2013 grant recipients

National Office

Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, Chris Bowen MP has just announced the recipients of the $500 000 National Science Week grant round for 2013.

Congratulations to all of the successful applicants in what was once again a competitive grant round that attracted applications worth a total of more than double the available funds.

Here are the successful recipients and their preliminary project descriptions:

National Dinosaur Museum: Dinosaurs Down Under

A travelling roadshow touring ten small regional centres across NSW and Victoria with two local scientists and an invited international dinosaur expert, giving presentations and an opportunity for the public to ask questions about their research. The roadshow will display moving, life-like dinosaur models, and include interactive hands-on fossil experiences, including the opportunity to hold the bones of real Australian mega-fauna (like Diprotodon) or touch fossilised ancestors of the Wollemi pine. A Wollemi pine seedling will be donated to each hosting town with a memorial plaque and will be planted.

CSIRO Discovery: SCINEMA International Science Film Festival

In 2012 SCINEMA International Science Film Festival was on 475 screens across Australia and in Australian Embassies and Consulates. In 2013 SCINEMA will increase its geographic reach to Australia’s remote communities while continuing to deliver a quality science film festival. It will introduce the latest in science and natural history filmmaking at screenings in museums, theatres, libraries, schools and universities. There will be a Student Science Film Competition with the theme of ‘Water Security’ in partnership with Green Cross. Filmmakers, scientists and their stories will be brought to remote partner locations via videoconferencing.

The Griffyn Ensemble: Earth – A Centenary of Trees

The Griffyn Ensemble will be joined by scientists from the CSIRO to present an interactive concert exploring the science of trees and the urban treescapes of Canberra, celebrating the National Capital’s centenary with concerts in Canberra, Albury, Bendigo, and Melbourne.

CSIRO Discovery: Canberra Family Science Spectacular

Across the opening weekend of National Science Week, CSIRO Discovery will open up their atrium space for booths from the region’s major science and science-related organisations, universities and some of the region’s more progressive schools and colleges, who will all join in to offer kids and adults alike fun hands-on science activities in the EXPERIMENTATHON. There will be Science Week speakers as well as local performers, science shows and live creatures talks. The SPECTACULAR will link with other Science Week events in the Black Mountain precinct and provide tours of CSIRO’s collections and other science facilities.

National Portrait Gallery: From Earth to Sky

From Earth to Sky will feature paint making workshops at two regional galleries in Victoria by Andrew Mezei, the artist who recently painted the portrait of astronomer and physicist Penny Sackett. Following Dutch Masters techniques from the Baroque period Mezei incorporates fine and rare pigments, resins and oils into his painting, and grinds most of his own colours. Additionally a family quiz will be held at the Gallery on 18 August and will be hosted by ABC Science’s Bernie Hobbs. The quiz is aimed at sharing and expanding knowledge of science, the lives of scientists and the art of science as well as showcase the contribution to Australian society of the scientists in the National Portrait Gallery Collection.

Science Showoffs: Supermarket Science

Supermarket Science will showcase fun experiments that can be done using basic materials from the shops. The event will take place at three of Canberra’s major shopping malls, providing hands-on activities, science shows and distributing information on upcoming National Science Week events. Three three-hour events will run on consecutive Friday evenings.

Museum of Human Disease, UNSW: iHeart Music

Mostly ignored, your heart will beat billions of times in your life, but most of us never hear our own. In iHeart Music, recordings will be made of the heart beats of audiences from around Australia and played to renowned improvisers to create music to be beamed back through video conferencing to events in at least nine locations. Academics, researchers and practitioners from across Australia will provide expert information. iHeart Music is about the importance of science in our lives and it touches on one of the major health issues in Australia – heart disease.

Macquarie University: The Indigenous Science Experience @ Redfern

An exciting celebration of Western and Indigenous science, highlighting achievements of Indigenous youth and Elders. It will incorporate a range of interactive science activities using household and environment themes, and immersive practicals exploring Aboriginal technology. It will also highlight Indigenous scientific knowledge through seminars and chat sessions presented by Indigenous representatives from across Australia about their customary practices and ways of life. This event will be held over 4 days and be hosted at the Redfern Community Centre in Sydney and will be open to the public, with hands-on science activities and seminars of relevance to all ages.

