New Zealand International Science Festival

4 - 12 July 2020

We have launched our full programme for it’s 2020 ‘Nano’ Festival.

The 9-day event, which takes place during the first week of the July school holidays, will be hosted at various locations across Dunedin, and the majority of the events are between $0-$5, with a number being free. The exception is some of the Festival’s flagship events.

The opening weekend of the festival will see science enthusiast and educator Amadeo Enriquez-Ballestero turn the Teachers College Auditorium into an explosive science laboratory, where he will take the audience on an exploration of big explosions using lights, lasers, fire and ice - from the Big Bang theory to the Cambrian explosion to the invention of the combustion engine. The Big Science Show will run on the 4th and 5th of July at 2pm.

Additionally, the Festival and the University of Otago will host a panel discussion on the COVID-19 pandemic, featuring Otago University academics in virology, microbiology, epidemiology and public health. The panel will be made up of virologist Prof. Vernon Ward, Prof. Miguel Quiñones-Mateu, Professor of Public Health Michael Baker, Prof. David Murdoch, and Senior Virologist Dr Jemma Geoghegan. COVID-19 Unmasked: Understanding the Pandemic will run in the Teachers College Auditorium on Saturday the 4th of July at 6pm.

The festival is also hosting dozens of workshops across Dunedin, from building jetpacks and electrical circuits, to becoming an amateur engineer, and attempting to construct the city's longest chain reaction. The Meridian Mall and Dunedin Public Library continue to partner with the festival and provide venues for these and many more of the workshops throughout the festival.

The Otago Museum opens their programme with ‘Whale of a Weekend’, a curated weekend of activities to jump-start the school holidays. Other activities include assisting newly hatched butterflies with their first flight, an up-close and personal encounter with humpback whales, a chance to experience a tropical rainstorm, and will end with a Museum After Dark event, where the Museum will remain open to adults for an amazing night of drinks, dancing, desserts, and DJ’s in Tuhura’s Tropical Rainforest, Science Centre and Planetarium.

The Orokonui Ecosanctuary presents a programme of 10 events across the 9-days. The Orokonui team will share their knowledge of caring for native species of bird, lizard and plant. They also present a photography workshop for those with a keen eye and will be giving away native trees to good homes.

The University of Otago pharmacology department presents six free hand sanitiser workshops, where participants will learn about what goes into hand sanitiser and how it is made. Participants will leave with a fresh sample of hand sanitiser, made right before their eyes.

The Marine Sciences division presents a series of nature walks scattered across the city, each focused on a different type of coastline. These walks will also be live-streamed for those who are unable to attend in person.

And most importantly, thanks to our long term partners, the Dunedin City Council, the University of Otago and the Otago Community Trust. Their support through the global pandemic has enabled the festival to continue this year.

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