Schools

We work with the Australian Science Teachers Association to provide grants to schools and to create imaginative teaching resources each year.

Ideas for school events

There are a lots of ways you can get your students, class, year level, school and community involved in National Science Week. Your participation can be as simple as a display in the school library, a Brain Break quiz event or as complex as a whole-school science fair.

Here are some hints and tips (484 kB, pdf) for holding a great National Science Week event at your school.

Science Week 2021

The school theme for National Science Week 2021 will be Food: Different by Design. It will honor the United Nations International Year of Fruits and Vegetables and the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development.

Food: Different by Design will cover a broad range of areas in food production and sustainable agriculture, enabling students to explore topics such as biosecurity, food technology and laboratory-developed foods. Scientific development will be at the core to the theme, with other hands-on projects for students to explore.

Science Week 2020

The school theme of National Science Week 2020 is Deep Blue: innovations for the future of our oceans and features the establishment of the Blue Economy CRC.

With this in mind, the theme embraces the innovative technologies, capabilities and skills needed to achieve economic, environmental and social sustainability of our oceans. It features insights and inquiries into workable solutions that generate healthy oceans, healthy economies and healthy communities.

Teaching Resource Book

The Deep Blue: Innovation for the future of our oceans teaching resource book (11.1 MB, pdf) has lesson plans, cases studies, activity ideas and links to resources for students from Foundation through to Year 10. There’s also a student journal (3.1 MB, pdf) intended for older students to record their ideas, from defining the problem posed on the suggested activities to debriefing the solutions they devise.

Deep Blue Poster

Print and display the Deep Blue poster (562 kB, pdf) in your classroom or school library.

School grants

Grants of up to $500 help to support National Science Week activities in schools. The annual grant round is for all schools (pre-schools to senior secondary) to help them conduct a STEM related activity in Science Week. Applications for school grants closed on 30 April. 

Changes to the 2020 School Grants Program due to COVID-19

In consideration of the impact of COVID-19 and the limited ability of schools to undertake normal activities a modified format of school support has been adopted, in direct response to medical advice regarding social distancing requirements.  

In place of the usual competitive financial grants selection process, applicants to the school grants program will receive an activity card-based system to use across Science Week to support and encourage student engagement.

Based on ASTA’s highly successful SPECTRA model (SPECTRA = Science Program Exciting Children Through Research Activities), cards have been produced for four different educational groups from Early Years through to Year 10, with curriculum-based topics relating to this year’s Deep Blue theme. All of the activities are designed to be completed either at school or at home (where students are still undertaking home-based learning).

ASTA will issue each participating school with a Science Week bundle, including SPECTRA cards, certificates and badges. Using the cards, students may carry out a range of practical and observational activities, research, experiments and projects.  The in-built assessment component can be easily administered by teachers and/or parents, and when the required number of activities have been completed to their satisfaction, they will award the student a National Science Week certificate and badge.

Science Week 2019

Destination Moon: more missions, more science is the school theme for National Science Week in 2019.

This theme is a way for teachers and their students to discover 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. Many of these use big picture thinking in science to solve problems, and technology, engineering and mathematics to design new solutions. This will help forge our future paths in the areas of space operations, space science, Earth observations, positioning systems and communications.

School Grants

Grants of up to $500 supporting school STEM activities in National Science Week were awarded to 219 schools. The grant round is administered by the Australian Science Teachers Association and funding is provided by the Australian Government.

Teaching Resource Book

The 76 page 2019 Resource Book of Ideas (24 MB, pdf) for National Science Week offers teachers and students the opportunity to investigate the people, space agencies, universities, and science organisations that are all delivering solutions in space science. There are also an Australian Space Science Timeline (6 MB, pdf) and a Student Journal (8 MB, pdf) available to download.

Destination Moon Poster

This high resolution Destination Moon poster (5.5 MB, pdf) is for printing and displaying in your classroom and school library. We've also got a pop-art colouring version (3.1 MB, pdf) of the poster for older children to try.

