NSW: ID a frog, learn about First Nations medicine, and see a ‘T-Rex autopsy’

Exclude from Home Page, National Science Week

Preview of coming attractions…

The following initiatives received funding from the Australian Government’s 2024 National Science Week event grant round. More details for each will be posted closer to the event.

National Science Week in NSW

Sydney Science Trail Community Days

Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust

ID a frog, learn about First Nations medicine, talk to scientists, meet the giant dinosaur puppet ‘Winny the Muttaburrasaurus’ and see a ‘T-Rex autopsy’ at the free public Sydney Science Trail Community Days held at the Australian Museum and the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan.

They aim to bring science alive in meaningful and accessible ways for visitors through hands-on activities, family-friendly activities, expert talks, silly science, spectacular demonstrations, and a STEM expo.

Project/event location(s): NSW

Science Week at Sydney Zoo: The Science of Survival (Bungarribee/Western Sydney)

Sydney Zoo Pty Ltd

Help scientists save turtles and platypuses with smartphone apps, find out about chimps and orangutans from Jane Goodall’s Aussie friends, or build a bee or bug hotel. These are some of the things Sydney locals, visitors and an online audience will be invited to do as part of Sydney Zoo’s Science of Survival festival, located in Western Sydney.

Activities and workshops include wildlife friendly gardening workshops, virtual excursions for schools, protecting local turtles with First Nation knowledge and TurtleSAT-enabled citizen science, and a Discovery Trail to view endangered species including the green and golden bell frog, koalas, bilbies, potoroos, eastern quolls, orangutans, tigers, giraffes, elephants, cheetahs, African painted dogs, and lions. Signs and QR codes to short videos explain the importance of the species survival and the science involves.

Project/event location(s): NSW and online

Science @Heart (Dubbo)

The University of Sydney

The stars of National Geographic’s SHARKFEST, marine science and climate experts, and an astronomer equipped with telescopes are headed inland to Dubbo for ‘Science at Heart’ (S@H) to provide hands-on activities that foster curiosity in this regional community.

A day of interactive sessions and talks will offer Dubbo residents the opportunity to hear about the science of oysters, mangroves, human choice (economics), and the physics of climate change, before seeing the stars through telescopes in an evening astronomy session. Marine biologists Mariel Familiar Lopez and Johan Gustafson, featured in Nat Geo TV shows, will share their knowledge of frogs and sharks. The event also promotes synergies between art and science through a poster design competition.

Project/event location(s): NSW

Sea Country Stories: Yuin Gadu

A Farr & J Woodriff

Seaweed foraging, shellfish diving, hand weaving fishing nets, astronomy, and calling humpback whale migrations through song and dance are some of the Indigenous science, technology, and knowledge held by the people of Yuin Country in South Coast NSW. An experiential exhibit and a short film will bring the Sea Country stories of Yuin Gadu to visitors to the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.

The Sea Country Stories initiative brings together Indigenous scientists, fishers, and Sea Country rangers with educators, museums, and cultural institutions around Australia, and started in Ngarrindjeri Country, South Australia in 2022. Through slow film and hands-on experiences, participants hear Indigenous ocean stories that are local to them, from learning how to make a kaiki (fishing spear) to finding a stingray in the stars.

Project/event location(s): NSW

Science in the Swamp – Dinosaurs vs. Superpowers

Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust

Which animals are the fastest, the strongest, have the best vision or hearing? And how do they compare with dinosaurs? Learn the science of nature’s superpowers, wander the wetlands, try daytime astronomy, meet Centennial Park’s bats, and learn about Indigenous knowledge from Deadly Ed.

‘Science in the Swamp’ will return to Centennial Parklands for a free community event celebrating science and providing a range of diverse and exciting hands-on science activities suitable for all ages. This unique family-oriented gathering aims to explain scientific concepts and foster a love for learning in a lively, outdoor setting through interactive exhibits, demonstrations, activities, and opportunities to meet real scientists.

This community event will focus on nature’s superpowers showcasing the amazing work of Sydney’s biggest science institutions and grassroot community science organisations.

Project/event location(s): NSW

First Nations Science – Past, Present, and Future (Albury)

Albury City Council

Can Traditional Knowledge of land and sky help the Alburg region become more sustainable? Locals will be invited to free community events, presented by First Nations science professionals, to hear how this knowledge has contributed to best practices in caring for Country. The program aims to inspire participants to consider how this scientific knowledge can be applied in individual and grassroots community efforts to address local challenges such as sustainable land and water management. A school component of the program for local secondary school science classes includes a hands-on workshop designed to demonstrate the relevance of these scientific concepts to their own lives.

Project/event location(s): NSW