We’re delighted to announce this year’s recipients of Community Grants for National Science Week in Victoria, coming up in August 2022! We have a grant fund of $10,000 to disburse this year, and attracted $20,991 in grant submissions, so it was a real challenge to distribute these equitably through consideration of program quality, geographic distribution, relative disadvantage and value for money, along with an alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goals and the targeting of equity groups.
Please congratulate the following grant recipients, who will be delivering these programs during National Science Week (13 – 21 August) this year:
Warrnambool Library – Hydrogen Futures
Held in partnership with the Hycel Technology Hub at Deakin University, the Warrnambool Library will be hosting an introduction to hydrogen, the future of zero emissions energy and hydrogen powered vehicles. Participants will isolate hydrogen with a tabletop electrolyser and experiment with toy hydrogen cars, a hands-on experience that puts science in the hands of our community.
Two one-hour sessions will be delivered for upper primary and lower secondary cohorts, while a renewable energy display will be created during Science Week, including “science on display” tools (model hydrogen car, mini wind turbine, solar panel), infographic posters, and relevant texts from the Warrnambool Library collection.
Eastern Regional Library – Citizen Science with iNaturalist
At two separate events along Mullum Mullum Creek, Ringwood (with Maroondah City Council) and at Mackenzie Reserve, Yarra Glen (with Yarra Ranges Council), attendees will meet our Digital Literacy Officer, who will provide iPads and demonstrate the use of the iNaturalist™ app. Attendees will then meet with an expert in the local fauna and flora to take a short bush-walking tour and capture data with the iPads. The events will seek participation by older people and those with typically lower mobility, featuring regular breaks to upload data and give participants a chance to rest and recover.
Ballarat Library – A Garden in a Jar
Ballarat Library will collaborate with local community organisation Food is Free Inc. to host all-ages “Create a Terrarium” workshops. There will be two sessions, held over the weekend of 20-21 August at two library branch locations.
Participants will use recycled glass containers to create a take-home terrarium, planted with herbs or ferns, in support of the 2022 National Science Week theme “glass.” There will be information on the science of glass production and a practical demonstration of reducing waste by reusing common household products. There will be lessons on minimising food waste through composting and worm farming. Participants will receive a take-home bag with seeds, ecopots and relevant community information on the Food is Free and City of Ballarat Libraries programs.
Ocean Grove & District Men’s Shed – Science from the Shed
A two-day event, with Seniors Day being Friday 12th August and Family Science on Saturday 13th August. Groups of 30 will participate in a 55-minute session, with first session beginning at 9 am and the last at 3 pm. There will be a 15-minute science show to start each session. Interactive workstations will be set up in and around the shed where a problem will await participants, who will work together to predict what will happen or develop a solution, then let the scenario play out to observe outcomes. They will then attempt to explain what happened and why it happened with guidance from volunteers, written instructions at each station and booklets of further activities to do at home provided.
Islamic Museum of Australia (Thornbury) – National Science Week: From Past to Present
An intercultural event on-site at the Islamic Museum of Australia in Thornbury on Saturday, 13 August, tracing the collaborative and multicultural contributions of historic and modern worlds to STEM fields. This youth-orientated program presented in partnership with the Hellenic Museum and STEM activity provider Robofun will feature two 1-hour robotics and coding classes for primary-aged students, a herbal workshop for all ages inspired by the herbs and plants championed in traditional Greek and Islamic medicine, and a pigment mixing session to give participants insight to the science behind some of the world’s oldest artworks from Ancient Greece and Late Antiquity, and the types of pigments and inks used in Islamic manuscripts.
The evening will proceed to an outdoor stargazing session. Binoculars will be provided for participants to take turns in spotting constellations in the sky. This will accompany a “Build Your Own Astrolabe” print-out activity, illuminating how the astrolabe was developed by Hellenic astronomers and later improved and refined by Islamic scholars. The program will conclude with a family-friendly evening screening of the “Night at the Museum” (2006) film in the Museum’s function room. Light refreshments, as well as freshly popped popcorn, will be provided.
STEMician (Bacchus Marsh): STEM Workshop
An inclusive, day-long program designed to help students from Foundation to Grade 4 grow interest and build confidence in the world of STEM, with a range of interactive and fun projects in an inclusive and safe environment.
They will work with robots and write codes to instruct them, create CAD models and transform them into real objects using 3D printers, making effective use of digital technologies to design energy efficient and sustainable houses. Working scientists, researchers, academics and industry experts will inspire and guide the students through interactive projects to show what the future holds for them in the exciting world of STEM.