Australian Museum: Science Festival

A combination of activities that spans two weeks from 10 August. This will be a public event focused on showcasing all of the natural, physical and social science research undertaken at the Australia Museum over the past 100 years to coincide with the National Science Week 2013 theme of A Century of Australian Science. It will feature an interactive expo, hands-on workshops and shows that will engage audiences. Around 250 science activities will be on offer from a wide-range of science research institutions and organisations.

Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment: Racing for Science Engagement

Racing for Science Engagement is an electric vehicle race day where members of schools, Universities, TAFE colleges and the general public build an electric vehicle throughout the year and race it at a track day held in National Science Week. The electric vehicle platform is a fun basis to explore physics, chemistry, engineering and mathematics as well as emerging sciences such as nanotechnology, which is the basis for all recent improvements in battery technology. Teams will be assisted in engaging their supporters in understanding the significance of different technologies and challenges.

Centennial Parklands: Science in the Swamp

Science in the Swamp will be one big fun, buzzy day of displays, activities, talks, food and music for everyone, to be held around the Lachland Swamp area in the middle of Centennial Park. From this big fete-style event we hope to connect people with ongoing science events and activities they can get involved with through the year, both at Centennial Parklands and other local organisations. Activities will include: tours of flying fox colony in Lachlan Swamp (with Centennial Parklands volunteer guides and bat researchers); Cooking with Chemistry (Galit Segev); Birdwatching; Fizzics Education (science toys for all ages); Forest School activities; Dipnetting Researcher Lounge (live short interviews with local scientists); Scinema screenings; Taronga Zoo and Sydney Wildlife (live animals and wildlife advice); the  IBM Weather Station; and an electric vehicle display.

National Marine Science Centre: Science Under the Sea

Promoting greater awareness of the marine environment and scientific processes during Science Week through a series of hands-on activities, displays and presentations to the general public. The Science under the Sea event will be held over three days at two major shopping areas in Coffs Harbour and at Southern Cross University’s National Marine Science Centre.

Ruben Meerman: Science Week on ABC3

Surfing Scientist, Ruben Meerman, will join the ABC3 presenters on set and online to perform fascinating science demonstrations, raise awareness of National Science Week and encourage viewers around the nation to participate in their local science week activities. The segments will air in the morning and evening of every weekday during National Science Week.

Urban Screen Productions: Urban Science Festival

Using large format metropolitan public video screens to display SCINEMA and other license-fee free content. The development of a digital, screen based science festival is of huge importance for us, being able to show meaningful, educational and engaging programming to our extensive audience is one of our key objectives and National Science Week gives us an opportunity to meet this objective.

Wollongong Science Centre: Laser Spectacular

This project will create a spectacular outdoor laser show to be presented during National Science Week which will involve informative demonstrations as well as an outdoor laser concert. The Science Centre is currently undertaking major redevelopment to allow more use of its outdoor space. This project will make use of this space by projecting onto an external wall of the Science Centre.

Lismore High School: Sustainability Festival

The Lismore High School Sustainability Festival has showcased to school students from the Lismore Community of Schools, workable and practical solutions to the substantial environmental and sustainability problems the globe faces today. The success of the Festival in 2012 has led to extending it to include the wider community.

Arid Lands Environment Centre: desertSMART EcoFair: Participate, Learn, Create a water sensitive future

The desertSMART EcoFair is Central Australia’s premier sustainability festival. Primarily located at Olive Pink Botanic Gardens, the desertSMART EcoFair 2013 is poised to be the Northern Territory’s National Science Week flagship event. Over 3 days, the EcoFair engages locals and visitors on the sciences involved in building a sustainable future in the arid lands. Building on the success of previous events, the 2013 event will bring celebrity scientists and nationally-recognised science communicators together with local scientists to present engaging science-based activities to the general public.

