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Thank You to All Who Contributed in 2019

Science Week Team

Map of Australia showing 2066 Science Week eventsIt’s a wrap! National Science Week 2019 has officially come to an end. And all across Australia, we’ve scienced hard!

(Note that although Science Week has officially finished, there are still plenty of opportunities to science all year round – see the How Will You Keep Science-ing? blog post for more information.)

The figures are still coming in but we know there were 2 070 events registered on the website, held across the country over 9 (plus) jam-packed days.

It’s time for those of us in the national office to pack away our suitcases, start collating all the stats, sift through our unread emails and clean up our desks….

But before we do, we would like to spend a few minutes thinking back on the amazing celebration of science that was National Science Week 2019. The festivities were fabulous. And they would not be possible without the many people throughout the whole country who make this festival happen.

Firstly, we’d like to thank the National Science Week partners and sponsors who play a key role in ensuring the national reach of the festival:

  • The Australian Science Teachers Association, who provide material and support to teachers across Australia so that students and school communities are involved in National Science Week. A special thanks to Dr Delese Brewster who has been passionate in her work with Science Week for the past 14 years. We wish her all the best in her new endeavours;
  • CSIRO, who ran a number of events and outreach programs during August, as well as hosting our website this year. A number of CSIRO scientists also contributed to events throughout the week;
  • the ABC, who not only ran this year’s citizen science project (The Aha! Challenge) but also celebrated with a special suite of programs on tv, radio and iview to spark curiosity and encourage people to explore, discover and be amazed; and
  • media sponsors COSMOS and Science Illustrated.

Secondly, a gigantic thank you goes to each of the state and territory organising committees and Inspiring Australia state/territory-based managers. Each volunteer committee is responsible for compiling a successful state/territory-wide festival, and it is no small effort. They do this through running local grant rounds, organising launch events and festivals, inviting interesting international speakers, and building the general excitement in local organisations, institutes and communities in the lead-up to August.

Throughout the past year, we worked with a number of small businesses and organisations who helped us to pull Science Week together:

  • Science in Public, our publicists who work closely with the organising committees to share the wonderful stories of Science Week;
  • Media Heads who are responsible for our ambassador interviews and promotion campaign;
  • Bitcraft who build our website;
  • Secret Labs who make the Science Week apps;
  • Scientell and Creative Science Australia who developed the Early Childhood Activities booklet;
  • Ruben Meerman for presenting science demos on Kid’s WB Channel;
  • the range of companies who worked with us to produce the banners and flags, the T-shirts, caps etc, all ensuring that the delightful characters of National Science Week created by James Hutson (science communicator and designer) are seen across the country promoting the festival; and
  • The Australian Academy of Science for bringing some of these National Science Week characters to life with stories of Australian science from researchers who are leaders in their fields.

We are extremely grateful to all the scientists, researchers and communicators (including Nobel Laureates, Australians of the Year, international guests and local stars) who participated in events and shared their knowledge, enthusiasm and insights with communities across Australia.

We’re so proud that the Governor General and some State Governors, the Hon Karen Andrews MP Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, a number of other federal Members of Parliament and Senators, as well as State and Territory Ministers and Members of Parliament attended launches and events in their communities, and helped to spread the word. It is gratifying to have them support and honour the work of our scientists, researchers and science engagers in this way.

And last, but definitely not least, we thank the thousands of amazing volunteers who collectively made National Science Week 2019 a truly amazing national festival. Science Week is a peak in STEM engagement activity across the year and would not be possible without this substantial grassroots dedication. We cannot thank you all enough for your passion and dedication.

Now it is time to take a collective breath and reflect on all the amazing moments that made up National Science Week 2019, before we turn our attention to all the ideas and inspiration we’ve had to help make National Science Week 2020 even greater! (Guess those tidy desks are just going to have to wait…….)