Explosions and liquid nitrogen wowed O'Connor Catholic Catholic College students today as Questacon - the National Science and Technology Centre brought some of its most exciting exhibits to the regions from Canberra.
"[The students] can learn how science is in our everyday life," presenter Abby Hodges said. "It's not just for people in a lab. You can get into science from different avenues, have fun with it, and do it at home! Science is really important in our everyday world to solve problems."
She and fellow presenter Emma Dunn staged an hour-long spectacular for Years 7 to 11 on pressure and how molecules behave as they change states of matter.
Primary school shows are more diverse, investigating bubbles, structures, fluids, energy, light, and music.
O'Connor's head of science Lily Moar welcomed the Questacon visit.
"Teaching in a regional centre, we feel very lucky that these sorts of programs are willing to travel to us and bring their expertise. It's a long way for us to go to Canberra - but these programs give our students the same opportunity they would get in a metro area."
Abby and fellow presenter Emma Dunn are on the third week of their tour of New England. They have presented shows for primary and high school students, professional development for teachers, and big pop-up science centres from Tamworth to Lightning Ridge to Glen Innes - all part of their Masters of Science Communication degree at ANU.
The Armidale public will be able to see Questacon's marvels at UNE's Campbell Hall on Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 3pm.
The more than 40 hands-on exhibits include seeing how fast one can throw against a police radar gun; spinning on a rotating platform; and freezing one's shadow on the walls. There's even a miniature Jacob's Ladder. Adult $6, students/concession $5, family $18, children under 5 and Q Club members free.