Ice caps, deserts, oceans and space: science at the extreme

April 18, 2020

August 10


12:00 pm - 04:30 pm

Click to Register: Click to Register

Yarra Ranges Tech School

Website: Organizer's Website

Yarra Ranges Tech School

1 Jarlo Drive, Lilydale, VIC 3140

Lilydale, VIC, AU, 3140

What do the earths poles, deserts and deep ocean environments have to do with space?

Find out by joining the Yarra Ranges Tech School, Biosecurity Centre of Excellence and Box Hill Institute to hear from two internationally recognised speakers – Dr Darlene Lim and Dr Kate Selway – whose work in Extreme Environments is providing insight into future challenges we face both on earth and in space exploration. These presentations will be complemented by workshops run by Yarra Ranges Tech School and the Biosecurity Centre of Excellence focusing on space exploration and bioscience.

Our Speakers for the day:

Dr Darlene Lim is a geobiologist based at the NASA Ames Research Center in California. She has spent 25 years conducting field research around the world, in both the Artic and Antarctic, as well as in underwater environments where she has piloted submersibles as a scientist and explorer. Currently Darlene leads several NASA-funded research programs that are focused on blending field science research with the development of capabilities and concepts for future human spaceflight into deep space and Mars.

Dr Kate Selway is an Earth Scientist with a passion for understanding how our amazing planet works. She has led research teams in the deserts of central Australia, the savannas of East Africa, and the frozen expanses of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Like a doctor taking an x-ray, Kate makes measurements on the Earth’s surface to peer deep inside it. She runs mathematical models to understand why plate tectonics happens, and improve measurements of ice loss from ice sheets.

For those wishing to explore science further we are offering a series of optional workshops.


  • Navigate your Mars Rover to collect samples. Conducted by Yarra Ranges Tech School. This will be a 30 minute coding based workshop aimed at persons 10 years and above using VEX robots. Students will select from a number of different configured robots and then complete the code to allow them to navigate a series of obstacles to secure a sample. (Limited to 10 people per session; 3 sessions)
  • Explore the micro-world. Conducted by Biosecurity Centre of Excellence. This will be a 30 minute workshop aimed at persons 10 years and older utilising digital microscopes to explore and understand plants and plant growth. (Limited to 20 people per session; 3 sessions)
  • Space obstacles. Conducted by Yarra Ranges Tech School – this will be a free play event for persons, but aimed at persons 10 years and under, where students will have 3 to 5 minutes, depending on demand, to drive a Sphero robot through a series of obstacles. (4 users per 3-5 session)
  • Insectoids. Conducted by Yarra Ranges Tech School – this will be a 15 minute session where persons will don Virtual Reality googles and use an insectoid robot to navigate a maze. The insectoids and mazes used will be generated by previous students that have attended Yarra Ranges Tech School. (Limited to 200 persons)

We will also be offering tours of Yarra Ranges Tech School and screening various documentaries and 3D programs based around the theme during the workshops.