Saturday Club Term 4

Saturday Club is pleased to announce the return of the fantastic presenters from the Why Waite program in Term 4 2019.

All Tickets Now Released so Book Now!

NOTE: Due to the materials component in this terms program the refund policy has been set at 7 days.

The program offered will look to expand participants knowledge in the biological sciences, exposure to a more complex scientific vocabulary and lots of hands on science!! Participants are asked to wear appropriate clothing (long pants and clothes that may be stained), tied back hair and closed toe shoes.

Junior (5-8 yr)

Biological Sciences Junior Program 2019 centre around the world of plants. There will be two key presenters Merek and Debbie who will also be supported by other Adelaide Uni Staff and Students

26 October: What do we Eat?

9 November: DNA Extraction

23 November: How Do They Propogate? (Pt1)

7 December: How Do They Propogate? (Pt2)

Intermediate (8-12yr)

Biological Sciences Intermediate Program 2019 will lean towards environmental issues that are topical in the modern world. There will be two key presenters Issie and Ruby who will be supported by other Adelaide Uni Staff and Students.

26 October: Bioplastics

9 November: Healthy Soils = Healthy Plants (Pt 1)

23 November: Sustainable Foods

7 December: Healthy Soils =Healthy Plants (Pt 2)

Senior (12-16 yr)

Biological Sciences Senior Program 2019 will centre on the life giving process of fermentation. Most people associate fermentation with the production of alchohol or raising in breads possibly, but it is so much more being central to how many cells produce energy. The key presenter is Bianca who leads the Why Wait program, she will be supported by other Adeaide Uni Students.

26 October: Food Aroma and Native Foods

9 November: Fermentation – Yeast and Microscopy

23 November: Fermentation – Sugars versus Carbohydrates

7 December: Fermentation- Native Fruits


Bianca Kyriacou:

Bianca Kyriacou, is currently the Outreach Coordinator for the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine at the University of Adelaide. In this role she has created and manages Why Waite, a lab-based STEM outreach program for secondary schools. I am immensely proud of the product she has created; it is the direct result of her hard work and determination to create a sustainable program to encourage young minds to see themselves as the future of science.

Bianca completed a bachelor of Biotechnology with Honours in 2006. Passionate about plants and human health, Bianca embarked on a successful PhD in rice genetics, increasing iron in the major food staple. During and after the completion of this, she worked in plant cell wall research, learning about dietary fibre, plant pathogen resistance and beer making. During this time, she developed a work experience package which would alleviate pressures for post-doctoral researchers having to scramble to entertain visiting high school students, while engaging and teaching the new fresh faces of the future science world. This program has now morphed into the hugely popular Why Waite program. High schools around the state visit the Waite campus every week to attend Bianca’s workshops and complement their classroom learning with lab based STEM activities in agriculture, food and wine. Bianca also runs the social media presence, runs the National School Wine Competition workshops and welcomes thousands of children and parents to the Royal Adelaide Show to create terraria and visualise themselves in as scientists of tomorrow.

Additional to this, Bianca also founded the Women of Waite program, designed to bring together the skills, talent and community of all who identify as female at the Waite campus, regardless of employment, study or science status. This has resulted in the group presenting an amazing panel discussion at the 2018 National Science Week event; Conversations with Women of Waite.

Her work with Children’s University and Bright Sparks, Saturday Club and DreamBIG events has also helped science reach more children than before. The Why Waite program has been in place for 4 years, seeing Bianca share the load with many incredible volunteers and even continued while Bianca went on maternity leave- twice! Bianca’s new focus is creating new activities and workshops based on the important value of indigenous flora and the sustainable future of science in South Australia.

Check out her impact online-


Deborah Devis:

Deborah began her PhD in plant genetics at the University of Adelaide in 2016. During her studies, she realised that explaining her work to a general audience posed many difficulties, and that a thorough understanding of science was unavailable to many people, especially school aged students. She realised that using metaphors and popular culture was an effective way of spreading complex scientific concepts in a simple and engaging manner, and began writing a blog that used the popular phenomenon, Pokémon, as a basis. The blog, Professor Rimu, was popular on the platforms Pokémon Amino and WordPress, as it explained concepts such as symbiosis, mitosis and genetic mutation to a teenage audience by using simple words and familiar concepts from Pokémon.

Due to the success of her blog, she collaborated with a partner from the USA to expand the concept into a weekly podcast. The Silph Scope Podcast ran for a year and placed in the top 100 in New Zealand, as it explained concepts such as speciation and evolution in an isolated environment in friendly and relatable language.

