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2018 National Science Week grant recipients

Silhouette of a person holding a sparkler

Congratulations to the successful National Science Week grant recipients presenting events in Victoria this year.  A full listing of grant recipients in states other than Victoria can be found here. The grant results were announced by Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation Senator the Hon Zed Seselja in February 2018, and help to fund the following activities in Victoria:

Parasite Paradise at the Art Gallery of Ballarat
Australian Society for Parasitology

What role do parasites play in human health? Find out through the research of parasitologists, and the digital art and animation of the work Gula Guri mayin (which means ‘heal the body’) by Indigenous artist Bernard Lee Singleton. This event involves science-art workshops bringing together scientists, artists and the public to explore the science of parasites and its relation to human health. The program also includes the ‘Parasite Paradise’ interactive display with microscopes and other activities, a Café Scientifique event with science talks over drinks, and a science-art movie making workshop.

Immersive Science II: Revealing the Invisible Universe
Swinburne University of Technology

From the outer reaches of the cosmos to the tiny world of the microcosmos, how can you see the science that’s invisible to the naked eye? Science communicators and researchers Associate Professor Alan Duffy and Dr Rebecca Allen will host Immersive Science II, guiding audiences through the Universe and the ripples in the fabric of spacetime, and exploring the nano- and microscopic realms—all with the help of immersive virtual reality technology. Alan and Rebecca will answer questions from the audience and those submitted via social media. There is a day-time event for families at the State Library, an evening event for adults at the Mountain Goat Brewery, and regional viewing parties and online video streaming.

Magnificent Microscopy: Life under a Lens
University High School / Gene Technology Access Centre (GTAC)

Magnificent Microscopy: Life under a Lens reveals how powerful microscopes help explore cancer cures, infectious diseases, how DNA works, neuroscience, genetically modified crops, and even climate change.

This event—held in the heart of Melbourne’s biomedical research precinct—offers people the chance to meet scientists working on research addressing important global challenges. Participants bring their own samples to view and photograph using research-grade microscopes. Images can be entered into the Gene Technology Access Centre’s Magnificent Microscopy competition, with prizes to be won.

Presenting My Local Weather
Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society

Calling all weather cadets!

The Australian Meteorological & Oceanographic Society (AMOS) is launching a national video competition for primary and secondary students. What’s the weather and climate like around you, and why does it change? AMOS invites school-aged children to explore their local weather and climate, and present it to camera.

We will provide the expert advice of a working TV weather presenter via an online video. They will guide you on how to create weather segments, including where and how to get weather information, and tips on screen presentation, shooting on location, and using props. Competition participants film and enter their own two-minute video. The winning entries in each state and territory will win some awesome prizes.

The competition website includes resource kits giving everyone an insight into weather prediction and presentation, and tools for understanding our changing climate.

Koori Youth Communicate Science to the Community
Discovery Science & Technology Centre, Bendigo

The Bendigo and District Aboriginal Cooperative Youth Group and the Discovery Science and Technology Centre are joining forces to strengthen links between science and the local community, including Indigenous youth. This project will train Koori youth in science communication and presenting so that they can engage with science, grow their confidence, and potentially present workshops exploring electricity, gravity, and forces to their peers and the local Aboriginal community.

Science in the Park: Wildlife Counts
Swinburne University of Technology

Care for a spot of frog calling, water bug identification, bird watching, or koala spotting? The Science in the Park: Wildlife Counts event at the Coolart Wetlands and Homestead Reserve in Somers, will be the focus of free science activities on the Mornington Peninsula catering for all ages. PrimeSCI!, along with universities, state and local organisations and volunteer groups, will host a day of science presentations, science displays and hands-on activities, wildlife monitoring, and education on sustainable practices in the unique wetland environments of the Coolart Reserve. Ian Temby, author of Wild Neighbours, will be a key speaker. The event will promote the National Science Week school theme of ‘Game Changers and Change Makers’.

Rossum’s Universal Robots: From Science Fiction to Reality
St Vincent’s Hospital

The 1920s science fiction play Rossum’s Universal Robots by Karel Čapek introduced the word ‘robot’ to the English language. It was set in a factory-lab that fabricates flesh and blood artificial people from a special gel-like substance.

This production brings Čapek’s play and its ‘robots’ to life in a real science laboratory. The BioFab3D laboratory, based at St Vincent’s Hospital, literally builds body parts using living cells. This convergence of science fiction and real scientific research captures the imagination and makes this play relevant nearly a century after its premiere.

Textual Data Sonification and Algorithmic Composition Competition
RMIT University

The letters A, B, C and D can be arranged to form words. They can also represent music notes. And they’re also a type of data.

The Textual Data Sonification and Algorithmic Composition Competition challenges participants to write computer programs that translate text into data, allocate data to specific sounds in the form of music notes (‘data sonification’), and then turn those notes into sheet music. The ultimate aim is to create a computer program that can use any text to generate acapella vocal scores for soprano, alto, tenor and bass singers.

The competition will culminate with a vocal performance at RMIT University during National Science Week where winning and shortlisted entries will be demonstrated using text data provided by the audience, and performed by singers with excellent sight reading skills.

BrainPark: Revealing a new approach to addiction and OCD
Monash University

Come inside BrainPark, the world’s first research facility to offer lifestyle and technology-based interventions for addictive and compulsive behaviours. At BrainPark, we will use science, technology, lifestyle and art to harness the power of brain plasticity. People with addictions or compulsions are immersed in a positive, interactive and evidence-based environment to help them conquer their compulsions and establish healthy habits for life.

Visitors will receive an exclusive behind the scenes tour of virtual reality, physical exercise, cognitive training, meditation, and non-invasive brain stimulation activities, and experience how the Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences is working to bring transformational changes to how addictions and compulsions are experienced, diagnosed and treated.


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