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Ochre brings science to life for kids

The event, rounding out National Science Week celebrations, was one of a series of workshops coordinated by the National Indigenous Science Education Program (NISEP) that brings ‘science to life’.

Dr Kate Wilson, OEH’s Executive Director Science Division, said the hands-on workshop showed families how ochre found in soil is transformed into the paint used for hand stencilling and other Aboriginal art.

“Ochre is a part of our soil and it has been used for thousands of years as part of Aboriginal culture and art,” Dr Wilson said.

“This workshop shows families the science behind the art, the different ochre colours, soil types and binding agents that have been used for hundreds of thousands of years in art and ceremony,” said Dr Wilson.

At the workshop families also heard OEH’s Indigenous scientists talk about soil from a western perspective and also of its traditional and cultural uses.

“The workshop was an opportunity to showcase the impact of our soil research and a way to make science real and part of everyday life.

“We also hope that we inspired these kids and created pathways to studying or working in science by showing the strong connection between western and Indigenous scientific knowledge,” Dr Wilson said.  

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