A full head of STE(A)M -MOD at UniSA

Published: Thursday 6 December 2018

The SA Chapter closed the year with another successful event and some great news.

Firstly our final event was a long anticipated visit to UniSA’s Museum of Discovery (MOD) in the newly opened Health Innovation Building. Hosted by Project Manager Christina Coliero and Museum Director (and great supporter of the LEA Chapter) Kristin Alford, with support from the Architects (LEA members) Swanbury Penglase and several generous sponsors we were able to see STE(A)M  in action.  

The latest addition to Adelaide’s new Health Precinct, and an extension of UniSA’s City West campus the building houses a number of different research and teaching zones in 30,000 sq metres of floor space over 16 levels with spectacular views across the parklands and North Adelaide. The visit centred on two of these being Museum of Discovery (MOD) and the Centre for Cancer Biology.

MOD is Australia’s leading future-focused museum.  It is aimed at provoking new ideas at the intersection of Science, Art and Innovation.  Kristin explained the mission of MOD is to be unexpected, challenging, interactive, open-ended and audacious. MOD is introducing students of all ages to the possibilities that science and technology are creating for the world.  MOD is also challenging participants to think creatively, to ponder big ethical questions and perhaps to consider career choices.

After 6 months of operation MOD has exceeded visitor number expectations and is a particular hit with its primary target audience of 15-25 year olds. Now into its second exhibition, entitled “Waging Peace”, permanent features include Science on a Sphere, and exhibition theme-based gaming. The latest exhibition included a living room for alien visitors and Sleep Ops, an installation all about our need for and the benefits of sleep.

Given a small taste of MOD, many of the 80 plus attending the event are sure to become regular visitors, hopefully with students and clients.


The second component of the  visit was  a tour of the Centre for Cancer Biology facilities on levels 8 and 9. These light-filled PC2 rated laboratories and adjacent work spaces with a connecting atrium and north-facing terrace are an example of how a highly serviced research facility  can  be designed for flexible and evolving use as research directions change, while maintaining an attractive work atmosphere that compares well with the best in office environments.

The evening also included the Chapter’s 2018 General Meeting which confirmed the continuation of the existing Chapter committee for 2019 under David Kilpatrick’s leadership, as well as acknowledging the great contribution of Deb O’Riley as outgoing Regional Chair as well as the fantastic news that past Chapter Chair Marino Rossi has been confirmed as Regional Chair Elect from 2020.

With over 80 local members we look forward to another exciting year in 2019 including the second biannual SA Chapter Awards as well as our popular site visits and workshops.

Article: Andrew Gehling
Photos: Andrew Gehling , John Held and Candy Aung