Family moves into Amazing Backyard!

30 March, 2011

Stick Insects
Owen and Natasha from Spotswood Primary School meet Scienceworks’ new residents
Image: Jon Augier
Source: Museum Victoria

A family of twelve phasmids – or stick insects as they are more commonly known – have made themselves at home in Scienceworks’ new exhibition Amazing Backyard Adventures, which officially opened to the public on Saturday.

A lucky pair of students from Spotswood Primary students were able to see the new residents up close as Scienceworks’ staff replaced branches in the display case where the insects are housed.  

The phasmids were brought to their new home by Museum Victoria’s Live Exhibits team and are on display at Scienceworks as one of many examples of the amazing biodiversity that can be seen in our backyards.

“Stick insects are a little more difficult to spot in the average backyard than other creatures as they are natural masters of camouflage,” said Patrick Honan, Manager Live Exhibits, Museum Victoria.

“But there are plenty of other vertebrates and invertebrates that inhabit the humble Australian backyard, and indeed backyards around the world.”

 Aimed at children from 5 to 12 years of age, Amazing Backyard Adventures gives families the chance to explore the science that can be found just outside the back door through a series of fun and interactive displays.

 “Visitors to Scienceworks will discover a hidden world they may not have previously known even existed, literally right there in their own backyards,” said Genevieve Fahey, Manager of Scienceworks.

“Children can experience what the garden looks like through the eyes of a bee or a dog, and walk through a magnified version of the garden lawn as though they are the size of a small insect.

“Little ones will be able to explore the exhibition from an entirely different perspective, by dressing up in costume to play the part of a frog or spider as they learn about every day science,”

People interested in “D-I-Y” will also have the chance to design their own environmentally friendly garden or create the perfect garden path.

“Whether through learning about how plants grow and change over the seasons or seeing how common animals and insects interact in the garden, Amazing Backyard Adventures is an exciting way to understand the science of everyday life,” said Fahey.

Amazing Backyard Adventures runs until July 24, and features 18 interactive exhibits with activities that include using night vision to uncover nocturnal residents, or seeing the world from the view of a bee flying through the garden in search of nectar.

Amazing Backyard Adventures developed by Scitech – Perth.

For further public information on Museum Victoria, phone 13 11 02 or visit Amazing Backyard Adventures