Nhulunbuy High School: Arnhem Land Science Fair – sharing the knowledge

The Arnhem Land Science Fair will showcase the scientific knowledge that exists within Arnhem Land but will also engage and highlight the importance of science within our everyday lives. From local Indigenous knowledge of sea and land, to local mines (Gemco and Pacific Alumina), Arnhem Land is a treasure trove of scientific activity that most busy Australians have forgotten to admire and interact with. Through the celebration and sharing of combined scientific areas, a greater level of understanding and engagement of community members in local activities and initiatives can be generated. The whole community of Arnhem Land will celebrate scientific knowledge, achievements and possibilities for the future.

Desert Knowledge Australia: Desert Knowledge Precinct Open Day

Desert Knowledge Australia, together with its other Desert Knowledge Precinct partners (Batchelor Institute, the Centre for Appropriate Technology, CSIRO, the Desert Peoples Centre and Ninti One) will coordinate a public open day at the Desert Knowledge Precinct in Alice Springs.

Gold Coast City Council: Gold Coast Science Fair

The Gold Coast Science Fair is a fun and exciting hands-on science experience for the whole community. Education, industry and government have collaborated to deliver interactive activities and events that showcase the Gold Coast’s achievements in science, technology, engineering, maths and innovation.

Paluma Environmental Education Centre: Earth Smarties #3 – The What a Waste Roadshow

A series of one-day science and sustainability roadshows will be presented to rural and urban communities in the Hinchinbrook, Townsville, Burdekin and Dalrymple districts. Science activities will be hands-on and focused on waste management initiatives including research into composting, biochar, carbon sequestration and improving soil health.

CSIRO: Science Alive!

Science Alive! 2013 will be the eighth version of this constantly evolving mass participation interactive science event. The aim is to broadly engage people of all ages, but especially young families, with a wide range of interactive science and technology experiences. The event will be held once again at the Adelaide Showground and will include a careers day for high school students and a weekend event for the general public. Attractions will include over 50 interactive booths from government, research, community and industry organizations involved in science or science education; spectacular science shows; native animal shows and experiences; technology and robotics presentations; Stardomes; magic shows for younger visitors; shows; amateur radio demonstrations; food tastings; and a myriad of hands-on experiences.

Royal Institution of Australia: 3D Printing: Duplicating Reality

For 3D Printing: Duplicating Reality, RiAus will collaborate with ANAT (Australian Network for Art and Technology) to deliver public events in the regional towns of South Australia and Victoria, showcasing the technology of 3D printing. The drop-in event is targeted at the general public, from school aged children through to retirees. The project will demonstrate 3D printers in action, which will be provided by ANAT. Items printed during the event and presentations will be given to audience members to take away as well as 3D objects on show to generate discussion and interaction with the audience on the capabilities of the printers.

SciWorld: Sunday in Mt Gambier

SciWorld Sunday in Mount Gambier will bring interactive science to one of SA’s largest rural towns for the second year in a row. This will be a hands-on science fair from 10am until 3pm on the day and will include science shows, Stardomes, interactive exhibits, robotics workshops, maths puzzles, electric circuit kits and our ‘science shop’. There will also be a whole range of additional education service providers involved including UniSA, Remabi Park native animals and Bugs n Slugs as well as local industry, community group and Council involvement. 

Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery: Science Open Season

QVMAG will hold a range of science-based events. Firstly, a three-day public exhibition A Century of Tasmanian Science showcasing the role of Tasmanian scientific endeavour in Australia’s development and success. Secondly, a one-day expo The Science of Food, that brings together primary producers, food processors, food distributors and food resellers to relate the science that goes into providing safe, healthy, and sustainable food products. Thirdly, a series of science-based activities for the community to participate in – SCINEMA travelling science film; Stars in the Backyard astronomy sessions; Bug Day Out! insect biodiversity activities; The Great Debate – a debate pitting science against art; Playgroup exploring science through a range of hands-on activities and the 2012 QVMAG Science Fair.

