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Engaging Science Grants—2016/17 round 2 recipients

Twenty-eight recipients of the Engaging Science Grants will share in almost $270,000 to help raise the profile of science in the community.

Recipient Project Amount Project Summary
Queensland University of Technology Effectively engaging the public on advanced biotechnologies $10,000 Advanced biotechnologies such as genome editing for the production of new foods, fuels and chemicals could revolutionise the social, environmental and economic landscape. Queensland researchers are developing innovative solutions and need to engage the wider community (law-makers, media and the general public) to develop the legal and social licence needed for acceptance and adoption. The project provides researcher training and engagement opportunities for advanced biotechnologies.
Glasshouse Country Christian College AgriTech $10,000 Students will engage with farmers, in conjunction with the local agronomist and grower associations, and consult with them about providing mapping, electromagnetic and other surveys of their property. Conducting the surveys will teach students how to program and fly a drone and acquire mapping imagery and relevant data. Farmers and interested parties will be invited to attend these drone mapping days. Once all data is obtained, students will analyse the imagery and provide feedback about what they have found at a community event.
Conservation Farmers Inc Science on the fly—Drones in agriculture $10,000 Three workshops will be delivered in Roma, Dalby and Emerald to connect farmers face-to-face with leading drone scientist, Dr Catherine Ball. The workshops will provide independent, practical and current information on the risks, benefits, regulatory requirements and agricultural adaptations of drones. The workshops aim to improve farmer knowledge and confidence in adopting this great science.
Milton State School Augmenting reality $8,550 Students will get a taste of augmented reality and increase their understanding of STEM. Using Google Cardboard—a simple viewer—students will experience augmented reality on a smart phone. Students will use apps in a range of learning areas, development tasks and various scenarios.
Windsor State School Makerspace project $10,000 The Makerspace project will develop a dedicated space filled with equipment to support engagement with STEM concepts in a fun and interesting environment. The project is focused on primary-aged children and community members in Brisbane and will be a partnership with local schools and the Queensland Academy of Creative Industries.
Queensland University of Technology Human clininical trials—Essential science not crazy drug testing $10,000 The project aims to educate the Australian public that clinical trials are an opportunity for all Australians to contribute to science and to change the public's perception that trials are risky. The project will consist of an online educational campaign which will precede a physical presence at one of South East Queensland's largest sporting events, the 'Tough Mudder' running race.
Australian Society of Soil Science Inc Let's Get Dirty $10,000 The project uses art to communicate complex scientific ideas to highlight the importance of soils and show the ways in which science and soils are part of our everyday lives. ‘Let’s Get Dirty’ will be a 6-month artist in residence program. An artist will be paired with a Queensland university to work collaboratively with soil scientists and researchers in developing their work, which will culminate in an Art in Soils exhibition.
Adolescent Success STEAM Conference 'Discover-Design-Drive' $10,000 Adolescent Success invites Queensland middle years students to engage in a global connection with keynote speaker and inventor, Kevin Honeycutt to work on a STEAM project to create a 'Mars Space Station', culminating in a display at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. Students will work on an ongoing project throughout the term with Kevin and then attend a student conference where they participate in creative workshops and hear from engaging speakers and complete their 'Mars Space Station' project in the maker space.
Central Highlands Science Centre Bush science—Saluting scientists in rural Queensland $10,000 This project will make the public aware of where science can take you in the outback via short and engaging stories told by real scientists. These 'Science Snapshots' will also help educate school leavers wanting a career in science by informing them of science-related job opportunities outside of the state’s metropolitan areas. The project involves filming engaging local science stories and 'did you know science' facts about science in Queensland and sharing them on social media.
Coding Kids Every student coding by 2020—South Burnett Region $9,600 This project will visit the South Burnett region over 2 days to deliver coding and robotics workshops for children, parents, teachers and librarians. The aim of the workshops are to foster interest in digital literacy and technology creation.
