TRIATHLETES, botanists, astronomers and medical researchers shared their expertise with hundreds of locals at the Geraldton Science Festival Community Night.
The night featured 15 stalls with interactive displays include virtual reality headsets, an ambulance, live control of the Parkes radio telescope and various representations of our natural environment: groundwater models, herbarium samples and river simulations. There was something for everyone to take home, from career information for girls interested in engineering to astronomy citizen science projects for adults to get involved in.
In addition to the stalls and displays, three science shows were presented: Bubbles, Element of Surprise and Science of Sport. Three sports experts shared their insights and perspectives on the science and technology used in their sports coaching, training and competition.
Todd Teakle from Central West Health shared some of the latest technology used by athletes, and distinguished between the technology and underlying science. "We use all types of technology in assisting athletes in the Mid West Academy of Sport, and it's the ability to use calculations and formulae derived by scientists that helps us measure things like aerobic capacity and to design program specific to that athletes aspirations".
Dirrainie Kirby from CrossFit Geraldton emphasised the importance of repeatable, measurable workouts to measure improvements in speed, efficiency, strength or power "Writing down what you are doing and doing the same workouts at regular intervals gives you the data needed, and can also help keep you motivated".
Ben Freer from Geraldton Triathlon Club shared both his thoughts, and some of the equipment he uses: aerodynamic helmets, GPS and power meters, devices to measure the distance swum per stroke. Ben said "Over a ten hour triathlon a 1% improvement could mean 6 minutes or 50 places, so using technology and science to refine technique, equipment and training can give you the edge over otherwise equally-talented humans!".
The Geraldton Science Festival, Community Night and Science in Sport show were an initiative from Scinapse in partnership with Scitech. The events were supported by Inspiring Australia and Scitech. Other contributors to this event included Central West Health, CrossFit Geraldton, and Ben Freer.