National grant round recipients

  • by National Office
  • 31 March, 2014
National grant round recipients

Congratulations to all of the successful applicants in what was once again a very competitive grant round that attracted applications worth a total of more than triple the $500 000 of available funds.

Here are the successful recipients and preliminary project descriptions:

Australian Capital Territory

ScienceAlert Roadshow
The Roadshow will take Derek Muller of Veritasium along with a number of international guests on a multi-state science tour. The shows will include a mix of funny, surprising and wonderfully geeky talks, performances and interviews. During each event the audience will have the opportunity to mingle with performers and real-life researchers.

Living with Australia’s Climate
The project will include a series of science-based conversations with a range of regional and rural communities on aspects of climate change relevant to community concerns and interests.

The project will hold at least four conversations on subjects ranging from agricultural and vegetation management through to water resources, fire, flood and health. The aim of the project is to encourage and empower communities to increase their understanding of the nature and role of science in supporting and underpinning action on climate change.

The Little Scientist Puppet Show
The show will bring together fun, relevant and simple science show demonstrations with the engaging format of hand puppets to give early learners (pre-school) and their parents their first taste of science. The program will visit eight Canberra and Queanbeyan libraries and the Canberra Science Spectacular (12 shows in total). Parents will also be given take home activities to try afterwards and a list of websites providing quality activities to continue learning long after National Science Week.

New South Wales

Sparking Innovation in Evolution
The project will combine an electric vehicle race day with an electric vehicle show including interactive exhibits of the latest technologies and workshops in a fun atmosphere for the whole family.

The 2014 EV Fest includes the ‘2014 National Science Week Cup’ and a new ‘Power Source Evolution Prize’ where teams competing in the National Science Week Cup and other race events at EV Fest, are challenged to build the zero emissions charge point of the future. These events sit within a larger program of electric vehicle demonstrations and workshops, charity events, displays, stalls and entertainment all designed to engage the broad community base in attending the event and experiencing technologies of the future.

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 to explore 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 3 days and be hosted at the Redfern Community Centre in Sydney and will be open to the public

The Australian Museum Science Festival
The project is a three week celebration of National Science Week and the Australian Museum’s contribution to science. The Museum will invite scientific institutions from around NSW and Australia to share their own research and knowledge to all attendees. They will facilitate this through a series of workshops, talks, shows and an expo that will increase the participants’ awareness of science and their own abilities and potential to pursue a career in science and/or general knowledge of the benefits of science in society.

Endeavouring Science
The program, based at the Australian National Maritime Museum features a range of activities located aboard the iconic HMB Endeavour as well as activities across the whole Museum site. The project will cover themes of weather and navigation, biology and botany, signals and communication and the scientific principles that underlie these. A key focus will be on the important scientific figure, Sir Joseph Banks – both as a scientist and through his relationships with local Indigenous communities – one of Australia’s little-known and explored stories. The project is a collaboration with The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, The Young Scientists of Australia and UTS School of Marine Science, as well as featuring the Museum’s own experts in maritime heritage and archaeology and Indigenous maritime heritage.

Sapphire Coast Science Festival
The festival will incorporate a variety of activities including talks and demonstrations that illustrate a variety of fascinating areas of science knowledge and understanding that will aim to appeal to all, but particularly those who may not be currently engaged in science.

Activities include a launch event at the Bournda Environmental Education Centre, night sky talk with telescopes presented by a visiting expert, Science Cafe at Oaklands, talks and demonstrations of the richness of Aboriginal science in the region, tours of local industries eg chocolate, cheese and wine making, chilli, oyster and mussel farming, Davidson whaling station (historical) and community-supported nature reserves such as Panboola, a trivia Quiz and Climate Watch walks.

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.

Northern Territory

desertSMART EcoFair
The desertSMART EcoFair is Central Australia’s premier sustainability festival. Primarily located at Olive Pink Botanic Gardens, the desertSMART EcoFair 2014 is again poised to be the Northern Territory’s National Science Week flagship event. Over three 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 2014 event will bring celebrity scientists and nationally-recognised science communicators together with local scientists to present engaging science-based activities to the general public.

Science in the Field
The Northern Australia Hub of the National Environmental Research Program brings together approximately 80 scientists to improve land and water management science in Northern Australia.

The project will produce a series of short films (2-3 mins in length) that highlight the stories of these researchers in the field. The aim of the project is to promote the value of the science being undertaken, and the importance of partnerships with local people.

The films will be shown prior to feature films at Darwin’s Deck Chair Cinema during Science Week. The films will also be utilised at other National Science Week events and uploaded to the hub’s website.


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

Explosive Science @ Brisbane Ekka
This project will inspire the Queensland public by bringing the EKKA to life using a range of interactive activities, public seminars and community workshops to demonstrate the relevance of science to everyday life. By purchasing space at the Royal Queensland Show, we will make quality science available to hundreds of thousands of keen attendees.

