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Igniting ideas for National Science Week 2018

The annual call has sounded for creative ideas, events and projects to engage Australians in science, engineering, technology and innovation during next year’s National Science Week.

The Australian Government is offering National Science Week grants of between $2,000 and $20,000 for individuals, community groups, universities, research institutions and other organisations interested in holding an event during Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology.

A total of up to $500,000 in National Science Week Grants is available for activities in Australia like events, exhibitions, expos and workshops that make science accessible to everyone, get the community talking about science and showcase the contributions of Australian scientists.

National Science Week is one of Australia’s biggest festivals with around 1.3 million people participating in more than 2000 events in 2017, including hands-on and online activities and competitions taking place everywhere, from the Tiwi Islands to Antarctica, Christmas Island to Cape York.

Projects funded through National Science Week Grants in 2017 included a wall art collaboration between Canberra street artists and scientists and a discussion about Life on Mars at the Sydney Opera House.

Regional Australia joined in with astronomy events in regional South Australia and a touring HealthLAB offered visitors health self-assessments across the Top End.

Elsewhere, female researchers toured regional Queensland for Catch a Rising Star, and the Riverina Science Festival and Tastrofest in Ulverstone attracted enthusiastic crowds.

Citizen scientists submitted more than 17,000 sightings of native wildlife to the Great Australian Biodiversity Challenge and we admitted to our smartphone addiction in Australia’s Biggest Smartphone Survey.

A recent Australian National University survey commissioned by the Australian Government found that 90 per cent of Australians feel that science has made their lives easier overall.

However, we still need Australians to be more informed and engaged with science to reap the full benefits of scientific endeavor.

I encourage grant applications for activities and events that will stimulate discussion and engagement with science.

To find out more about National Science Week go to www.scienceweek.net.au

To find out more and apply for a National Science Week Grant go to www.business.gov.au/nswkg

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