ISOLATION ACTIVITY LIBRARY
A library of the best online activities for young innovators during COVID-19 isolation!
It’s 2020 and Australia is on lockdown after a mysterious virus breaks out overseas. We’re all doing our part to help keep our community safe. “Self isolate,” the government says, “borders are closed”. You don’t yet know when the vaccine will be ready and all you can do is follow the rules – keep your distance and wash your hands. So you find yourself spending a lot of time at home, just you and the family. No friends. No teachers. No exciting excursions out and about the town. All your extra curricular activities have been cancelled and now it’s school holidays. Suddenly it becomes clear you’ve got a lot more time on your hands. You let that sink in, and then you start to wonder… what do I do next?
This all sounds like an extract from a science fiction novel. Only it’s real life and you’re the main character in your own story. Will you watch 120 hours of Netflix? Produce 200 Tik Tok videos? Dress up your pet 14 times a day and photograph them with 20 new Instagram filters? Perhaps you could do all of these things… in moderation. OR, you could start growing! Growing your brain power, growing your imagination, growing your skills and talents, growing your passion and growing your hair (we’ll all be doing that last one). In uncertain times like this it is crystal clear just how important the next generation of bright young minds is going to be. When the world throws us a curve ball, we NEED to innovate. Which means we need innovators. Which means we need you!
Right now scientists are racing to discover a lifesaving vaccine.
Leaders are awake at night thinking through tough decisions based on the advice of mathematicians who are releasing statistics on the rates of infection.
Engineers are working hard to open new hospitals.
Technologists are empowering us to take every industry online.
Think about it… with the click of a button you’re streaming movies– all new releases. Your brother’s downloaded five free books. Grandma’s ordering her groceries on her iPad so she doesn’t have to go to the store. Dad’s FaceTiming his doctor. And Mum’s asking Alexa to play some Monday morning motivation music to get everyone in a good mood. Could we do any of this without innovation? None of this stuff just ‘exists’. It’s all imagined, designed, built, sold and bought by people. People like you.
As a part of the next generation of innovators, you are our most valuable resource for the future. You will need to tackle global challenges, solve impossible problems and come up with new ways to build the bright future that everyone deserves. As scientists, engineers and designers you will be the architects of your own world. So, despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, and because technology is so awesome, here is a database of resources to inspire you and to stimulate you, intellectually and emotionally, right inside your home. Get some perspective and connect with astronauts in space. Start feeling creative and visit the world’s best art galleries and theatres. Clear your mind and focus with mentoring from a top mindset coach. Learn a new skill from awesome women who code… the list goes on.
The only question now is: What will you try first?
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Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths - The toolkit of an inventor!
STORY TIME FROM SPACE
Astronauts read your favourite picture books from Space!
NASA CURIOSITY ROVER
Take a virtual trip around the surface of Mars with the help of NASA and Google.
TWITCH + GIRLS + CODE
Join in on 'Code Like a Girl’s Twitch Livestream' with female coding experts!
PROJECT SUPER SHOES
Take part in a global design challenge to create the best smart shoes.
FREE GOOGLE COURSES
Feeling a bit nervous about having to use so many new programs to learn, socialise, shop and work online? COVID-19 has forced us all to go digital. Don't worry, you can upskill your digital knowledge with free courses by Google.
WHY WE FART
Trade in daytime TV for some maths and science videos. You could learn why we fart and be improving your chemistry and biology grades at the same time...
Or how about learning maths, science and coding while playing addictive games for years K-12? 2048 anyone?https://www.hoodamath.com
Go bird watching (while practising social distancing) and collect data for the preservation of birds around Australia.
Get 'tynkering' with coding projects you can do from home.
PUT ON YOUR LAB COAT
If all the seas and oceans in the world were full of grape juice - would it rain grape juice? Click here to do some really fun science projects and find out: https://davidson.weizmann.ac.il/en/online/scienceathome
LEARN TO CODE
Join a livestream how-to for coding with the code.org team (for more information and to sign up click here https://code.org/break). Also, check out their website for lots of awesome coding resources- https://code.org/athome - They'll have you learning computer science while schools are closed (or just all year round).