Science Week 2018

The school theme for National Science Week in 2018 is Game Changers and Change Makers. This could refer to individuals, teams, technologies or ideas - what does it suggest to you?

In developing the theme and the teaching resource book we took inspiration from three significant celebrations in 2018:

  • 200th  anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (genetic engineering, biotechnologies, prosthetics, bionics, genetic modification, brain enhancement and ethics);
  • 40th anniversary of the birth of the first IVF baby (genetic engineering, biotechnology, nanotechnology);
  • International Year of the Reef (coral reefs and the scientists who study them).

School grants

The successful applicants in the grant round were announced in May. The grant round is administered by the Australian Science Teachers Association.

Teaching Resource Book

The 88 page Game Changers and Change Makers teaching resource book (11.6 MB, pdf) is available to download and print. The resource book has resource ideas and detailed lesson plans for classes from Foundation to Year 10.

Game Changers Poster

You can also download the Game Changers poster (660 kB, pdf) to print and display in your classroom or library.

Science Week 2017

The 2017 National Science Week teacher resource book will focus on Australia’s sustainability science and highlights those issues that are unique to Australia and our region.

Future Earth book

The Future Earth teaching resource is available as an interactive online flip book and as a downloadable book (18MB, pdf) that can be printed.

The resource book aim to raise awareness of sustainability science and all of the sciences - social, natural and applied - and encourage positive actions that make a direct contribution to the Earth becoming more sustainable.

Future Earth poster

The Future Earth poster has been created for schools to help them plan their Science Week activities. It includes a listing of highlight events in each state and territory and links to other great science resources. Download and print your own A3 Future Earth poster (4MB, pdf).

Future Earth Initiative

Future Earth launched in 2015 and is a major 10-year international initiative to advance global sustainability science.

Future Earth is a global community of tens of thousands of world-class researchers, projects and institutes brought together around an international research agenda focusing on sustainability science.

The Academy of Science is developing a project office for Future Earth in Australia.

Future Earth’s 2025 vision addresses eight key challenges to global sustainability:

  • Deliver water, energy, and food for all
  • Decarbonise socio-economic systems to stabilise the climate
  • Safeguard the terrestrial, freshwater and marine natural assets underpinning human well-being
  • Build healthy, resilient and productive cities
  • Promote sustainable rural futures
  • Improve human health
  • Encourage sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Increase social resilience to future threats.

School grants

Successful projects were announced in late May. The grant pool of $90 000 is provided by the Australian Government.

Science Week 2016

In 2016 we will embrace the ‘Technology' in STEM, in particular autonomous technology, with the National Science Week school theme Drones, Droids and Robots.

The theme will centre on the real-world application of autonomous technologies in areas including agriculture, mining, manufacturing, medicine and space and deep ocean exploration. Of course, we will also look at how this technology has transformed our day-to-day lives - from robot vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers to automated pool cleaners.

Schools poster

The theme poster has been sent to every Australian preschool and school, and you can download and print your own copy (2.4 MB, pdf).

Teacher resource book

The Drones, Droids and Robots resource book is available as an interactive online eBook or via download (10 MB, pdf).

School grants

The successful applicants were announced on 16 May 2016.

Science Week 2015

The school theme for National Science Week 2015 is Making waves - the science of light, based on the International Year of Light.

The Making waves: the science of light resource online eBook is available.

The book was prepared by the Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA) teacher and contains an abbreviated curriculum map of the Australian Curriculum: Science covering years F-10. This has then been used to develop a curriculum map of light topics addressing most content descriptions from the Science Understanding and Science as a Human Endeavour sub-strands.

The book is available as an online eBook or as an 88 page download (12 MB, pdf) that can be printed.

The National Science Week theme poster for 2015 (3.3 MB, pdf) has been sent to all schools.

2015 school grants

Congratulations to the 263 schools that were successful in receiving grants of up to $500 to help them conduct a range and variety of science activities during National Science Week. More information.