University of Tasmania: Young Tassie Scientists 2013

The Young Tassie Scientist program involves early career researchers who are passionate about their work and can connect with a range of audiences. They share their stories of their careers and current research activities through locally-supported events, interactive presentations, and online. Their aim is to inspire interest, increase understanding, and provide insights into different areas of science and technology, as well as to highlight opportunities for further engagement, both in their local communities and further afield.

Elizabeth College: A Century of Australian Science – Science is Forever

The program focuses on providing science activities, scientific presentations, scientific discussions and science career information to Tasmanians of all ages and occupations. As a part of this week there will be 7 events: The Government House Reception to launch National Science Week; the National Science Week Elizabeth College Workshop; the Prepare a Practical for a Parent evening; the “Science through the eyes of our students” symposium; the Tools of Science Experience workshop; the Brain Break Morning Tea; and the National Science Week 2013 Celebration Luncheon.

TasDance: Sub Marine – shining a light into the depths

SUB MARINE – shining light into the depths is an innovative community engagement project aimed at improving comprehension and visibility of marine biology issues by making them more accessible through interactive performing arts. Sub Marine will draw upon local scientific knowledge related to important marine environments in Hobart, and involve local participation.

CSIRO: City Science

City Science is a series of key events based in central Melbourne, working with research, community and industry partners to develop a variety of performances, presentations, forums, demonstrations, hands-on activities and discussion sessions based in well-known Melbourne venues. The series of events will be designed to engage a range of different audiences, including those disinterested in science, encouraging them to explore and learn about exciting Australian science, technology and innovation.

Christopher Lansell: The Multiverse – Our Universe, a bubble floating in an ocean of bubbles

The project is an interactive tour of the Universe and beyond that will be displayed inside a large inflatable bubble theatre. On the floor of the theatre there will be beanbags for the audience to sit on while they are completely surrounded by the visuals and sounds of the show. The audience will be also filmed and integrated real time into this virtual tour of the Universe and beyond. The tour starts visually inside the bubble theatre (incorporating the audience real time into the show) and then travels through the Universe, passing planets, star fields, nebula and galaxies to the known edge of the Universe. From here the tour continues on, venturing into the unknown but yet theoretical possibility of the Multiverse. The tour will be narrated by one of Australia’s foremost scientific commentator Dr Karl Kruszelnicki. As part of the project the footage will be integrated with Google Maps to create an online version of the tour.

Merlin Entertainment: Flora, Fauna, Wax and Views; beaming science to you

‘Flora, Fauna, Wax and Views: Beaming Science to You’ is a program spanning nine individual venues. The program will involve mixed media initiatives including video conferencing sessions beamed into rural and indigenous communities, live presentations onsite at nine attractions, hands on activities and experiential experiences with marine animals, wildlife, our night skies and local forests. Venues include Melbourne Aquarium, Otway Fly Treetop Adventures, Sydney SEA LIFE Aquarium, WILD LIFE Zoo Sydney, Sydney Tower Eye, Madame Tussauds Sydney, Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary, Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures and Underwater World Mooloolaba.

Discovery Bendigo: Science Favourites

Discovery Science and Technology Centre will cook up a Science Smorgasbord of activity to tempt the taste buds of the people of Central Victoria. Discovery will use the seemingly unrelated fields of multimedia, food and wine, astronomy, acrobatics and music to show people that in science there is something for everyone, just like any smorgasbord.

Simon Pampena: Mathemania!

A new 50 minute stand-up maths comedy show for ages 16+ to tour regional areas and capital cities in six states. There will be one free performance in each city/regional centre visited except for Darwin where ticket revenue will cover venue hire. Material for the show will premiere at the Edinburgh International Science Festival in April 2013 followed by limited seasons in London and New York.

Echelon Productions: Rock Me Galileo!

Rock Me, Galileo! is an educational musical that celebrates National Science Week and its 2013 Schools Theme ‘A Century of Australian Science’ by inspiring young people with Galileo’s theories and discoveries in astronomy and the relationship with Australia’s historic achievements in astronomy over the last one hundred years. Rock Me, Galileo! focuses on the discoveries and theories of Galileo whose basic view of the world – that it revolved around the sun – made him a revolutionary of his day. It will also cover events in his life such as the Galileo Trial, when he was taken before the Vatican court for publishing his controversial theories. The production will tour Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.

