much better at building a tower of sugar cubes using the very instruments used in keyhole surgery. His tower was 5 cubes high. I maintain that a tower can be built with only one block.
Around the corner from keyhole surgery simulations, facial reconstruction was underway. It was running over the course of the day and people were invited to add a muscle to a skull to reconstruct a gentleman’s face. It was a fascinating process watching each muscle layer being added and surprising to find out that fine clay working skills aren’t a requirement to give it a go.
There were lots of happy smiling faces at UWA. They all had one thing in common. Balloons! By lunch time having a minimum of five helium filled balloons was required. If you didn’t have the minimum number, you had not seen enough of the campus. Amongst some balloon collectors, there was a competitive edge to it as they would pounce on anyone holding a large bunch of balloons to give out.
You thought I was kidding huh? The guy holding the balloons was swamped in seconds by a crowd demanding balloons. This crazy scene was just outside Engineering. I only just managed to crawl away with a can of Red Bull.
Although this guy with two birds captured the attention of the people who were not obsessed with collecting balloons. They were very cute birds.
I noticed a lot of smoke coming from the Physics building and wandered over to see a smoke cannon being operated by a physics lecturer with much glee. Best part about this was firing it into crowds as they walked by. I know it was a very juvenile thing to do but it did get people to notice and ask questions.
I admit to spending most of Open Day out by science. It was after all the start of National Science Week and everyone had lots of exhibits and things to do. But I did make it just in time to catch one of the many musical performances performed by UWA Music students. A clarinet quartet no less!
UWA Open Day 2010 was a huge day and I have many more photos which will go up tonight on a flickr account tonight rather than have them here as well. This blog post is already huge and kudos to you, (and thank you!), if you have made it this far. Since I didn’t make it around to everything on campus on this one day, I will endeavour to make it to different areas during Common Hour on Tuesday to get to know UWA a little bit better.