MYLI (West Gippsland) – STEM Zone: Experiments with Glass
A range of glass experiments will be created by STEM Zone, a science engagement enterprise, with experienced teachers helping participants to run a range of fun and informative experiments. There will be a series of 3 events held at Drouin Library, Trafalgar Hall (run by the mobile library) and Warragul Library.
Port Phillip Libraries – Build and Launch Rockets
A series of events designed to engage the next generation with Australia’s developing space industry and develop a new STEM/Space group in libraries. Offered in partnership with the Australasian Youth CubeSat Initiative, participants will use 3D modelling software and learn to play Kerbal Space Program (approved by NASA) to introduce the principles of space sciences and related industries.
There will be four 2-hour workshops over a month, teaching the basics of orbits and rocket engineering. Students will build on knowledge gained from previous sessions to create an interest in rocket science and engineering while playing Kerbal Space Program. Students aged 12 – 18 will receive an introduction to Kerbal Space Program in a special 2-hour session, while senior secondary students with a demonstrated interest in science will have an opportunity to design, then 3D print, their own CubeSat models for testing in the field!
STEM Incubators (Kingston) – Solving Community Problems Through Science
STEM Incubators is a grass-root, for-impact, community-focused charity organization, working to create a thriving innovation platform for young Australians by providing them with a gamut of critical thinking tools and prepare them to approach real-world life problems with more grit and confidence. Over 2021 and 2022, the organisation is rolling out a program for young Australians to respond to community issues in a structured way, developing skills to shape outcomes, learn the nuances of social skills and an ability to demonstrate community Stewardship. This event will outline the journey of the students (around 20) working on different areas of STEM such as:
- Articulating the students’ perspective on real world challenges and their impact on the coming generation
- Explaining what they consider to be a productive approach to the challenges and how they developed solutions using Design Thinking and Problem solving
- Identifying the “pain points” solved by this project for the Kingston City Council
- Outlining how Council engagement helped the students to understand the actual issues facing the community
- Demonstrating the success of the proposed solution to reduce residential waste in Kingston.
Gannawarra Library Service – Ozbot Fun!
Kerang will welcome twistED Science to the Sir John Gorton Library to present the hands-on science show Ozbots, delivering high-tech robot fun to families, without screens. Activities will include colour-coding with the interactive Ozbots, helping kids to start the coding process with simple activities and progress to more complex levels.
Greater Hamilton Library – Light and Sound
In this sensory-based 90-minute incursion, early primary years students use their sight and hearing to learn more about the properties of light and sound. From making their own box guitar, to creating shadows, this incursion is packed full of activities that are perfect for younger year levels. Our passionate science educators will carefully guide students through each step, prompting students to predict, observe and reflect on each activity.
Brimbank Libraries – Scope it Out
Brimbank libraries will work with Fizzics Education to running a special schedule of optics-related events. Across a week of science workshops, activities and storytimes, young people in Brimbank will explore the science of optics, magnification and light exploring the vastness of space, the microscopic world of bacteria and making their own periscopes to look around corners.
The thirteen events will be run at Sunshine, Deer Park, St Albans, Keilor and Sydenham libraries, from Saturday the 13th of August through to Friday the 19th of August. The two microscopy sessions have been booked for the 13th and 14th of August, at Sunshine and Sydenham libraries respectively.
Brunswick Neighbourhood House – Robotics and Coding Fun
An after-school robotics and coding event for primary school aged children aged 8-12 at Brunswick Neighbourhood House’s (BNH) De Carle St venue, led by STEM activity provider Robofun. The workshop will introduce coding using a drag and drop program designed to introduce computational thinking, then move to a focus on robotics, introducing basic electronics, including circuits and wiring. The workshop will run for two hours and will include a short break for afternoon tea.
Casey-Cardinia Libraries –Excursion to Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne
The Library will partner with the Programming and Audience Development team at the Cranbourne Gardens to offer an excursion to community members, providing a learning experience of science skills, wellbeing and sustainability, nature play and Indigenous culture. The program will be suitable for CALD and low-income community members, many of whom are new to the City of Casey, to mark National Science Week 2022.
Congratulations to all the seed grant recipients, who will be contributing to a vibrant program of science-related activities across Victoria and Australia in August this year.
Are you planning on or interested in holding an event this year? Please check out the amazing resources available on the National Science Week website, which give you everything you need from fun and easy activity ideas to pointers on effective promotion and inclusion. Don’t forget to register your activity to be included in the festival listings!
*This article will be updated to include links to register for each event as they become available.