RMIT University: The Laughter Experiment

Science comedians with a following will be invited to perform in an ever-changing and diverse line-up. Several shows will be staged at Trades Hall, a prominent Melbourne International Comedy Festival venue.

CRC for Mental Health: Science and Dementia

The project will be an evening event hosted at the Melbourne Brain Centre in Parkville Victoria. The audience will view a panel style story-telling event outlining different viewpoints of dementia – from the lived experience, to clinician, to researcher. The project will not only seek to destigmatise and explain dementia, but also to engage the audience in critically evaluating scientific processes such as peer review and how controversies are dealt with. The CRC will also seek to develop an innovative, interactive game for audience members around “find the hidden biomarker”. The game will show the complexity of searching for biomarkers as well as the techniques used in science – rigor and review. The event will be filmed and used as part of ongoing community outreach programs by the CRC for Mental Health and participant organisations. 

Ocean Forest Lutheran College: South West Science Spectacular

A community based Science day with a series of hands on and interactive displays for all ages. The South West Super Science Spectacular will be held between 10am and 4pm on the 11th of August, 2013. It will be held within the grounds of a K- 12 school with modern well equipped science laboratories and interactive whiteboards to offer the best possible science experience for the general public. Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and Ruben Meerman are keynote speakers for the event.

Northern Agricultural Catchments Council: Sustainable Energy and Innovation Expo

The 2013 Sustainability and Innovation Expo will include almost three weeks of workshops and activities in Geraldton including

Climate Change Connections presentations; Sustainable Energy and Energy Efficiency workshops; tours of local biodiversity (estuaries, beaches, wildlife corridors) and aquaculture facilities; public Q & A with sustainability and innovation experts; tours of community gardens and nurseries, waste, recycling and water treatment facilities; deliberative democracy community events; and Sandwich Science lunchtime presentations at the WA Museum, Geraldton. The Expo will also include Sustainability and Innovation Awards on 16 August and an exhibition the following day.

Warren Catchments Council: Grassroots Science Smorgasbord

Grassroots Science Smorgasbord provides a feast of complementary agricultural and environmental hands-on activities to demystify a range of natural and physical sciences linked to everyday life in Manjimup. Experiences will include following dung beetle tunnels; preparing chromatographs of soil samples; measuring and improving soil biodiversity; assessing the health of forest ecosystems; measuring biomass and carbon bio-sequestration; spotlighting for rare marsupials and assessing river water quality.

WA Gould League: Ancient Science Festival

The Ancient Science Festival showcases local school Ancient Science learning and provides a pathway for the public to participate in a range of hands-on Aboriginal traditional knowledge and western science related workshops. The Festival will run over 2 days: Friday 16th will be for the school community with hands-on biological and environmental science learning experiences and cultural history lessons from local Aboriginal Elders on the banks of Herdsman Lake. Saturday 17th will be a public event with students from Churchlands PS leading community education workshops in collaboration with Aboriginal presenters.

Cooinda Primary School: Mangrove Mariners

Working in partnership with the Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre and the South West Catchments Council, Cooinda Primary School students will conduct guided tours of the mangrove boardwalk identifying features of the habitat. Students will also conduct Junior Marine Ranger activities presenting information on local marine life. These activities will be complemented by macro invertebrate sampling conducted by SWCC and bird watching activities presented by Birdlife Bunbury.

Shire of Murchison: Astrofest 2013: bush professor program

The Murchison Astrofest will be held on Saturday 17 August at the Murchison Settlement, 310 km northeast of Geraldton. In addition to interesting science guest speakers, the Bush Professor Program will engage the Wajarri people in National Science Week. A Wajarri Elder will do a walk-around the Settlement, highlighting the unique plants and animals to be found in the area. There will also be Aboriginal bush foods on display and the opportunity to sample some of them.