Reef Citizen Science Exhibition
This project aims to enhance the visibility of and participation in citizen science on the Great Barrier Reef, by hosting events along the length of the Queensland coast from Moreton Bay to Cairns. These events will bring members of the community together with scientists, reef managers & citizen science groups to participate in a range of hands-on data collection, habitat restoration & educational activities.

National Science Week at the Tanks
The project will include a PechaKucha Night and Café Scientifique. A series of events will bring together scientists, artists and the general public to explore and celebrate the science of life in the tropics. Originating in Japan, PechaKucha is a communication phenomenon and has an established following in Cairns. It relies on a very simple and concise format that harnesses the power of storytelling.

South Australia

Spotlight on Science
The South Australian Museum will offer an exciting range of programs that immerse people in exploring the impact of science on our daily lives, the economy and the planet.

The two key components of this program include:

  • Creating a Sustainable Future: Schools Program
  • Shine a Light on Science: a series of after-hours events for the general public

BioBlitzes: discovering nature at Oaklands Wetlands and Harry Bowey Reserve
The project will include 2 BioBlitzs to engage a wide community of people in hands-on and educational activities focused around two parks in Adelaide: Oaklands Wetlands and Harry Bowey Reserve. The two BioBlitzes will begin on consecutive Fridays (22 and 29 August) to maximise their reach and their alignment with Science Week. Events will be for school students and the wider community culminating with a Saturday morning ‘festival’ with stalls and demonstrations, park tours and hands-on surveying.

Science Alive! broadly engages people of all ages, but especially young families, with a wide range of interactive science and technology experiences. The event is held at the Adelaide Showground and consists of a Careers Day for high school students on the Friday; a Networking event and National Science Week Launch on the Friday evening; and a weekend event for the general public.

Attractions 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; Bugs Alive! Shows; amateur radio demonstrations; food tastings; and a myriad of hands-on experiences

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 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.

Australian Sea-lion Ambassador Exhibition
Local students will work with Seal Bay Conservation Park Interpretive Officers to become Australian sea-lion Ambassadors. Based on skills acquired through workshops and tours of the Park, students will host an Exhibition on Kangaroo Island during National Science Week. The Exhibition will be open to the general public and include hands-on activities and quizzes that will highlight the role of science and science communication in Australian sea-lion conservation.


2014 Science Open Season at Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery
The program will showcase the work of the Museum’s scientists including demonstrating the preparation and observation of soft corals, the art of taxidermy, building articulated skeletons, pinning insect collections, using wormhole cameras to peer inside collection objects, the use of x-rays in archaeology and demonstrations of techniques used in collection conservation.

The program will also feature the QVMAG Big Day of Science with presentations, activities and tours across both Museum campuses.

Science @ MONA
A sculptural installation at MONA will be commissioned for display by 4 August 2014 and launched during National Science Week. It will focus on the natural biological process of decomposition.

The sculpture would be fed during the month of August, with maximum activity during Science Week. MONA Director Kirsha Kaechele would curate this project in collaboration with other museum curators and the University of Tasmania to ensure accurate expression of the scientific methodologies.

Canstruction® is a global build competition to construct fantastic, giant sized structures made entirely out of canned food. Cans from the structures are then donated to a community agency that provide food assistance to people in need.

The competition includes companies and community groups donating cans and designing and building structures that are left in place for one week, available for viewing for the general public. Venues for the competition include shopping malls, convention centres, town halls and museum foyers.

Science of the Sea – Oceans of Change
This diverse program of activities will focus on the critically important themes of ocean currents, sea bed surveillance and changes in fisheries. It partners high profile scientific and research organisations in Hobart and utilises newly redeveloped exhibitions and public program delivery rooms to engage a broad public audience and showcase Tasmania’s strengths in marine research. The range of hands-on events, activities, and digital programming is designed to create a lasting legacy of interest and involvement in, and understanding of, contemporary science.


Art of Science
An exhibition of images captured by scientists from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute while investigating diseases and cancers of the human body. During National Science Week, Art of Science will open as a free exhibition to visitors in Melbourne’s CBD, before travelling to selected outer-metropolitan and regional Victorian centres, bringing biomedical science to the people of Victoria.

Researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute will accompany the exhibition on the road, launching the exhibition at each location with a free public presentation on the images displayed and the science behind them, before engaging with local schools and community groups to talk about their life, career and experiences in biomedical science.

City Science
City Science will be made up of a series of key events based in central Melbourne with a variety of performances, presentations, forums, demonstrations, hands-on activities and discussion sessions based in well-known Melbourne venues. This 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.

WIPEOUT! celebrating science, sustainability & food security
Wipeout! is an educational musical that celebrates National Science Week and the 2014 Schools Theme ‘Food for our future: Science feeding the world’ by inspiring students, their teachers and families with the limitless fun and possibilities offered by science and the value of understanding the relationship between science, sustainability and food security. Wipeout! will focus on the relationship between developing clean, renewable sources of energy and the sustainable production and protection of our sources of food. Free public performances will tour Scienceworks, Brisbane Museum, Discovery Science and Technology Centre (Bendigo, Victoria), Powerhouse Museum, Scitech and other major public venues around Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth during National Science Week.

