National Science Week is gearing up for its 17th year, with hundreds of new events on the agenda this August. A number of NSW projects have been awarded funding from a Federal grants pool worth $500,000 allocated to 39 projects nationally.
National Science Week has been going from strength to strength each year, with 1.6 million Australians taking part in 1800 events last year. Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane anticipates that National Science Week events will continue to offer unique windows into the magic of science.
“I encourage everyone to join in, whether they live in a city or in the bush, either by hosting an event or attending one of the hundreds of events that will be held across the country,” he said.
NSW initiatives to win grants from the national round:
Hunter Electric Vehicle Festival
In the Hunter, kids and adults will have the opportunity to learn about the latest technologies in electric cars at the Hunter Valley Electric Vehicle Festival that uses electric vehicles as a platform for engaging audiences in a range of fun and informative science, technology, engineering and mathematics based activities. The event is designed to display the value of science literacy, research, and innovation in building an informed community and vibrant future that responds to global challenges.
Indigenous Science Experience @ Redfern
In Sydney, a celebration of Western and Indigenous science will be held at the Redfern Community Centre over two weeks, with a range of interactive activities on offer inckuding a schools program and a family fun day. The National Indigenous Science Education Program, an Inspiring Australia-funded project of Macquarie University, explores how science has been used by the world’s oldest living culture. Adults and kids alike can discover how Aboriginal practices are being used in a range of scientific research. Fun activities to try will include basket weaving, insect and microbeast handling, microscopes and chemistry, as well as mini water courses controlled by pumps and pulleys. All are invited to the yarning space to share a cuppa with Elders who will be on hand to discuss their traditional knowledge.
Australian Museum Science Festival
As part of its three week celebration, the Australian Museum will invite scientific institutions from around NSW and Australia to share their own research and knowledge to all attendees. Sydney’s largest National Science Week event will include workshops, talks, shows and an expo that will increase the participants’ awareness of science and their own abilities and potential to pursue a career in science and/or general knowledge of the benefits of science in society.
Endeavouring Science, based at the Australian National Maritime Museum, features a range of activities located aboard the iconic HMB Endeavour as well as activities across the whole Museum. The project will cover themes of weather and navigation, biology and botany, signals and communication and the scientific principles that underlie these. A key focus will be on the important scientific figure, Sir Joseph Banks – both as a scientist and through his relationships with local Indigenous communities – one of Australia’s little-known and explored stories.
Science Under the Sea
The ‘Science under the Sea’ 2014 event will be held over three days at two major shopping areas in Coffs Harbour and at Southern Cross University’s National Marine Science Centre. In its forth year, ‘Science under the Sea – 2014’ will pique interest and understanding of the marine environment through a series of ‘hands-on’ activities, displays and presentations.
Sapphire Coast Science Festival
This festival, to be held on the beautiful Far South Coast of NSW, will incorporate a variety of events including talks and demonstrations that illustrate a variety of fascinating areas of science knowledge and understanding that will aim to appeal to all, but particularly those who may not be currently engaged in science. Activities include a launch event at the Bournda Environmental Education Centre, night sky talk with telescopes presented by a visiting expert, Science Cafe at Oaklands, talks and demonstrations of the richness of Aboriginal science in the region, tours of local industries eg chocolate, cheese and wine making, chilli, oyster and mussel farming, Davidson whaling station (historical) and community-supported nature reserves such as Panboola, a trivia Quiz and Climate Watch walks.
Find out more about the national grant recipients
National Science Week will be held from 16-24 August 2014. All are welcome to join this annual festival of science and encouraged to add their events to the national calendar to take advantage of multi-channel promotion.