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B.Y.O. Bugs To Science In The Park

For immediate release
9 March 2009

B.Y.O. Bugs To Science In The Park

Hunt through the garden, search the old shed and rummage under the house for unusual creepy crawlies and undetermined plants to bring along to Science in the Park at Scion on Saturday, March 21.

Bay of Plenty residents are being encouraged to explore the biodiversity that exists in their own backyards and bring along insects and fungi for identification by expert scientists at Scion's open day.

Science in the Park is a free open day for members of the public to learn more about modern science and about how Scion's 300 scientists spend their day.

Visitors will have from between 9-3 to experience the interactive displays and activities including measuring the density and moisture content of wood, making your own biofoam and uncovering the energy outputs of various fuel types.

John Bain, a scientist at Scion, says people can bring in live or dead insects and fungi and can have a go at identifying it themselves.

"There will be microscopes for people to use and scientists on site to help with identification.

"At Science in the Park in 2007 many bugs, beetles, and other insects went under the microscope and fortunately, no new invaders to New Zealand were identified.

"In New Zealand new pests often arrive unnoticed, and can be a major biosecurity threat. Often the public play an important role in finding these. There are also thousands of native species that haven't even been properly named yet, so there is a chance someone could bring in an insect that is new to many of us," he says.

For those bringing live insects John asks that people keep them in an insect-friendly container.

"The best thing is a jar with a lid with air holes in it, add some leaves or something similar inside to provide a bit of shelter and keep the jar out of the sun," he says.

For lovers of insects, there will also be displays of some of Scion's own insect collection - but as the collection numbers many thousands, only some will be on display.

Science in the Park is open to all members of the public and includes displays, demonstrations, science experiments, tours and giveaways. The open day is located at Scion, 49 Sala St, Rotorua.

Science in the Park is proudly supported by Rotorua's More FM.

Details:

What:
Science in the Park - Scion's Open Day
Interactive displays, science experiments, tours, giveaways
Food and drink available for purchase

Where:
Scion
49 Sala Street, Rotorua

When:
Saturday March 21
9am-3pm


ENDS

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