Creating Our World – DIY Appropriate Technology Workshops
An engaging series of two events in four Queensland locations (Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns and Townsville) that combine presentations and hands-on workshops in appropriate technology. In each location one workshop will be pitched to families; the following weekend the workshop will be pitched to young adults. This will be undertaken in collaboration with the Queensland Division of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) through their Wonder of Science Program, the Young Science Ambassadors and the UQ Science Demo Troupe.

Bringing Plants to Life
Bringing Plants to Life reveals the true power of plants and their vital role in our everyday lives. Through a series of behind the scenes tours, virtual tours and onsite activities, visitors to the Gardens during Science Week will gain an appreciation and understanding about the importance of conserving plants.

Topics include:

  • Conserving rare and threatened species
  • Bushland Biodiversity
  • Hidden Treasures of the Herbarium
  • The Secret of the Eucalypt
  • Greening the Gardens

Savants – 5 State Regional Tour
A 50 minute stand-up comedy show for ages 16+ to tour regional areas and capital cities over National Science Week: Melbourne & Hamilton; Adelaide & Mount Gambier; Darwin; Brisbane, Townsville & Caboolture and Central Sydney & Newcastle. The show will share the experience and understanding of mathematical savants. The show will premiere at the Melbourne Comedy Festival and Edinburgh International Science Festival before the tour in August.

Getting to Know Some Great Grains
Local community science events to be offered to the 12 towns in the Yarriambiack Shire, which stretches from Woomelang to Ruapnyup, on the theme of the great grains in our history, which will be stored at the new Australian Grains Genebank, opening in March 2014. These events will provide the communities in this agricultural shire with links to:

  • the 2014 National Science Week theme of ‘Food for our future: Science feeding the world’ & the International Year of Family Farming
  • 2014 opening of the Australian Grains Genebank in Horsham
  • raise the profile of agricultural science in providing food for us, this nation and the world over time
  • new ways to see Science around them in their daily lives.

DNA Fun Sunday
The program will give families the opportunity to meet and experiment with some of the country’s brightest young scientists. During the event, attendees will explore science with practicing scientist mentors from Parkville’s surrounding research precinct. There will be two two-hour sessions. Participants will spend one two-hour session completing a range of hands-on experiments and activities (there will be 7 workstations) to solve a mystery. Experiments will focus broadly on forensic investigation of DNA microbes, and will include tasks such as; extracting DNA from cells, using DNA profiling techniques, and exploring the strange world of microbes in pond water.

Stars in the Yarra Ranges
Mount Burnett Observatory bringing an astronomical road show to the villages and main streets of the Yarra Ranges. With telescopes, a tent of experiments, an audio-visual display of current space missions and a jamboree of digestible 10 minute astronomy talks we will bring a festival atmosphere to several of the small towns in the Yarra Ranges.

Rosebud Toy Library Stay and Play – Science for pre-schoolers
Dedicated sessions in July and August for “Science Play”. The sessions will be open to the public and follow on from story time in the adjacent room at our host library. Each week activities will be demonstrated using materials from home and the toy library eg Bug explorer kits, light table and accessories, measuring wheel and giant magnet set. The final session will be set up as a mini Science Week Expo with local media, councillors and members of parliament invited along to see what our little scientists have been learning.

Western Australia

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 is held between 10am and 4pm on a Saturday in Science Week. It is held within the grounds of a K-10 school with modern well equipped science laboratories and interactive whiteboards. Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and Ruben Meerman are keynote speakers for the event. The general public are encouraged to take part in all of the Science displays.

2014 Goodness Festival
The 2014 Goodness Festival will showcase and celebrate sustainability and innovation in the Mid-West, Gascoyne and Northern Agricultural regions and aims to empower teach and inspire the community. We will provide information, experiences resources and support to enable organisations and individuals to live more socially responsible, sustainable and technically savvy lives. This is achieved by 3 key engagement activities:

  1. Workshops, Presentations and Tours
  2. Goodness Awards (Sustainability and Innovation): These awards are a showcase of local organisations and individuals.
  3. Goodness Exhibition (Sustainability and Innovation) – Formal exhibition space for business, community and agency groups (local and external) to showcase /demonstrate their sustainable and innovative activities, goods and services.

Perth Science Festival
The Perth Science Festival is a free community event that will activate the city centre with a flurry of science activity to excite and engage people of all ages and backgrounds. The event will take place on the first day of National Science Week (Saturday 16 August), kicking off the annual celebration of science in Western Australia and drawing the public’s attention to science. It is anticipated that more than 7000 members of the general public will participate in this event.

Profs & Pints
Profs & Pints will bring science into three regional pubs across National Science Week 2014, sparking surprise, challenging attitudes and igniting curiosity of patrons in Kalgoorlie, Broome and Darwin. Engaging topics with a science theme will be explored and patrons will be encouraged to actively engage in discussion through the use of a roving microphone and a live Twitter feed. Experts and key opinion leaders will form a panel at the front of the pub. The discussion will be kept lively and interesting by an experienced science communicator acting as facilitator and MC.

Cooinda 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.

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