Best of National Science Week: Scientists take over Twitch

Best of National Science Week

Scientists are taking over the front page of Twitch as part of the best of National Science Week events this month.

High school kids and postgraduate science students will bring their expertise to online gaming, streaming from 12-7pm on 21 August as part of #BatteryLow, an event organised by UNSW scientist A/Prof Michael Kasumovic.

It’s one of thousands of events happening in the first fully virtual National Science Week.

Other highlights include a girls STEM design challenge co-hosted by UTS, Tech Girls Movement and Engineers without Borders, science scavenger hunts and a virtual swim with giant cuttlefish.

“Over two days, Year 5-8 students will have some STEM fun with their friends. Together they will ‘Create for their Community’, designing solutions to a problem they identify and build solution prototypes using robots, 3D design software, apps and everyday materials. They will get cool mentors to support them through the challenge via videoconference, and create pitch videos to send in to industry judges,” says Associate Professor Arti Agrawal, Director, Women in Engineering and IT at UTS.

CATCH: All Careers with STEM events including this smashing engineering stereotypes webinar.

I’ll also be smashing out some slam physics poetry at the first legally underage Physics in the Pub, now Physics on the Cloud. It’s all part of showing how science, technology, engineering and maths are far more than the stereotyped view you might get through school.

But back to Twitch and more best of National Science Week! Michael is a UNSW Scientist and also creates science games for Primary and High school kids in his edutech company Arludo.

The focus for the gaming mega marathon streaming this National Science Week will be on Nintendo Switch games, and Michael expects the scientists will learn as much about gaming as the kids do about science.

The event will be streamed on Twitch and YouTube and will be a casual event where kids can interact with scientists and learn more about the diversity of people and professions in STEM.

Go head to head with an astrophysicist

“People see scientists as individuals who work in ivory towers and have an agenda, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. They’re just regular people that are interested in exploring and understanding the world,” says Michael.

“I’ve found 15 awesome and diverse young scientists that research a whole range of topics from how economic theory can improve honeybee foraging to why it’s difficult to quit smoking, to understanding how our universe is formed.”

He’s taking these young scientists, sitting them on a couch, and playing videogames with them.

Kirsten Banks

“The idea is that concentrating on the games will make it a relaxed experience where the scientists can chat with each other and the public.”

Astrophysicist Kirsten Banks is one of the scientists jumping in to #BatteryLow. Known as @astrokirsten on Tik Tok, she’s seen her love of the universe spread to over 11,000 followers leading to more than 200,000 likes.

“I think it’s important to keep reaching out to the different ways to engage people who wouldn’t normally be interested in science,” she says.

RELATED: How I became an astrophysicist

Heather Catchpole

Author: Heather Catchpole

Heather co-founded Careers with STEM publisher Refraction Media. She loves storytelling, Asian food & dogs and has reported on science stories from live volcanoes and fossil digs


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