Helix @ CSIRO

For kids who love science

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Draw an egg

Happy Easter everyone! Here’s a handy way of drawing an egg shape using maths.

You will need

Sciessors, pen, string, pins, paper.

What you will need.

  • Pin board, or several sheets of corrugated cardboard
  • 3 drawing pins
  • String
  • Pen or pencil
  • Paper
  • Coloured pencils for decorating
  • Scissors

What to do

  1. Draw 3 dots on the paper in the shape of a T. Make the stem of the T around 12 cm, and each arm of the top of the T around 4 cm.
  2. Put the paper on the pin board, and push pins through the 3 dots.
    A piece of pape rwith three pins stuck through it. there is a loop of string around all three pins.

    You only need a little bit of slack in your loop.

    Cut a length of string, and make a loop that fits around the pins with only a little slack in it.
  3. Put a pen in the loop, and pull it out until the string goes tight.
  4. Keeping the string tight, move the pen around the pins.
  5. Congratulations! You have drawn an egg shape. Now you can decorate it.

What’s happening?

An egg is a very strange shape. It’s like an oval, but it’s slightly rounder at the bottom, and pointier at the top. It is symmetrical when rotated on its end, or flipped left to right (or right to left). It is also a very hard shape to draw by hand because it is so close to an oval. Continue reading


River crossings

You will need

six pieces of paper - a river, a boat, a man, a chicken, a fox and a bag of corn.

Cut out all the pieces.

What to do

  1. Cut out the farmer, the fox, the chicken, the boat and the bag of corn along the black lines.
  2. Fold along each dotted line
  3. Use sticky tape to make the pieces and the boat.

The puzzle

A paper boat shape.

You’ll need two pieces of sticky tape to make the boat – one for the front and one for the back.

A farmer needs to get a fox, a chicken and some corn across the river. He can only carry one of these things at a time. The animals are well behaved when the farmer is around, but when he goes to the other side of the river they are not very well behaved. Continue reading

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Recycling on the reef

Written by Michele Weber

Tube sponges in water

If it weren’t for the diet of the humble marine sponge, reefs might be rather boring places.
Image: Thinkstock

Coral reefs have much in common with rainforests: both are full of life, but are low in nutrients. How is that possible? As far as a coral reef goes, it’s because marine sponges produce waste that contains food that other reef animals can eat. Continue reading

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Moth mimic

A man wearing sunglasses. There is a zoom box indicating the sunglasses are covered in tiny cones.

These sunglasses are coated with a new material invented to reduce glare. The material was inspired by the eyes of moths!
Image: Gabriel Loget / UC Irvine

Written by Sarah Kellett

The way a moth’s eyes have adapted to darkness may help us stop glare from the Sun.

Despite their tendency to circle light bulbs, moths have eyes that are designed for darkness. Each eye has a bumpy pattern that stops light reflecting off the surface, possibly helping the moth see in the dark and hide from predators.

For years, scientists have been trying to replicate the effect. Continue reading

Antarctic poem winner

Congratulations to David from QLD who won the Antarctic Territory Series Coin for the poem below.

Icebergs formed when pieces of ice break away from the Antarctic ice sheet by CSIRO

Icebergs formed when pieces of ice break away from the Antarctic ice sheet by CSIRO

The land truly down under, it’s plains of ice and snow.

Hide a sight of wonder, where few are blessed to go.

Above the desolate landscape, atop a thousand whites.

Nature’s ultimate canvas, for the amazing Aurora lights.


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Jumping puzzle

You will need

pritout, scissors, tape, pencils.

You will need these items.

Assembling the pieces

  1. First make the playing pieces. Cut along the thick black lines to get three boy strips and three girl strips
  2. Fold each strip along the dotted lines to make a triangle and hold it together with a piece of sticky tape.
  3. The remaining piece of paper has a line of seven circles – this is the board.

Continue reading


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