Science week a success

Thanks to all those who participated in National Science Week this year, a huge success with over 500 events presented in NSW and 2000 nationally. National polling indicates that this year’s campaign attracted 1.5 million participants across the country – 8% of the population. Special mention goes to our network of NSW Regional Science Hubs for their stellar efforts in engaging thousands of community members.

The NSW launch event in Springwood on 4 August was co-presented with Science at the Local and attracted nearly 400 people to the Blue Mountains Theatre and Community Hub where they engaged with the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, a Farmhand Robot and robotics experts from the Australian Centre for Field Robotics.

“It was great to go to the Springwood Hub as this is a local venue for us and it was so nice to not have to go all the way into the city in order to participate in science week.”

“The AgBots were amazing!”

Launch event participants

NSW highlights included huge science festivals presented in the Riverina, Dungog, Newcastle and Bega Valley and dozens of art and science events, citizen science activities and pub science nights in regional communities. Across the state, almost 100 libraries participated in science week by presenting research talks and activties. See list of NSW highlights

In Sydney, over 160 events were presented under the Sydney Science Festival banner and dozens more brought STEM researchers into libraries, galleries, bars and theatres.

Inspiring Australia’s partners at Sydney Olympic Park attracted over 11,000 visitors to the Innovation Games to enjoy science activities and shows presented in partnership with the GWS Giants.

Seven family events for the community were presented at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, in Centennial Park, at Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan and Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah, connecting over 100 scientists and more than 60 partners to the community through science activities and shows. These large-scale and smaller events collectively engaged more than 24,000 participants, with 98% positive satisfaction ratings and a media reach of 3.5 million.

Over a two-week period, 10,000 school students and community members enjoyed Science in the City at the Australian Museum and close to 600 people turned out to consider music in relation to maths at City Recital Hall.

2019 NSW results: have your say!

Inspiring Australia NSW is now compiling an overview of statewide campaign results and audience feedback. If you attend an event, please let us know your thoughts by completing this audience survey.

National Science Week Event presenters are also encouraged to complete the NSW event presenter survey. Your responses will help us improve our efforts next year.

The national snapshot

Nationally, the numbers are in and we know that 24% of adults were aware that National Science Week had just taken place.

TV is the most common way for people to hear about science week (51%), followed by websites + social media (32%). In terms of media coverage (tracking “science week”), there were 2873 stories published worth $6.6 million with a cumulative audience of 22.3 million people.

Media breakdown:

  • TV 433 (79 in NSW)
  • Press 545 (188 in NSW)
  • Radio 727 (125 in NSW)
  • Internet 1168

Other stats include;

  • Having children aged 5-17 in a household is a big driver of adult attendance at events.
  • 24% of households have child 5-17, but 61% of adults who attended an event have a child this age.
  • 60% of adults attending events are not in the highly engaged in science segment
  • There were more than 20,000 tweets mentioning #scienceweek and more than 10,000 mentioning @aus_scienceweek

National Science Week is a huge volunteer effort that only works through collaboration and dedication to the importance and value of public engagement with STEM. Thanks to everyone for your contributions!

Feature image shows crowd enjoying a show at The Innovations Games courtesy of Mike Bartlett, Sydney Olympic Park Authority.