DeadlyScience and Merck to bring physics, chemistry, and biology experiments to young Indigenous scientists

Merck, a leading science and technology company, is proud to support DeadlyScience’s new program DeadlyLab to create STEM learning kits for students in remote areas. The kits will explore chemistry, physics, and biology with experiments based in Indigenous science.

DeadlyScience was founded in 2019 by proud Kamilaroi man Corey Tutt OAM, and has delivered more than 20,000 books, 500 telescopes and countless other learning tools to students in remote communities.

Now, Merck and DeadlyScience are partnering with Indigenous communities, Elders, and Indigenous subject-matter experts to create experiments, complete with worksheets and video tutorials, that can be used in school classrooms or at home.

“We work with hundreds of remote schools, who collectively have more than 28,000 students. Over 75% are Indigenous.

“We want to get them engaged with science, help them learn with play and hands-on experience, and show them Indigenous scientists. You can’t be what you can’t see,” says Corey.

The first kit, themed around chemistry, is currently under development with the Garawa and the Gunindiri peoples at Robinson River in rural Northern Territory.

“We’ve had the privilege of listening and learning to the acting principal of Robinsons River School, as well as two Indigenous elders, Patsy Anne and Susan.

The students are also really keen. Right now, we’re mulling over some great suggestions for chemistry experiments, including making soap and testing bush medicine for bio-active substances,” says Corey.

Merck and DeadlyScience aim to distribute the first kit to approximately 500 children across a range of remote communities and follow the impacts on indigenous STEM education and engagement.

“The initial project also includes an internship education program for emerging Indigenous science communicators, to join the DeadlyScience team,” says Rebecca Lee, Managing Director Life Science and Country Speaker, Merck ANZ.

“We’re excited to work with Corey, who was recognised on Monday with a Medal of the Order of Australia for service to Indigenous STEM — science, technology, engineering, and maths education,” she says.

“We have a commitment to science education programs and are passionate about sparking curiosity in the next generation of scientists. The DeadlyLab STEM program perfectly aligns with our science education outreach programs which are modelled on the principles of inclusion and equity. Partnering with DeadlyScience also enables our organization to give back locally and effectively engage our employees in meaningful volunteer opportunities.” says Rebecca.

“Science is at the heart of everything we do at Merck”, adds Josie Downey, Managing Director of Healthcare at Merck ANZ.

“It is such a privilege to join forces with DeadlyScience, to have the opportunity to listen and learn, co-create and support First Nation young scientists to unleash their potential,” says Josie.

The intern program is part of DeadlyScience larger goal of creating long-term connections, says Corey. “We never, under any circumstances, want to send a single kit to a student and let the relationship end there. These children deserve extended support. “With Merck’s partnership, we could create a meaningful and long-term program that we believe will have a memorable impact.”

Media contact:
Maddy De Gabriele, Science in Public,


Last week DeadlyScience CEO Corey Tutt talked German-Australian science collaboration with German Federal Minister of Education and Research, Bettina Stark-Watzinger and Merck ANZ’s Life Science Managing Director and Country Speaker, Rebecca Lee.

DeadlyScience has sent thousands of books, microscopes and other STEM resources to under-resourced remote communities.