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Engaging Science Grants—2017/18 round 2 recipients

Sixteen recipients of the Engaging Science Grants will share in more than $148,000 to help raise the profile of science in the community.

Recipient Project Amount Project Summary
Queensland Mycological Society Inc. Building community capacity for study of tropical Queensland fungi $10,000 Tropical Australia has a rich diversity of fungi, but it is understudied. Queensland public and scientific communities are poorly informed about the important ecosystem services provided by fungi. In this project the Queensland Mycological Society together with mycologists and ecologists will transfer their knowledge to the Atherton Tableland, Kuranda and Cairns communities and students through talks, walks and workshops. Events will provide local people with the skills to capture images, record fungi for the Atlas-of-Living-Australia, and make collections for identification and scientific analysis. They will also learn about the ecological roles of fungi. Data collected will go towards the production of identification tools for future use by scientists and the public.
Gold Coast City Council Girls who STEAM $9,968 A dedicated series of programs for young girls to provide opportunities to engage in STEM workshops, facilitated by female scientists and experts, to inspire and support them to foster an ongoing interest in the sciences, and develop future skills required for innovation.
Thuringowa State High School Science through a VR lens $10,000 The abstract and often complex nature of science content in curriculum sometimes results in disengagement of students from low socioeconomic or Indigenous backgrounds. Virtual reality (VR) will be used in Thuringowa State High School as a mechanism to turn this around and engage years 7 to 10 students in the science.
Woodfordia Inc. BioQuesting at The Planting $9,500 In collaboration with QuestaGame, an interactive citizen-science mobile app, the 8th Annual Planting Festival will partner to create Bioquestin. Expert presentations, workshops and field trips will engage patrons to find and capture images, and identify and document wildlife on the 500 acre site of Woodfordia with the support of on-the-ground scientists and online experts. 'BioQuesting' will increase engagement and participation of the community in science-based activities, increase the number of scientists directly engaging with the community and promote collaboration with community members and experts on biodiversity conservation research projects.
James Cook University Outreach solar workshops $10,000 This outreach activity involves developing and conducting age-appropriate solar workshops for about 700 students attending eight primary schools in the Hinchinbrook region. Workshops will combine ‘edu-tainment’ with health, science, technology, engineering and maths activities including using an appearance-based app to observe individual sun-damage/photo-ageing and solar telescopes to safely observe the sun's surface, solar flares and sun-spots. As the national curriculum requires year 5 students to learn how to plan/practise strategies to promote health, safety and wellbeing they will also train the students and their teachers to use their simple ‘hat-wearing app’ to observe hat-wearing practices at their school.
Sharks And Rays Australia Pty Ltd Sawfish - endangered and forgotten sea monsters $9,295 Sharks And Rays Australia has teamed up with Sharks4Kids to involve school children and the general public in their sawfish project. Sawfish are the most endangered of all cartilaginous fishes. As some of their last retreats are found in Northern Australia, the importance of public awareness for the survival of these species cannot be stressed enough. Sawfish are listed on the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act as well as the Queensland Fisheries Act. This project will help people understand and appreciate the importance of sawfish in aquatic food webs and how modern technology is able to monitor aquatic species living in crocodile country.
Ocean Life Education Ocean to Outback Roadshow $10,000 Ocean Life Education 'Brings the Sea to You' with fun marine education programs designed to inspire students of all ages to appreciate and take responsibility for the marine ecosystem. The roadshow takes marine scientists on a journey to Queensland's regional areas giving students and their community the opportunity to engage in hands on marine science. Marine biologists will arrive with fascinating live marine animals, artefacts, games and information, blending hands-on interaction with science and entertainment.
Calamvale Community College Year 6 STEM embedded career development $10,000 This project will help to build student's identity around their personal capacity to become a STEM professional in the future. It will embed career development principles in year 6 studies at the college. This approach will increase student participation in STEM as they develop an identity around being the kind of person who can have a STEM career.
