2020 science week grants announced

Congratulations to the seven NSW event presenters that have been awarded funds by the Australian Government to deliver National Science Week events this August. The competitive grants are part of the national Inspiring Australia initiative, with a total of 33 projects awarded funding worth $500,000.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the Hon Karen Andrews MP said that people from all walks of life right across Australia will have the chance to get involved in science through interactive workshops, discussions and demonstrations.

“National Science Week is also an opportunity to meet scientists and for educators to promote the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects both in the classroom and beyond,” she said.

In Sydney, paintings will be patients as the community is invited to assist with the restoration of works from the Children’s Hospital at Westmead’s art collection.

The Innovation Games will again wow audiences with hands on activities, entertaining shows, sport science, Indigenous culture and technology innovations at Sydney Olympic Park in partnership with the GWS Giants.

Redfern Community Centre will welcome Elders, Indigenous students and partner schools from regional NSW over four days to demonstrate activities and celebrate Indigenous and Western science and Indigenous youth and Elder achievements.

Community members out and about in Western Sydney’s parks, gardens and shared outdoor spaces will discover the role that shared outdoor spaces play in health and wellbeing and how science is tackling key issues affecting cities like climate change and air quality.

In the regions, three festivals will be presented in Lismore, Byron Bay and in the Bega Valley of the Far South Coast of NSW, bringing music, comedy, expert panel discussions, technology demos, interactive displays and more to families and young people.

NSW Grant Recipients

The Indigenous Science Experience at Redfern returns for a 4-day foray into Indigenous science and culture. Celebrating Indigenous and Western science and Indigenous youth and Elder achievements, participants will have the chance to explore the value of traditional and contemporary Indigenous knowledge in science and technology, with Elders, Indigenous students and partner schools demonstrating activities.

The Innovation Games will return to Sydney Olympic Park presenting a unique opportunity for sporting fans to engage with cutting edge science and technology. What’s the physics of football? How much energy can you generate on a skate ramp? What’s the latest in sports-science innovation? A free family fun day full of sporting, science and technology action, the event will include activities such as drone simulators, virtual reality gaming, a scooter and skate challenge, a corporate coding competition, a schools robotics competition, Australian wildlife shows, sports and fitness challenges, wellbeing talks, participatory Indigenous art, chemistry shows, films, and social media live-streaming throughout the day.

How to Fix a Pixie: treating paintings as patients is a novel art-science project from Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network that will restore fourteen Pixie O’Harris paintings from the Children’s Hospital at Westmead’s art collection. Each painting will be examined using imaging and sampling techniques and ‘treated’ by an art conservator with the help of children and families. They will make swabs, remove varnish layers and ‘operate’ to replace paint losses in a simulated environment. Clinicians and educators will describe parallel processes used in medicine.

Our Outdoors: the science of healthy cities will see University of Sydney public health experts, Dr Yvonne Laird and Dr Samantha Rowbotham, out and about in Western Sydney’s parks, gardens and shared outdoor spaces to promote how we can all help prevent chronic diseases. A series of interactive family events will feature a drop-in Experimentarium, guided nature walks, and a scientists’ picnic. Participants will learn the role that shared outdoor spaces play in health and wellbeing and discover how science is tackling key issues affecting cities, like climate change and air quality.

Cabinets of Curiosity at Byron Bay Library will present slugs, snails and scientists’ tales. Featuring boxes full of Australian floral and faunal exhibits from the Australian Museum, Byron Bay Library will be transformed into a temporary museum to celebrate both National Science Week and Book Week.

Dark Science will present a world where art meets science in the Lismore Quadrangle. A two-day science and art festival presented by the Northern Rivers Science Hub, the event will feature new media, face-to-face engagement, workshops, online discussion platforms, art and music, performance, discovery tours, bio-domes and traditional science talks and panels.

The Sapphire Coast Science Festival returns to the Bega Valley Shire Council, this year with a focus on the theme of climate emergency and how technology can contribute to climate change mitigation, adaptation and survival. Given the local economy’s dependence on primary industries and tourism in a region that has been severely affected by bushfires, the Festival will explore how digital technologies, renewable energy and sustainable land management can build community resilience to climate change. Other activities will include opportunities to learn about astronomy and climate, cultural burning and how climate influences birds; a science themed film night; and a fun Science in the Pub event.

NSW National Science Week grants

There will be a limited amount of additional funds available to support NSW regional events delivered by Regional Science Hubs in National Science Week this year. Keep an eye out for tthe Expression of Interest process that will open late March 2020.

National Science Week is an annual celebration of science and technology and Inspiring Australia’s flagship campaign. Running each year in August, the campaign features more than 1700 events around Australia, including those delivered by universities, schools, research institutions, libraries, museums and science centres. Learn more at www.scienceweek.net.au