Info for local councils

  • by Tanya Ha
  • 12 April, 2019
Info for local councils

Your council can use National Science Week as an opportunity to support and celebrate local science and technology-based industries and organisations.

Your libraries and community centres can host science-themed author talks, film nights or ‘Neural Knitworks’ workshops. And your grassroots communication channels can help support your community’s National Science Week efforts, engaging residents and visitors alike with science, innovation and creativity.

Your council can get involved by:

  • promoting the National Science Week activities of your community and schools >>> see our publicity guide
  • running your own events >>> read on for ideas.

Library and community centre events

Science show presenters

Dozens of libraries have run successful and popular National Science Week events, such as:

  • author talks on science topics, such as climate change or local flora and fauna
  • science fiction and non-fiction writing workshops
  • ‘Dive into the Dewey Decimal’s 500s and 600s’ talks, with people sharing their favourite titles from the science, technology and engineering aisles.

For example,

  • This year, Frankston Library will hold astronomy-themed events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing.  In 2016, the Library saw The Scientwists (pictured) perform their fun Fizzle and Pop Show.
  • Last year, Sutherland Shire Library hosted ANSTO’s Future Vision Quiz.
  • In 2016, Sunshine Coast Council held a wind-up LED light workshop at Caloundra Regional Gallery. Read a media story about the event.
  • In 2015, Mill Park Library kicked off a new Science Fiction Fan Club and hosted a guest presentation from Victorian Storm Chasers to talk about their wild adventures, and the science and technology they use to capture this phenomenon.
  • Whittlesea Library held an event focused on Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. And ‘Read to Mr Whittles’ saw children read to the library’s own Telepresence Robot ‘Mr Whittles’.
  • In 2014, Bega Library hosted ANU scientists for a community conversation about Climate, Fire, Water and Weather.

Host a science film night with SCINEMA

ScinemaRegister to host your own SCINEMA screening during National Science Week and see the best of science films. Playlists are provided for primary, secondary and general viewing.

SCINEMA International Science Film Festival showcases not only the best, but also the diversity of science films from across the globe. From drama to documentaries, animations or epic natural history, these films use the power of the moving image to tell stories about the world, how it works, and our place in it.

More information about SCINEMA community screenings will be available here closer to National Science Week.


Neural Knitworks and Maker Faires: community crafts for healthy brains

Neural Knitworks are crafty get-togethers where people can knit, create or crochet models of neurons from yarn and other materials. It’s based on the principle that yarn craft, with its mental challenges, social connection and mindfulness, helps keep our brains and minds sharp, engaged and healthy.

See the free resources on our website for more information on  running a Neural Knitworks event. Dozens of councils and libraries have done so already. Read the Fairfax media story about efforts in Echuca in 2015.

Maker Faire events bring together old crafts and new technologies to encourage innovation and creativity alongside technology, engineering and science skills.

The following websites provide useful information and guides to running Maker Faire events:

Waste, recycling and sustainability education workshops

In 2016, the clever people at Switch Your Thinking in WA brought council waste reduction efforts into National Science Week with a suite of initiatives designed to attract a broader audience.

Science met sustainability in a series of workshops on aquaponics, food preserving and dehydrating, fermentation, and achieving a wasteless pantry; seminars on food waste; National Science Week displays at up to 14 libraries; give-aways; hands-on activities at the Perth Science Festival; and a pop-up food garden.

In 2017, they worked with a group of Perth councils on events planting trees and exploring sustainability, plant and soil science. In 2018, they ran events focusing on climate science and adaptation. In 2019, they will hold ‘Sustainability in the Suburb’ events, with workshops and events on urban resilience, soil microbiology, biodiversity and sustainable home design.

See if you can bring a science spin to any sustainability workshops you’re planning in August.

Parks, tourism and wildlife

Newcastle coast cliff walkUse National Science Week to share and promote your natural treasures and bring visitors to your municipality. For example:

  • In 2016, the Marine Education Science and Community Centre, supported by City of Bayside (VIC) held marine life exposed presentations at Rickett’s Point Marine Sanctuary on Melbourne’s south-eastern coastline.
  • The 2015 Newcastle Time Walk tour from Nobbys Head to Newcastle South (NSW, pictured) saw a fully booked walking tour of volcanoes, coal and fossils, guided by geologists. And it’s on again this year!
  • City of Hobart (TAS) Bush Adventures have held activities discovering ‘Where our Wild Things Are’ in the bushland at night.


Support National Science Week activities in schools

Encourage your local schools to get involved. The Australian Science Teachers Association will have a free teachers’ resource book and poster on the 2019 theme of ‘Destination Moon: more missions, more science‘, marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Teachers and their students will explore past missions to the Moon and space programs that have solved some of the seemingly unsolvable problems—and current and future space programs, operations and missions.

Or you can support the existing activities of your local schools.

Community festivals

Community science festivals can bring several local stakeholders together to support local scientific organisations and/or attractions. For example:

  • The Gold Coast Science and Tech Festival is supported by the City of Gold Coast (QLD) and Study Gold Coast, highlighting the educational opportunities of the region.
  • The Geraldton Goodness – Science, Sustainability and Innovation Festival celebrates science, technology, innovation and sustainability in the mid-west region of WA, with the City of Greater Geraldton a key partner.
  • Each year, the Gingin Science Festival, supported by the Shire of Gingin (WA), makes use of and helps to promote a local attraction – the Gravity Discovery Centre, a ‘hands-on’ science education centre on site at the Australian International Gravitational Observatory.

Have a Brain Break morning tea with your council team

Celebrate science in your staff room during National Science Week by holding a Brain Break morning tea. Hold a science quiz, bring in quirky science-themed edibles or run some short science experiments. It’s a chance to show your colleagues the wonder of science.

Register your Brain Break by 16 July at to receive a FREE National Science Week Brain Break pack, including quiz questions, activity suggestions, coasters and other promotional items. The packs will be mailed out in early August.

Read the guide to running events for resources and tips.


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