In 2017, Deborah volunteered for the Why Waite science outreach program, where she quickly realised she wanted to pursue science communication as a career. She presented classes on DNA, aroma chemistry and soil science and helped develop a PCR practical lesson for years 10-12. She also volunteered at the Royal Adelaide Show to promote the science that happened at the Waite Campus, and taught Aroma Chemistry to high school students at the Wine Show. She continued to volunteer throughout her PhD until she was hired as a Why Waite Outreach officer in 2019 and continues to deliver classes and help develop new lessons.

In 2018, Deborah became a Moderator at MOD At UniSa, where she aids in visitor experience by giving tours and explaining scientific concepts such as genetic modification, the psychology of pain and the aerodynamics and visual stimuli bees experience. She enthusiastically engages with museum visitors and continues to deliver excellent science information with a friendly and encouraging attitude.

In 2019, Deborah joined the University of Adelaide to develop lessons for Science Academy, a free science outreach program that is delivered in schools for years 8-12. She developed lessons on how agriculture influences food and genetics, and molecular chemistry in food. She is engaging and relatable to a young audience and hopes to develop more lessons in the future.

Deborah will graduate with her PhD in August 2019 and plans to focus her career on science outreach and communication. She passionately believes science needs to be accessible to everyone and hopes she can open the world of science up to young adults, as they are the future of science. 

Isobel and Ruby Hume  
Both Issie and Ruby began their academic careers in environmental science – studying everything form marine biology, weather systems, volcanoes, mathematics, policy, and performing animal dissections!  
Issie became increasingly interested in how humans interact with their environment: where we source our food, and what footprint we leave behind. She looks at satellite images of our city to find land that could be used to grow food.  
Ruby, on the other hand, is a soil chemist, trying to understand the things we can’t see. Specifically, she is looking at how nutrients move through soils, and how they can be used by plants, animals, and humans.  
They will both continue this research at the University of Adelaide’s Waite campus, which is dedicated to improving the future of Food, Wine, and Agriculture. 

Margaret Wambui Kirika 
A plant scientist, with great motivation to use science to produces resilient plants/crops that can withstand the changing climatic conditions. I’m a PhD student in the final year at the Waite Campus, working on nitrogen use efficiency in wheat. My research focuses on improving nitrogen fertilizer uptake and remobilization to improve grain protein content in Australian wheat varieties. Grain protein is important because farmers get more dollars for wheat with higher protein and the final wheat products (bread, noodle, cakes e.t.c) depends on the grain protein content. 
I was born and raised in the capital city of Kenya, Nairobi. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Biotechnology from Kenya, and a Masters in Plant Biotechnology from the Netherlands. I have worked with various crops throughout my studies including; tomato whereby we were exploring resistance genes against powdery mildew, and potato, focusing on the characterization of pathways that lead to tuberization (making a tuber from roots and not a fruit from flowers). I have also worked with a model plant, Solanum Dulcamara, to understand how the plant survives both in flooded areas and sandy dunes. 
Aside from the science stuff, I love cooking, watching science fiction movies and traveling (with so many places in my bucket list and just a few ticked off). 
Merek Kesser 
I grew up in the agricultural Central Valley of California and was raised spending weekends at farmer’s markets and eating fresh fruit and veggies from my family’s garden, cultivating an early and strong interest in food and agriculture. I completed my Bachelor’s degree at UC Davis in Viticulture & Enology and afterwards I had amazing experiences travelling and working in different winegrowing regions around the world for the next five years. Through these experiences, I became very intrigued by different viticultural management practices—from organic, biodynamic, and other sustainable ideologies—and found myself wondering what their actual impacts were on both the environment and the wine produced. These unanswered questions led me to pursue a Master’s degree in Organic Agriculture & Food Systems at The University of Hohenheim in Germany and at Aarhus University in
Denmark. Having the chance to participate in research at these two European universities was a great learning experience and encouraged me to explore the possibility of doing a PhD degree. Hoping to combine my interests of sustainable agriculture and wine, I very luckily wound up at the University of Adelaide in the Department of Viticulture, where I have just begun a PhD program in August of this year. I am planning to study the effects of different vineyard management practices on soil health, biodiversity, and the expression of terroir in South Australian wine-growing regions. I am very happy to be here to work on such a relevant and exciting area of research. I am still in the planning phases of my PhD project so I am giving a general bio and background. Let me know if this is what you are after, or would something more specific and scientific be more suitable? 


What can I bring into the event?

Please bring water and a snack for the mid session break. Adults are catered for with tea, coffee and biscuits.

Do I need to remain with my child?

We ask that you stay on site while the children are in session to assist us in the event that they become upset or need support.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Please email GTCASA via our website.