THE GALAXY NEEDS YOU
Help scientists classify galaxies.Take your pick of research projects to take part in as a citizen scientist.
Join an online science event! It always helps you stay engaged if you are part of a community. There is a whole stack and they are all listed here:
SAVE THE PLANET
Write your big idea to save the planet for the University of New South Wales Science Essay Competition.
Did you know there are STEM focused Tik Toks?
http://www.extremescience.com/ https://www.howstuffworks.com/\ https://careerswithstem.com.au/4-stem-themed-tiktok-accounts-worth-a-follow/
Watch Eddie Woo from Sydney University make maths extra fun... woooo!
Ok, just a few more coding tools because we can't get enough (learn to code and you can make an endless number of awesome things)... www.scratch.mit.edu for beginner coders or www.grasshopper.codes.com, and if you are feeling isolated you might even consider joining a virtual code club like www.codeclubau.org or www.techgirlsaresuperheroes.org
Our friends over at Code Club Australia are soon hosting their virtual Moonhack and they are calling on you for your planet-saving solutions.
CRAFT AT HOME WITH THE HELP OF SCIENCE!
Try your hand at these fun, kid-friendly projects at home with the help of science, art and engineering.
Make the most of those extra minutes– when you're making breakfast, walking the dog, or helping out with the house chores, you could also be learning something that sparks a magic idea!
THE BEAUTY BRAINS
Where beauty meets science. Learn more about the science behind your favourite beauty products. Hosted by cosmetic scientists Perry Romanowski and Randy Schueller, they explain the science behind dubious ingredients like bee venom or acid. Listen here:
SKYENTISTS - TACKLING THE ISSUE
Join certified astronomers Kirsten Banks and Angel Lopez-Sanchez for all your astronomy needs. Covering everything from how to stargaze to answering your burning questions about the universe.
SHIRTLOADS OF SCIENCE
Renowned Australian scientist Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki sits down with leading researchers and communicators to talk all the new things developing in science.
Listen Here: https://open.spotify.com/show/3DbwoqZ3234MhlMiqBIAh9?si=_AUPyxJ6R0W01Ggar0Z1XA
Hosted by science journalist Wendy Zukerman, Science VS is the ideal mix of entertainment and scientific facts.This science podcast delves into topics like human lab rats, a mysterious man who died twice, and ancient aliens. There’s something for everyone. Listen here:
CRIME AND FORENSICS
If you like true crime podcasts, you’ll love this one. Hosted by former police officer Steven David Lampley asks probing questions of forensic scientists and guest stars alike.
HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PODCAST
If you’re fascinated by the idea of humans traveling through space and curious about how that all works, you’ve come to the right place. This is the official podcast of the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
A podcast about the internet that is actually an unfailingly original exploration of modern life and how to survive it. Reply All offers segments like Super Tech Support, where listeners can submit problems they’re having on the internet and the hosts try to hack a solution. There’s also Yes Yes No where the show’s producer, Alex Blumberg, presents a meme, tweet or joke he doesn’t understand so hosts Alex Goldman and PJ Vogt can delve into the twisted internet history of the thing and come to understand the punchline.
This podcast is like a series of lessons in the digital future; whether that’s on designing for inclusivity, how data can solve health issues, or diversity in video games (or lack-thereof).
See how maths is applicable to you in the real world, such as how probability is all around us. They speak with awesome guests who live and breathe maths – just not as you know it.
Design is everywhere in our lives, perhaps most importantly in the places where we've just stopped noticing. 99% Invisible is a weekly exploration of the process and power of design and architecture. From award winning producer Roman Mars.
We do our best work when we feel good! It's time to de-clutter your brain and make space for the things that matter.
Read these extremely helpful mindfulness articles written by Julie Demsey. We were privileged to have Julie lead a coaching session with the young women who attended our last Female Leadership Innovation Day. As an ex-Silicon Valley executive, Julie knows what it feels like to work under pressure and in a competitive environment. Today Julie is focused on helping innovators to believe in themselves, identify what is important to their own mental health, and have the ability to change their perspective when they feel stuck.
