Ultimo Science Festival
Public program, developed 2005-2008, and as an annual event through 2006-2008 and ongoing

Jesse initiated the partnership between four major organisations which jointly present the largest science festival in Sydney during National Science Week. The ABC Sydney Headquarters, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney Institute of TAFE and the Powerhouse Museum are all neighbours along Harris Street in the inner Sydney suburb of Ultimo. Key science communicators in these organisations saw the value of joining forces to get a bigger result from their individual science week activities. Jesse facilitated team meetings, was the treasurer for the festival, wrote or co-wrote the grant applications which achieved support from three levels of government and attracted corporate sponsorships. He also curated science-art displays for the festival and developed or assisted with some of the public programs. The festival grew from 10,000 to 12,000 attendances in its first three years. replica wathces

Image reproduced courtesy of the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. Photo: Jean-Francois Lanzarone

View of the Powerhouse Museum’s steam engine, Loco 3830, with heritage carriages and a new diesel electric train for the NSW rail system. These trains were on public display behind the ABC and UTS buildings (in the Ultimo Pedestrian Network) as part of the Ultimo Science Festival 2006. Around 4,000 people visited the trains.

Image reproduced courtesy of the Ultimo Science Festival. Photo: Jayne Ion

Jesse developed and coordinated Scienteering, a three day event spread over three venues. It presented an entertaining series of problem solving activities and questions based on science and technology. Jesse structured the event to encourage group and family participation and to have the public talk with scientists on the street. The quiz activities conveyed how science is involved in health, the environment, innovation and everyday life. People needed to answer only 10 of 30 questions but, with the offer of prizes for high scores, many of the more than 800 participants answered all the questions. Jesse arranged for eight external organisations and three from USF partners to host the eleven quiz stands. He hired staff and organised volunteers for the scoring-prize stand and got thousands of prizes donated from many sources. This was the busy scene at the Mathematical Association of NSW stand in the Powerhouse Museum.

Photo: Jesse Shore

Jesse curated four art-science themed displays to go into the TAFE’s Muse gallery for Ultimo Science Festival 2008. One of the exhibitions was a touring show, Parasites in focus, which consisted of uncomfortably eye-catching microphotographs of parasites with accompanying descriptions. Jesse worked with University of Technology Sydney academics to arrange the well attended Parasites workshop school program held in the gallery to support this display.

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