NSTF Science Expo 2016 - Interactive sessions

The 15th edition of the NSTF Science Expo will be taking place from Wednesday, 9th March to Wednesday, 16th March at the Institute of Applied Sciences, MCAST Paola.

 The Expo will feature exhibitions of the various projects students taking part in the NSTF Science programmes would have submitted, as well as a number of interactive science sessions organised by local and international science communicators. Throughout the week, the Expo is not only visited by numerous schools, but also by distinguished guests.


The following are a list of interactive sessions available this year:

  •  “Pinhole Camera” - MCAST Institute of Art and Design, M. Theuma / K. Catania - Weekdays

We will design the 2-Dimensional net that will be used as a template to produce the cardboard cameras.  

  •  Discovering Sharks - Shark Lab - Weekdays & Open Weekend

The workshops will be based around "Discovering Sharks" and will explore these amazing and often misunderstood animals. We will explore the sensory systems and range of senses sharks have evolved since they first appeared in the waters of the place we call the blue planet.

  •  Robotics - STC & Middlesex University - Weekdays

The workshops and demonstrations will emphasise the use of robots in everyday life and the evolution of robotic technology and intelligence along the years. Students will be given the opportunity to learn how to program NXT robots, they will be presented with a robotics challenge, where they need to put what they have just learnt to practice, and students will be able to see more advanced robotics in action, a brief explanation will be given by a Middlesex academic.

  • The Science behind the equipment of the Armed Forces of Malta - Armed Forces of Malta - Weekdays & Open Weekend between 0900 hrs and 1300 hrs

The AFM will put on display:

-       Cross section of an engine/gearbox/breaking system to demonstrate the mechanics behind these working parts;

-       Marine radar scanner to demonstrate how contacts are picked up by the radar and displayed on the radar screen;  

-       Thermal imager to demonstrate how objects are picked up by temperature;  

  • Lego We Do Robotics - Department of E-Learning (Ministry for Education)- Weekdays

Lego We Do Robotics Construction Sets introduces learners to robotics.  Learners are familiarised with the different construction sets and are made aware of the different parts found in the construction sets and the procedure they are going to follow to construct their model in pairs. The idea underpinning this procedure is to give learners an overview what motors and sensors can do in different learning situations.  Learners are also familiarised with the software to program the model.

  • Explore coding with Minecraft, Robots and Electronics - Klaus Conrad (HeadStart Technology) and Reuben Ferrante (EERoots) - Weekdays & Open Weekend

Explore coding on the Raspberry Pi using Minecraft and Python. Learn how the Pi can control electronics and control devices in the Internet of Things. Test drive eeMod, the exciting prototyping platform by eeRoots and see how hardware and software work together to control motors and electronics.

  • MCAST Institute of Applied Sciences & MCAST Institute of Mechanical Engineering - Weekdays

Various units displayed and explained.

  • Math Stories - Anna Christodoulou (Science Communicator, ICCS-NTUA, Institute of Communication and Computer Systems, National Technical University of Athens) - Friday, Monday & Open Weekend

What does maths have in common with storytelling? Much more than one would imagine! They both involve abstract thought and there are many territories and thinking patterns they share. When telling a story, you follow a sequence of events, similar to when you solve a maths problem. Solving a maths problem is reflected in predicting the next steps or even the end of a story. Cause and effect relationships are found both in tales and in equations. 

In addition, maths is full of stories itself! The history of mathematics, from Euclid to Bernard Russell is fascinating; so why not discover some of the most impressing mathematical concepts through the story of their own creators?

In this workshop addressed to students between 10 and 16 years old we will travel from Ceryne to Alexandria, measuring the circumference of Earth, we will investigate basic storytelling principles and we will create on the spot our own unique mathematical stories, mixing quests with questions, dragons with fractions and heroes with zeroes!

  • Fun with Sorting & Encryption - IEEE - Thursday, Friday, Tuesday

1. Fun with Sorting: Fun with Sorting introduces students to sorting, one of the most basic and fundamental problems in Computer Science. Students are first introduced to smaller versions of the problem, which form the building blocks of the algorithms they themselves develop later. 

2. Encryption - all about code: Students learn how alphanumeric symbols can be encoded for a multitude of fun purposes. During the session they will learn about codes, and are asked to make their own with a limited number of symbols. They will then be asked to break each other’s codes and discover the relationship among encryption, decryption, and shared keys. The objective is to introduce students to simple codes, including binary and Unicode/ASCII. In addition, this activity aims to show the students how simple symmetric encryption/decryption works and how any symmetric code can be broken with good information and a lot of time.

  • Ask an Astronomer & Make your own exoplanet - Salome Matos (PhD student, Institute for Astronomy Royal Observatory of Edinburgh, University of Edinburgh) - Weekdays & Open Weekend

This an interactive and hands-on activity composed of two parts. The “Ask the Astronomer” session is an interactive activity where students are given the opportunity to ask any questions and pose any doubts they may have to an Astronomer. The way this discussion is conducted implies that the students learn about the topics they are interested in rather than this being the pre-determined choice of the lecturer. Whenever pertinent, analogies to familiar earth-like situations/phenomena, shall be used to enhance comprehension and understanding, namely of  complex and/or more abstract concepts.

The “Make your own Exoplanet” session is an activity that brings together creativity, art and science. The pupils are now asked to imagine what planets which orbit other stars may look like. Using their creativity and the materials available to them, the children will create their own exoplanet, which they can then take home with them.

  • Design your alien and Scientific Literacy - Anne Kerkoven (PhD Candidate, Leiden University) - Weekdays & Open Weekend

Design your alien'. In this workshop, children are told about the sun, planets (the earth in particular), atmospheres, moons. They will discuss the features of different planets and moons and their effects on aliens that might live there. Then, the children will choose a planet or moon and draw an alien that they think will live there, incorporating the features of the planet/moon and the effects on the alien's body features.

The other one is a workshop about science, to increase children's scientific literacy. In this workshop, children will go over every aspect of research: from a question to theories, hypotheses, experiment design, testing and conclusions. 

  • Little Scientists’ Workshop - Catherine Meyer - Weekdays & Open Weekend

Plenty of activities for young students related to the Science Expo’s projects and various other scientific phenomena. 


The Opening hours of the NSTF Science Expo 2016 are:

 - Wednesday, 9th March, Thursday, 10th March, Friday, 11th March, Monday, 14th March, Tuesday, 15th March and Wednesday, 16th March from 9 a.m. to 13.15 (The Expo is open to school visits for the schools who would have booked in advance)

 - Saturday, 12th March - from 9 a.m. to 18.00 (Open Weekend - The general public is welcome to visit during these hours)

 - Sunday, 13th March - from 9 a.m. to 18.00 (Open Weekend - The general public is welcome to visit during these hours)

 The Awards Night will be taking place on Thursday, 17th March at 18.30 at MCAST, Paola.

 We highly encourage the general public to visit the Expo throughout the Open Weekend.

 NSTF would like to take the opportunity to thank all the science communicators who will be delivering the sessions throughout the week, as well as our sponsors without whom such an Expo would not be possible:

NSTS and ISIC (Malta)

Ministry for Education and Employment

Central Bank of Malta

MCAST – Institute for Applied Science

Ministry for Sustainable Development, Environment and Climate Change

Office of the Prime Minister

HSBC – Water Programme

Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties

Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Malta National Aquarium

The Model Shop

The European Commission

Merlin Publishers

Studio Seven


For more information email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., call us on 2558 8241. 

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