Conservation Farmers Rolling into the future—Reducing agricultural soil compaction $9,420 This project will deliver 3 workshops (Roma, St George and Jimbour) that will connect farmers face-to-face with soil scientists and on-farm tyre expert, Graham Betts. The workshops will provide independent, practical and current information on the issue of soil compaction, solutions and benefits of improved tyre management. This aims to improve farmer knowledge and confidence in adopting this science.
Digsfish Services Maintaining a community oyster gardening initiative for shellfish reefs $10,000 Pumicestone Passage has been identified as a priority area for restoring shellfish reef habitat on Australia's east coast. Australia’s first community-based oyster gardening program on Bribie Island has been established by recruiting residents to grow oysters which will eventually be used for experimental trials to restore shellfish reefs.
Geological Society of Australia Geological Society of Australia Earth Sciences Student Symposium $7,300 This initiative is designed to bring students and young researchers from around Queensland to present new research, technologies and ideas about earth science. This is a student organised and run symposium designed to allow students to develop their science communication skills, facilitate peer learning and enjoy networking. This symposium, free to students, will enable PhD, masters, honours and undergraduate earth science students to present advancing research to their peers and industry.
Griffith University That's RAD! Science Series $10,000 This project will support the creation of a series of illustrated children’s books (for children aged 5-9) that showcase Queensland women in STEM and their exciting fields and careers. The 3 books, developed in collaboration with Queensland women in STEM, will be distributed free to approximately 250 Queensland schools and will focus on these themes:
  • parasites
  • amazing nanoparticles including why butterfly wing have such vivid colours and nanoparticle 'robots' used for environmental sensing
  • science detective (forensics) or engineering.
Healthy Waterways and Catchments Overboard and underwater—the science of life in the bay $10,000 Local scientists, students and teachers will be brought together to explore how to use science to protect local marine environments and habitat. Three ‘science in the field’ voyages, involving 120 students, will be held involving practical hands-on activities exploring the values of Moreton Bay and problem solving with scientists how to develop real world solutions using science. Each voyage will focus on a different theme:
  • seagrass and its role in water quality
  • culture and science
  • marine debris on local sea turtles species.
Noosa Shire Council 'Cool coding and robotics' for National Science Week $6,476 Through 'Cool Coding and Robotics', Noosa Library Service encourages the local community to engage and participate in STEM through a series of fun and practical coding and robotics workshops. Held during National Science Week, this week-long program promotes hands-on experiences about programming and robotics and provides an informal learning experience that may spark people’s interest in science and technology and inspire them to study a STEM-related career.
Ocean Life Education Ocean to Outback roadshow $10,000 The project ‘Ocean to Outback’ will engage students and the community in rural areas, specifically the Western Downs regional area, delivering fun marine education. Marine educators will arrive with fascinating live marine animals, artefacts, games and information, blending hands-on interaction with science and entertainment.
Queensland Music Festival Small schools science touring $10,000 Reef Up! will be a professional production with cutting edge science-communicated in an accessible, fun and educational way to ensure young people can learn about what is happening to the coral reefs globally and what we can do to help. Developed in collaboration with leading Queensland scientists, it combines dance and drama with scientific messages and is supported by teacher resources. Reef Up! will tour during October and November to schools in Coastal Queensland, from the Gold Coast to Alexandra Bay in the Daintree. The project will target smaller schools with this science incursion.
Queensland University of Technology INSPIRE (Implementing Novel STEM Partnerships In Rural Education) $10,000 Applications for INSPIRE will be taken from final year Biomedical Science and Medical Laboratory Science students at QUT. Three successful applicants will be selected according to the best written and oral responses and matched with mentors of senior postgraduate students or postdoctoral researchers. After a 1 day training workshop on teaching methods, the undergraduate and their mentor will attend rural and remote communities of Normanton, Mt Isa and Kingaroy to teach science to year 9 and 10 students and deliver interactive workshops at local community centres.
Queensland University of Technology Tropical Homes Superhero Challenge $10,000 The Tropical Homes Superhero Challenge will make heat visible by engaging Townsville building trades and residents in the science of thermography. In October workshops at Bunnings stores will be conducted by a QUT scientist to demonstrate how heat transfers through buildings and impacts on comfort and appliances. Training will be provided in the use of thermal imaging devices and a number of these devices will be available for loan at Bunnings. Participants will be encouraged to document the 'energy vampires' in their homes through lifestyle/thermal images, short video clips, comic strips, animations and social media and submitted to an online portal as part of the challenge.
