New records set for Geoscience Australia's Open Day


Geoscience Australia staff member explaining a plastic groundwater model.

Geoscience Australia
graduate Millie Crowe
explaining how groundwater
systems work at the 2013
Open Day. Image
credit: James Lehane.

Geoscience Australia's Open Day, held on Sunday 18 August, was another great success with a new record of around 8000 happy and interested visitors through the door.

Geoscience Australia CEO Dr Chris Pigram said that enthusiasm of the staff in sharing what they do with interested members of the community is undoubtedly one of the key factors that contributes to making the day the great success it has become.

Other interesting statistics from this year's Open Day include:

  • over 650 containers of slime lava made in the Education Centre, which equates to 32 kilos of cornflour and 16 litres of water;
  • over 500 treasure hunt passports completed;
  • over 900 dinosaurs decorated;
  • more than 500 pet rocks who found new homes; and
  • all tours to the laboratories, GPS robots, rock dating SHRIMP, Geological TimeWalk and the Joint Australian Tsunami Centre fully subscribed.

Feedback received from the visitors was overwhelmingly positive with many people indicating one of their favourites was the return visit by the roving Erth dinosaur. This year's prehistoric visitor, a juvenile T-rex, was a great hit with kids both big and small.

Other crowd favourites were the exploding volcano, the Antarctic base camp, the many hands-on kids' activities and the opportunity to engage with Geoscience Australia's researchers at the many science displays.

Open Day went national for the first time, with an online presence taking Open Day beyond Canberra to the rest of Australia. Four science talks were streamed live via the web and are still available for viewing if you missed them.

"We look forward to welcoming the local community back next year," Dr Pigram said.