Victorian schools and community groups will be a hive of activity with the delivery of grants from National Science Week, coming up August 10-18.
Over 290 Australian schools received grants from the Australian Science Teachers’ Association to engage students in fun and educational STEM projects. Of the 290 grants Australia wide, 45 Victorian schools received funding, with a further 4 schools receiving sponsorship from Cambridge University Press to run activities.
Schools have wholeheartedly embraced this year’s theme Destination Moon: more missions, more science to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Armstrong Creek East Children’s Centre in Geelong is converting their science room into a moonscape designed and created by the children, the whole of Balmoral Community College (kinder to year 12) will have a gardening session where they plant by the lunar calendar, and Greythorn Primary School will prepare for life on the moon by writing a space journal, and running a lunar egg drop and a bubble powered rocket competition.
Deciding not to follow the theme, Cobains Primary School will design and create a tiny town through which they will program robotic mice to roam, and Newcomb Secondary College plan to construct a bicycle powered electricity generator out of recycled materials so they can get fit and charge their electronic devices at lunchtime.
A total of 26 community organisations were awarded Vic Small Seed Grants for projects including a grisly activity called Mighty Maggots at several libraries in Geelong where kids can race the squirming critters to see whether they prefer chocolate, fruit or meat, and even make “maggot art” by dipping them in food dye and letting them crawl across paper. Looking up to the skies, panellists from the University of Melbourne will discuss Stories from the cosmos: what Indigenous storytelling can teach us about memory, our highways and ourselves on August 14 at the Royal Society of Victoria, and the Southern Peninsula Concert Band will celebrate space themed music in Music of the Heavens at the Mount Martha observatory. The To the Moon and Back public program August 17-25– running alongside a photographic exhibition of the same name in the Ballarat International Foto Biennale – offers creative ways for audiences to embrace science. At the Ballarat Municipal Observatory visitors can select images relating to space exploration and combine them on a lightbox to create a new composite image to post to social media, as well as creating a cyanotype using stencilled images illustrating a moon theme.
Discuss, create and invent with us, because science is for everyone.
First held in 1997, National Science Week has become one of Australia’s largest festivals. Last year saw a staggering 1.2 million people participate in more than 2,100 events and activities. With everything from science festivals, music and comedy shows, expert panel discussions, interactive hands-on displays, open days and online activities, National Science Week is proudly supported by the Australian Government; partners CSIRO, the Australian Science Teachers Association and the ABC; and sponsors Cosmos, Discovery Science, New Scientist and Popular Science.