We need to change our mindset: https://medium.com/@juliedemsey_48394/is-covid-19-a-sign-we-need-to-change-our-mindset-8cff9bf58327?sk=c42e388a8db0b28cbb6652177875e93f
You aren't really bored: https://medium.com/@juliedemsey_48394/you-arent-really-bored-you-just-aren-t-used-to-having-so-much-choice-29ae8e6e0865
Try your hand at Yoga. There are many online resources out there available for free, especially for people in isolation. Yoga is incredibly useful for strength, flexibility and mind-body awareness. This article breaks down the pros and cons of each platform.
Stream a virtual workout session to keep your mind and body well while also staying connected and accountable with a support network. Here are a list of studios live streaming different workouts.
The Kids Coach: Based in Perth, Jamie Jones specialises in workouts for children aged 4-12, but there’s no reason the whole family can’t get involved. Jamie runs live sessions Monday - Friday at 8am WST (11am AEDT) or watch on-demand later on YouTube.
Joe Wicks: British fitness coach, TV presenter and author Joe Wicks is holding daily 30-minute workout sessions also designed for kids but suitable for all ages. Joe uploads videos Monday to Friday on YouTube.
305 Fitness: Attend a meditation class in the morning, a cardio dance blast in the afternoon and a booty-burning session in the evening. Classes are free via Zoom or YouTube.
Blink Fitness: ‘Get Up and Blink’ is a free virtual workout session airing on Facebook Live Monday to Friday at 8am US-ET (11pm AEDT). These classes centre on high-intensity interval training (HIIT), bodyweight exercises and stretching.
Dance Church: Social distance dancing is all the rage these days, and you can join in the fun with L.A.’s Dance Church. Check the site for news of the next class. Participants outside the US will need to supply their own music due to licensing restrictions.
Forward_Space: This studio is hosting ‘digital dance parties’ on its Instagram every day at 2:05 pm US-ET (5:05am AEDT).
Planet Fitness: What are you doing at 10am AEDT? Possibly attending the 20-minute Planet Fitness workout via Facebook Live. These workouts tend to be friendly to all levels — and might just be led by a celeb.
Retro Fitness: Free daily live-stream classes are happening on the Retro Fitness Facebook page. Classes are scheduled for 6pm ET (9am AEDT) Monday through Friday — and if last week’s Body Blast workout is any indication, you can expect more HIIT gems.
Yogaworks: Perhaps the best program out there right now for yoga addicts comes from Yogaworks, which is streaming free live classes throughout the day, even to non-members. Check out their schedule for real-time sessions here.
Stay connected to those you are close with. Reach out to family and friends during this difficult time. With so much change occurring daily and the isolation parameters we are currently navigating, it is more important than ever to stay connected... the best part? With all the access we have to technology it is easier than ever. Host a Facetime or Zoom virtual party with friends and family. You can even watch things together with the help of Netflix Party !
TRY SOMETHING NEW
Try your hand at a new hobby you have always wanted to but never got the chance. That may be taking up a new instrument, testing out your green thumb, learning to knit, sew, or cook. With tutorials and services such as skillshare.com the possibilities are endless!
Try to stick to a routine and keep the work/ life balance boundaries clear when working from home. Here are some helpful articles chocked full of tips for working from home.
Check out these animal livestreams from zoos and aquariums from across the world. Cuteness and calming properties guaranteed! https://chatterpack.net/ has outlined some great resources here:
Puppy playroom / Puppy playground / Guide dog with puppies
Kitten rescue / Kitten sanctuary
African safari / Tau watering hole / African elephant park
Gorilla Webcam - from the forest corridor
Alligators - Swamp cam
Edinburgh Zoo: Pandas / Tigers / Koalas /Penguins / Rock Hopper Penguin Cam
Houston zoo: Rhinos / Chimps / Flamingos / Elephants / Leaf-cutter ants / Giraffes
Choose from a range of alternative, live webcams
Explore the oceans (underwater cameras)
Sharks in the Atlantic / The Cayman Reef
Anacapa Island - underwater nature talks
Wild dolphins, Bahamas / Orcas, Hanson Island, Canada
Walrus Island / Sea Lions / Sea otters
Aquarium – Otters, sea lions, pirana, jellyfish, and many others.
