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Listed under:  Science  >  Matter  >  Chemical reactions  >  Polymerisation

Plastic 'Rhodoid' flowers, 1939

These are 'Rhodoid' plastic flowers, made in 1939 of fluorescent cellulose acetate. Their colourful fluorescence, which includes blue leaves, is highlighted by an ultraviolet light shining on them against a black background.


KEM brand playing cards, c1941

These are three playing cards made of paper coated with cellulose acetetate. We see the backs of a brown and a green card, and the face - a joker - of a red one. The backs contain the same design, taken from an ancient Greek myth. A satyr (half man, half ram) is playing a flute and dancing with a woman, probably a nymph. ...


Pins from Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, 1997

This is a boxed pin set to commemorate the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. It was manufactured from metal and plastic by AMINCO Australia Pty Ltd, and contains samples of human DNA for authentication purposes. The pins are mounted on velvet and cardboard in a silver metallic-coloured presentation box with plastic coating. The ...


Australian Owl Genetics Project

This is an information sheet describing the Australian Owl Genetics Project's efforts to ensure the continuing survival of Australia's owls and the preservation of their habitats.

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How do we use coal?

Find out how many things in your life depend on coal. This short video details some of the common uses of coal, such as in the production of cosmetics, plastics and steel as well as in power stations to generate electricity.


Using genes to unlock the secrets of Tutankhamen

Tutankhamen was an Egyptian pharaoh who ascended to the throne in 1333 BC, at the age or nine or ten. His fame in modern times is due to the discovery of his virtually intact tomb in 1922. Since then, many questions have been asked about his life and ancestry. Listen to this audio clip to find out how genetic technology ...

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Recycling household items

Discover why plastic is harmful to our environment and how recycling helps to reduce its impact. Listen to Jon Dee, founder of Planet Ark, discuss the problem of plastic. Watch as a bag of household items are sorted to identify what can be recycled.

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Genetics, inheritance and epilepsy

Explore genetics, the patterns of inheritance and disease-causing mutations. Find out about Gregor Mendel's historic pea-plant breeding experiments showing that traits are inherited in particular patterns. See how Australian scientists discovered the gene mutation responsible for a type of epilepsy.

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Cloning stem cells

Cell cloning involves making an exact copy of a cell. Geneticists have discovered that cell cloning can be used to create large numbers of stem cells. Stem-cell therapy holds much hope for the treatment of some of our most debilitating genetic diseases. Watch this clip to learn more about this exciting breakthrough and ...

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'Junk DNA' not junk after all

Geneticists have long thought that 98 per cent of human DNA was 'junk' (or 'non-coding') DNA. However, recent scientific research suggests that there is much more to this DNA than first thought. Watch this clip to discover more.

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Building cells synthetically

A cell's own genetic material provides the instructions for how it works, but what if we could design our own set of instructions? Synthetic biology combines biology and engineering in the design of new systems and functions for cells. Watch this animated clip for an explanation of this new, innovative technology. See examples ...

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Drugs may contain a 'biological calling card'

Illegal drug producers may leave behind DNA in the drugs they manufacture. This 'biological calling card' can then be used to locate and identify suspects. Find out how a South Australian scientist was able to extract DNA from a sample of drugs seized from a police drug-trafficking operation. Discover the new technique ...


Harlequin dessert plate, 1930-34

This is a Harlequin dessert plate made from formaldehyde resin powder by Australian Moulding Corporation / Moulded Products (Australasia) sometime between 1930 and 1934. It has a mottled orange, red, blue and yellow surface.

Teacher resource

Primary Connections: What's it made of?

This comprehensive teacher resource explores the properties of materials of objects in the school and classroom environment through a series of collaborative inquiry-based learning activities. Senses are used to explore and describe unseen objects, comparisons are made of objects of different materials and objects are classified ...

Interactive resource

Physical science: circuits

Build electric circuits using batteries, light bulbs, resistors and other components. Add meters to measure the voltage, current and resistance. Investigate Ohm’s Law. Discover how to find the total resistance of a combination of resistors. Test your understanding by answering five assessment questions.


Circuits - upper primary

This collection of 11 digital curriculum resources is organised in three categories - types of circuits; circuit applications; and conductors and insulators. Interactive learning objects enable students to build and manipulate simple series and parallel electric circuits. Students investigate how current flows, effects ...


Message Stick - Arafura Pearl, 2003: Saltwater Freshwater

The clip shows Kathy Mills talking about her husband David Mills and their relationship. Kathy describes how singing brought them together and became the foundation of their family life. Older photographs and contemporary footage of the family are seen. Their son Robert explains that they are 'straight for each other', ...


Message Stick - Arafura Pearl, 2003: Music

The clip shows the Mills, a Darwin family of musicians and singers. Kathy Mills speaks of her children and their closeness as the song 'Arafura pearl' is sung in the background. Kathy says everyone in the family has 'the music bug'. She says while the Mills Sisters are the 'most known' singers of the family, 'the boys now ...


'Drink to me only with thine eyes', c1920s

This is a well-known love song, the words of which come from a romantic poem written by the English poet and playwright Ben Jonson in 1616. The tune was composed by a Colonel Mellish in about 1770. The singer is the famous 1920s Irish-Australian tenor Alfred O'Shea, and the recording was probably made in the 1920s.


Bookcase, c1880

This is a free-standing pine bookcase, measuring 251 cm x 110 cm x 52 cm, made by an unknown craftsman in about 1880. The base incorporates two drawers and a double-door cupboard. The upper part has bookshelves that have been set behind glass-panelled doors. The timber used in its construction is Huon pine, which has a ...