Reef Check Australia Making connections with Moreton Bay marine science $10,000 This project will develop science communications approaches to help communities connect with the unique subtropical reef communities of Moreton Bay through the Reef Ambassadors program. Reef Ambassadors are trained community members who actively share information about local reefs at events and inspire communities to better understand and protect local marine environments. The project involves:
  • message development about Moreton Bay marine science concepts, reef health and our citizen science survey findings
  • field trip to visit local reefs
  • science communications workshop
  • trial messages and resources at 10 community events
  • evaluation.
Rockhampton State High School EXCEL $10,000 Rockhampton State High School's EXCEL program (Excellence Challenge Enquiry Learning) is focused on incorporating STEM learning experiences to its students. This purpose of the program is to:
  • implement effective STEM resources and practices into current curriculum programs
  • provide hands-on learning experiences
  • help students to further develop inquiry skills through problem solving tasks.
Our target audience for the EXCEL program is to attract local students to connect with other like-minded students.
Science Teachers' Association of Queensland STEM in Action forum $8,465 The STEM in Action forum will involve 2 complementary events-workshop forum and interactive industry engagement sessions, followed by an informal panel discussion presented by engaging industry and academic STEM professionals. The workshops aim to provide in-depth knowledge about cutting-edge applications within STEM. The evening event 'Making Waves in STEM' will consist of a moderated panel discussion of engaging STEM professionals who will share their stories about their career journeys and current professional/research roles.
State Library of Queensland SLQ Fun Palace $9,950 Fun Palace is an annual, free, global celebration linking the arts, sciences and education over a weekend in October, with a mission to encourage communities to create by, and for, themselves. A key focus of the State Library of Queensland (SLQ) Fun Palace program is encouraging young people and their families to engage with science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STEAM) activities in a fun, non-threatening and all-inclusive environment with high profile science educators.
Tarampa Studios 3 Fast Fun & Educational iToons (Informational Cartoons) $10,000 Cartoons captivate young minds, engage creative thinking and stimulate outside-of-the-box thinking. Everything looks more fun and exciting as a cartoon-even the most complex theories! Voiceovers with familiar actors and notable scientists will help engage a wide audience to explore STEM subjects. The cartoons with cute critters and famous historic mathematicians and scientists will be made available to schools and home-schooled students for free online.
Tree Kangaroo and Mammal Group Project Kimberley—Wildlife in virtual reality $10,000 The Tree Kangaroo and Mammal Group has partnered with the Information Technology Academy at James Cook University to create the world's first 3D virtual reality tree-kangaroo. It is called Kimberley after her real-life model, a hand raised, semi-wild Lumholtz's tree-kangaroo. The 3D simulation project aims to address conservation issues for schools and local youth groups by using new technologies. This project will further develop the Kimberley proof-of-concept to enable interactions with the public. Ultimately, Kimberley will be set up in visitor centres and will be able to taken to schools, science expos or open days.
University of Southern Queensland Foods for health $10,000 The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) is researching using functional foods to treat chronic diseases associated with ageing. Prof Grant Pierce from St Boniface Research Hospital, Winnipeg, Canada will be visiting USQ in September to share his expertise on linseed. Public lectures on functional foods will be held in Toowoomba and Ipswich while schools visits in Ipswich and Toowoomba will also take place. In addition, Prof Pierce will visit several farmers on the Darling Downs who are interested in growing functional foods.
Youth without Borders Spark Engineering Camp $10,000 Spark Engineering Camp is an initiative run by volunteer university students. The camp brings high school students of years 10 to 12 to experience university life at The University of Queensland for 1 week. The high school students chosen to go on this camp are students from indigenous, rural and/or economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The camp's purpose is to promote a career pathway in STEM by immersing students in activities which not only challenge their knowledge, but also their leadership, team-working skills and creativity.
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia (CC BY-ND 3.0)
Last updated
11 May, 2017

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