Choose from a range of alternative, live webcams
Nests: Decorah Eagles / Giant flying fox / Hummingbird
Falcons - Cliff view / Great Horned Owls
Get out into nature (while practising social distancing). Even a short leisurely stroll through the trees can do wonders for your mindset, as the research can attest! Did you know Bill Gates says he does all his best thinking while he walks? If you can't get outside, you can always explore virtually. This channel has some fantastic virtual nature walks and hikes: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg72Hd6UZAgPBAUZplnmPMQ/videos
LEARN A LANGUAGE
Learn that language you've always wanted to (now that you have all this extra time) with a free language app such as Duolingo.
Manage and be mindful of your exposure to media. If you want to learn more about the virus and exactly what is going on in the world, consider your sources of information and ensure you are accessing good quality and accurate information such as:
Australian Department of Health – http://www.health.gov.au
World Health Organisation – http://www.who.int
Smart Traveller (information for Australian travellers) - https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/news-and-updates/coronavirus-covid-19
We all use the word STEM but really we should be saying STEAM because no innovation evolves without creativity. Whether we are drawing on artistic processes to design a product / solution, or using the arts to stimulate our brain and influence our mood, theatre, art, music, film and literature are the most important mediums for helping us to build a deep connection with the world we live in. To solve a problem we have to first identify it and then feel really, really passionate about doing something about it! #feelings
STREAM UK PLAYS AND THEATRE PRODUCTIONS ON DEMAND
If you're craving iconic British drama and humour, then BBC iPlayer has just what you need with these impressive live theatre titles.
Dive into the rhythmical world of Mushy, a young man with a debilitating stutter, who finds himself at the centre of a television documentary. Rifco Theatre is known for their vibrant, accessible and ambitious plays that reflect and celebrate the experience of British Asians.
GIVE YOUR REGARDS TO BROADWAY
In theatre 'the show must go on!' Watch the best Broadway has to offer with your free seven day trial.
If you're after a little more classic theatre snuggle in with a cup of tea and don't miss Free National Theatre's dynamic productions.There's a new one each week!
MUST-SEE THEATRE PRODUCTIONS
Some of these theatrical masterpieces are just too good to miss out on. Some are sticking around but some will have to go. Get in quick to watch them before they disappear!!
PUPPETRY IN A WHOLE NEW LIGHT
Thought puppets are just a fun isolation activity? Think again! Manual Cinema's award winning productions Ava/Ada and The Magic City are streaming online until April 19th.
DON'T BE A BULLY!
A cautionary tale of cyber-bullying written by Emily Jenkins.
DON'T WORRY BE HAPPY
A Show for kids and adults of all ages,Get Happy is an unexpected variety performance bursting with quirky playfulness and off the wall humour.
Go Globe to Globe with Shakespeare
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre has announced it will be releasing over 40 different productions on their online player service for free!
also check out Cheek by Jowl's online production of A Winter's Tale
Have yourself a 'toe-tapping good time' with this combination of classic and new musicals that are entertainment central from the comfort of your own couch!
THE SHOW MUST GO ON (LINE)
Andrew Lloyd Webber has done just that! Stream a new musical from his incredible library of hit musicals every week (each lasts 48 hours).
Transport yourself to a new musical experience exploring the emotional pain of the Second World War with Only the Brave.
CALLING ALL GREEK MYTHOLOGY LOVERS
If you loved the smash hit Hadestown, dive further into the Greek underworld with Myth: The Rise and Fall of Orpheus
FLOWERS, DIOR NEED WE SAY MORE?
Take a deep breath of humanity with this heart-warming, original, British musical (available until the 8th May)