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NEWS ARTICLE

Home science kits to help Top Enders grow knowledge

Anna Lemon
Future botanist Anna Lemon is hoping to inspire Territorians with her native plant experiment.

Families can learn the science behind native seeds and how they survive and thrive in the Top End’s dry season fires thanks to science kits available through a partnership between Inspired NT and Charles Darwin University.

CDU Science Outreach Manager Dr Carla Eisemberg said the first STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) kit would be launched as part of the Sea Breeze Festival this weekend.

She said CDU’s Science Outreach programs had been altered to suit the current circumstances caused by COVID-19 and the kits were designed to provide fascinating and inspiring material for Territory families to learn from the comfort of their homes.

“The first of our Inspired home kits is called ‘Native Seeds Experiment’ and was created by Bachelor of Science (Ecology) Honours student Anna Lemon,” Dr Eisemberg said.

Anna, who has been interested in native plants from a young age and hopes to become a Top End botanist, said the kit provided all the information for people to conduct their own experiment at home.

“In this experiment people can learn about the different mechanisms that seeds have, to help them survive the fires in the Top End savannas,” Anna said.

“We will observe the effects of heat on seed germination by pouring boiling water on the seeds before planting them.”

She said the effect of heat would differ between species.

“To examine this difference, we will use seeds from two species, the Swamp Wattle and Native Lemon Grass,” she said.

“Participants will be able to share any questions and their results on our Facebook Page.”

Dr Eisemberg said those interested in getting their hands on an Inspired home kit could enter the Seabreeze Festival competition www.nightcliffseabreeze.com/competitions) for their chance to win one, or request a kit via the Facebook page NTSeedsExperiment.