Martians, dinosaurs headline National Science Week 2024

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Media release from The Hon Ed Husic MP, Minister for Industry and Science

12 May 2024

Martians and dinosaurs headline National Science Week 2024, Australia’s biggest annual national celebration of science.

The celebration is now a step closer, with the Australian Government awarding $500,000 in grants to support 32 public science projects right across the country.

The National Science Week Grants provide funding of between $2,000 and $20,000 to support individuals and organisations to deliver community science events.

Many of the projects funded this year will support diversity and inclusion in science, with several grants supporting events featuring First Nations science and scientists.

  • This year’s supported projects include:
    Melbourne’s La Trobe University will present The Martian Garden, giving participants the opportunity to learn about how humans might survive in new and extreme environments by tending to a Space Garden and exploring the plant and microbial species needed to make new future foods. Participants will also learn about the importance of STEM in industries such as agriculture, space and food. 
  • Centennial Park will host Science in the Swamp – Dinosaurs & Superpowers, an engaging and educational initiative for families and communities to showcase Sydney’s biggest science institutions and grassroots community science organisations.
  • Vision Australia will present Welcome to the World of Dinosaurs, an inclusive online and in person program designed to make the fascinating world of palaeontology accessible to individuals of primary and high school age who are blind or have low vision.
  • University of Tasmania presents the Young Tassie Scientists, a group of early-career researchers who volunteer their time to share their passion for science with audiences across Tasmania, particularly in rural and regional communities. They focus on raising public awareness of local Tasmanian science research and highlighting local career opportunities through engaging interactive presentations and hands-on activities on a range of topics.
  • Sea Country Stories is a showcase of the extraordinary contributions that Indigenous science provides to oceans and coastlines. This project brings together Indigenous scientists, fishers, and Sea Country rangers with educators, museums and cultural institutions around Australia. Through slow film and hands-on experiences, participants will learn how to make a kaiki (fishing spear), experience wild seaweed foraging and learn how to find a stingray in the stars.
  • The Telethon Kids Institute will present its second annual Broome STEM Festival, celebrating all things science with students and community members in the Kimberley region of WA, highlighting scientists from the local region and promoting science as a potential career opportunity.

The 2024 school theme for National Science Week is Species Survival – More than just sustainability. The theme aims to highlight the importance of science and innovation in ensuring the survival and thriving of different species in an ever-changing world.

National Science Week 2024 will include in-person and online events, virtual tours and DIY science right across the country from 10 – 18 August.

More information on all the National Science Week events and a full list of grant recipients is available at https://www.scienceweek.net.au/national-grant-round-recipients-for-2024/

Quotes attributable to the Hon. Ed Husic, Minister for Industry and Science:

“Ask any scientist about what ignited their passion – and I’ll bet you hear about gazing through a telescope or a microscope, pops and sparks in the school lab, or even their first visit to Questacon. Something hands-on and memorable.  

“That’s why National Science Week is so important. It can spark a lifelong curiosity and passion in science and inspire the next generation of Australian scientists.

“National Science Week is one of my favourite annual events, showcasing excellence in Australian science and inspiring young Australians to see themselves in the STEM careers of the future.”

“We’re aiming to make STEM more diverse and inclusive – I’m so pleased to see our emerging First Nations scientists in regional and remote communities getting involved.”