James Cook University Discovering urban wildlife $10,000 Most kids, particularly those in cities, don't get the opportunity to experience native wildlife in the far-flung Aussie 'outback'. Luckily, there is a diverse suite of native animals that live in our homes, backyards and local neighbourhoods. Discovering this wildlife is an exciting hands-on workshop for 4-7 year-olds. During this workshop students will be introduced to the local urban wildlife, using their eyes and ears to collect scientific data and identify wildlife species.
Noosa Shire Council Maker Magic: where the magic is in the making $10,000 This project encourages our community to participate in STEM-related learning through a six-month series of programs centred on robotics and 3D experiences. The program includes beginner workshops promoting hands-on activities with new and emerging technology that may spark peoples' interest in science and technology and inspire them towards a STEM related career. The advanced workshops introduce aspiring inventors to key 3D and engineering fundamentals through learning how to design, model and manufacture objects from concept to print and through the design, build and racing of drones.  Inventions from this program will be showcased at a large community festival.
Pine Rivers Special School Pine Rivers Special School Science Week 2018 Extravaganza $4,670 The extravaganza is four days of science shows, demonstrations and hands-on activities for students and will include rockets, helium balloons and drones. Parents and community members can get involved in science and discover the joy of learning about science.
Mackay Christian Colleges Ltd The worth of preserving the Pioneer River mangrove ecosystem $9,880 Year 11 biology students will learn about the important role of mangrove systems in their existing curriculum. Due to the critical importance of mangroves and the college’s prime location for accessing a mangrove system, the school is planning to incorporate real and engaging scientific field investigation. This scientific investigation will be conducted within the Pioneer River mangrove community. The conservation value of the mangroves maybe devalued in comparison to near pristine estuarine systems, however our investigation aims to promote the worth of preserving the mangrove system by identifying its carbon capture and storage potential.
Taabinga State School Taabinga STEM Challenge $5,952 This project involves a STEM challenge and a Makerspace open day with schools from the Kingaroy area. Students will be invited to participate in a series of activities and challenges in the Makerspace including building catapults, learning about LittleBits, Sphero art and making a stop motion animation movie. A local scientist or engineer will be a guest speaker.
Toowoomba Regional Council Drone Coding: Search and Rescue $9,817 Toowoomba Regional Libraries in partnership with STEM Punks will deliver a ‘drones in STEM education teacher professional development event’ and 12 x 1.5 hour school holiday programs free of charge to teachers and children from across the Toowoomba region.  Independent, state and catholic teachers from across the region will be invited to attend the professional development event. The drone coding program will be delivered in 11 library locations: Cecil Plains, Clifton, Goombungee, Highfields, Crows Nest, Millmerran, Oakey, Pittsworth, Quinalow, Toowoomba City and Yarraman. Drones have a real world, practical applications to the region’s agriculture industry.
Coorparoo Secondary College STEM Primary Links Program $9,450 Following consultation with local primary school teachers, Coorparoo Secondary College is developing a Coorparoo STEM education network in 2018. The network offers opportunities for participating primary school students to grow their interest in STEM subjects through activities such as science workshops in college science laboratories and maths extension classes. A Primary STEM Challenge and Mathematics Challenge Days will also be hosted at the college where primary schools will problem-solve their way to victory.
Queensland University of Technology INSPIRE – Implementing novel STEM partnerships in Indigenous and rural education $9,910 INSPIRE 2018 brings final year QUT STEM and education undergraduates together with an experienced science communicator/mentor to develop a teaching plan with indigenous/rural high school science teachers from Cunnumalla, Mt Isa or Normanton. Each QUT trio will visit the high schools for a week to deliver their STEM workshops to year 9 and 10 students. The workshop are designed to complement curriculum and teachers will also benefit from existing QUT-teacher support programs. There is also an opportunity to donate QUT STEM-related equipment.


Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia (CC BY-ND 3.0)
Last updated
7 February, 2018

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