Territory students put Darwin’s theory to the test 


The great great grandson of revolutionary English naturalist Charles Darwin will visit his forebear’s namesake institution when he attends the opening of the 2009 Siemens Science Experience.

Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) Faculty of Education, Health and Science is set to host the annual Siemens Science Experience, the theme of which will be Evolution and Adaption: “Survival of the Fittest”.

Chris Darwin will give an opening address to Year 9 students, who hope to be part of the future of science development in Australia and overseas.

Head of the School of Environmental and Life Sciences, Professor Chris Austin said the Siemens program highlighted CDU’s commitment to providing Territory high school students with the same opportunities as their interstate counterparts.

“It is important for us, as a community university, to research, identify and respond to the needs of our schools,” he said.

“This year’s theme reflects that 2009 celebrates the life and works of the ‘father’ of biology, Charles Darwin, which is of special significance to us as our city and University were named after him.

“The program will emphasise the important contribution science plays in human health and well being, and in understanding and protecting our natural environment, areas which are of special significance to us living in the Northern Territory.”

Local Director and Chair of the organising committee, Dr Diane Pearson said the activities centered round this theme would also illustrate the type of studies that could be undertaken at CDU in the areas of environmental science, engineering, allied health and technology.

“We are all extremely excited to once again host the Siemens Science Experience and are hoping by designing a program that is stimulating and relevant it will inspire and enhance the learning of young Territorians, encouraging them to pursue a career within the sciences,” she said.

“There is a mixture of laboratory and field-based exercises to give students a feel for the variety of tasks they can perform as a scientist.

“We also have a variety of interesting seminars and outdoor activities delivered by leading scientists.”

The Siemens Science Experience is a national program offering students, who are about to enter Year 10, a fun three-day program of science at universities across Australia.

The program will begin at CDU’s Casuarina campus on Tuesday 16, June with activities continuing over three days.

For more information, contact Diane Pearson on 8946 6046 or at Diane.Pearson@cdu.edu.au