National Science Week, one of Australia’s biggest festivals
National Science Week is one of Australia’s biggest festivals. And Innovate Communicate participates in some way every year because I believe that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics has immense value for Australia achieving its goals around sustainability, a good life for all its citizens and delivering contributions to a better world.
With over 1,700 events on offer (in-person and online) every year, National Science Week continues to build on its long history. It was started in 1997! and is one of the world’s largest and longest-running science festivals. How awesome is that!
Online, national or multi-location picks
The Most Excellent Science Shirt
Ten brilliant minds have collided to create five shirts through an incredible fusion of science and creativity. And YOU get to vote on which one is The Most Excellent Science Shirt! When and where? Tuesday 15th, 6:30 – 7:30pm AEST on Shirty Science’s YouTube Channel.
National Science Quiz
The National Science Quiz will be celebrating science (& comedy). Hosted by Charlie Pickering, two teams of Australiaʼs leading STEM folks will battle it out… the winning team leaving victorious and the losing team slimed live-on-stage! There are some great cash prizes, including $1,000 for the winning school team!
Some synthetic biologists and other keen people made a card game! Join in the fun, embrace your microbe character and see if you can win the game by eating plastic from the environment and surviving attacks from other microbes. Play in Brisbane, Mackay, Mallacoota, Perth and more places! Check out National Science Week website or the Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology’s Remediate! page.
Quantum and dark matter
The National Quantum & Dark Matter Road Trip is heading to regional and remote Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales, stopping at schools, libraries, pubs and other community hubs, as well as delivering public events in various (mostly metropolitan) areas.
Schools + STEM activities
Congratulations to all the schools who are running incredible things. From sustainability to technology, there’s a lot to be inspired by.
“Science Week is designed for everyone – it’s definitely not restricted to schools and universities – with events and activities and talks and shows for every age group. It provides an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of Australian scientists’ to the world of knowledge. It also aims to encourage an interest in science pursuits among the general public, and to encourage younger people to become fascinated by the world we live in.”
— National Science Week website
Here are my top picks for each state or territory
Have to start here as this is where I live!
Workshop exploring gender equity in STEM (15 August)
If you’re interested in better work environments for current and future Science, Tech, Engineering, Maths professionals and a better functioning STEM ecosystem, then the Advancing the Future: Gender Equity in STEM workshop is for you. It’s free and is sure-to-be inspiring! It features incredible speakers from the Australian Academy of Science, ANU, the ACT Government and business and all participants get to share their experience and ideas. Register: https://bit.ly/AdvancingFuture.
First Nations food and medicine
Tasting Australia with Adam Shipp is a seasonal walk through the National Museum’s Christina and Trevor Kennedy Garden, a living museum of First Nations food and medicine plants from across Australia. Enjoy the sights and scents of the season as Adam Shipp (Wiradjuri) of Yurbay Consultancies shares his passion for native plants. Each tour finishes with the opportunity to sample some of the flavours found in the Kennedy Garden and around the Canberra region. [PAID EVENT.]
Weekends in the shopping centres
Science in the Centres offers a variety of hands-on science activities will be on display across the different locations during the weekends of National Science Week.
Hollywood Ballistics: Science or Fiction?
The ACT Branch of the Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS) is teaming up with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) forensic ballisticians. They’ll bust the myths about those famous Hollywood gun fights.
The Sapphire Coast Science Festival has been running for over a decade. It focuses on the incredible biodiversity of the region and the work of local organisations and scientists.
A lot happening at the Powerhouse in Ultimo
I especially love the idea of the 100 Climate Conversations project. The impressive Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Chief Scientist of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, will be speaking on Friday 11th August. He’s spent four decades studying how ocean warming and acidification threaten marine ecosystems.
Sydney City Farm open for all
The Science of Nature Community Open Day, August 12, offers free activities for all ages. It’s covering topics such as urban ecology, organic farming, biodiversity and Indigenous foods.
Birds of Prey
There’s a few libraries opening up their doors to birds of prey! For example, this event at Girrawheen Library.
There are lots of maker spaces on offer across WA. This one in Wickham is worth getting to if you’re near Karratha.
Innovative Mindset Masterclass
Engineers Australia is running an all-day course, with highly qualified guest speakers in biotechnology and engineering. They’re aiming to immerse participants in real-world experiences and to give them the tools to innovate, manage risks and challenge assumptions. [PAID EVENT.]
Innovation Lab at the Library
Adelaide City Library is hosting an Innovation Lab with 3D Printing, VR, Robotics, Laser Cutting and Holograms. In addition, on the 12th August, the library is running a Weird Science with SciWorld event.
Magical Marine Park tour
You’ll be able to join local Volunteer Rangers for a (free) leisurely walk around Granite Island to learn about amazing animals who depend on the ocean for survival. Read more: Granite Island Guided Walk: Sea birds and mammals of Encounter Marine Park (Victor Harbor).
Kids talk Science
A panel of young people aged 8-16 years interview a revolving door of acclaimed scientists about their research and passions. At Science Gallery Melbourne, 12th August.
MicroART: Science and art collide
The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre has created an exhibition of images captured by our cancer researchers on powerful microscopes.
Astronomy in Mt Martha
You’ll be able to Reach for the ***Stars*** at the Briars Astronomy Centre and Mount Martha Observatory. These events are running at various dates through the year. The evening starts indoors with a multimedia talk and Q&A then, weather permitting, moves outside onto the observing field and observatory with the assembled telescopes underneath the night sky.
Celebrating Tasmania’s biodiversity hot spot
The Midlands Biodiversity Hot Spot is Tasmania’s only nationally recognised biodiversity hot spot. The Welcome to Country: Midlands Biodiversity Field Day will be happening on the 12th August in New Town.
Launceston Pub Trivia
The Du Cane Brewery is hosting free Pub Trivia with the team from Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery on the 15th August.
Limurr dharr djiwarr
Hear stories from Traditional Owners and knowledge holders about the innovations of Yolŋu people in North East Arnhem Land from pre-colonisation to settlement. You’ll also be invited to participate in a range of activities about specific innovations that allowed Yolŋu people to thrive, living off the land. Held at Shepherdson College, Galiwin’ku, from 14th to 18th August.
Families invited to illuminated, interactive journey
Sea of Light is an illuminated interactive journey of light and imagination. With a UV torch as your paintbrush, participants paint and stencil your own voyage or bioluminescent animals in the Discovery Centre at MAGNT. Children and families can steer ships that leave glowing paths of light in their wake as they sail across the sea floor or create a floor of fireflies that fade as time steals their lanterns. Sea of Light brings together magical light and a gentle soundscape to create a unique adventure for students, families and children.