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Engaging Science Grants—2017/18 round 1 recipients

Seventeen recipients of the Engaging Science Grants will share in more than $160,000 to help raise the profile of science in the community.

Recipient Project Amount Project Summary
BirdLife Australia Ltd Birds in Schools $10,000

Birds in Schools is an inquiry-based curriculum program that encourages students to engage in the scientific process of adaptive management as citizen scientists within their community. Alongside a BirdLife Australia team, their teachers and local councils, students collect data and analyse and interpret their observations. They use this evidence to make management recommendations through an action plan which aims to improve native bird habitat and encourage a diversity of birds on their school grounds, while educating their local community on the value of urban biodiversity. Ultimately, the students implement these action plans to create bird-friendly school gardens.

Bloomfield River State School Ngana-anga jirri wjarr - our night sky $3,200

The Bloomfield River State School will hire a portable planetarium and have students visit it during the day. The Dream Dome expands the planetarium concept into a totally new approach as a visual entertainment and mobile learning centre. In the evening we will continue the event with a community barbeque followed by a tour of our night sky in the community of Wujal Wujal, led by Night Sky Secrets, a local company whose specialty is tours featuring an aboriginal perspective on the southern skies and viewing the deep sky through large aperture telescopes.

Bundaberg Frut And Vegetable Growers Cooperative Limited Robots, drones and sensors: Future farming masterclasses $9,942

This project is a collaboration between Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers and Central Queensland University. It is a series of practical, innovative masterclasses for farmers, industry and the community, demonstrating innovative science and technology advances using robots, drones and senors in agriculture. Masterclasses will be delivered over two days at Agrotrend, in Bundaberg, and will include practical demonstrations using technology and science, interactive question and answer opportunities, and take home resources. The future farming masterclasses are intended to inspire farmers, industry and school students to explore the technology and engage with the scientific community.

Cairns And Far North Environment Centre Inc MangroveWatch - Cairns Chapter $10,000

If a mangrove falls into the sea, and nobody is watching, does anybody care? The question is what if someone was watching? MangroveWatch is a citizen-science partnership between communities, schools and scientists to document changes in local mangrove habitats and inform better management of estuaries. The Cairns And Far North Environment Centre, in partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Legacy, MangroveWatch of TropWater at James Cook University and the Cairns Local Marine Advisory Committee will establish a MangroveWatch program in the Cairns region to gather long-term data on  estuaries and engage locals in the act of collecting and promoting the data as citizen scientists.

Cairns Aquarium and Reef Research Centre Pty Ltd Creating a Reef Rainforest Interpretive Centre at Cairns Aquarium $10,000

This project delivers a purpose-built Reef Rainforest Interpretive Centre in the Cairns Aquarium that can be used for presentations and lectures delivered by professional educators, researchers and other groups dedicated to the conservation of the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics. With an existing level of demand for this facility, the hands-on learning resources, video content and interpretive signage produced for the Centre would see it used regularly. The Cairns Aquarium is a logical location for this education forum as the visitor experience has been designed specifically to facilitate interaction with the biological diversity of the region.

Capalaba State College Right here - Right NAO: Social robotics inspiring STEM $10,000

Humanoid social robot, NAO will be used to inspire and engage students, parents and teachers on the junior campus of the college with STEM. They will learn how to code our NAO robot with Choregraphe software and Python to create entertaining social robotic experiences including story telling, staged dialogue as well as supporting students with autism and communication disorders.

Coomera Rivers State School iDesign with STEAM $10,000

The 'iDesign with STEAM' project targets primary school teachers and students and will run over a year. It includes student events, teacher professional development and delivers community awareness of STEAM during five activities involving robotics, drones, computer games and circuits.

Edlp Pty Ltd Coding Kids in Thargomindah   $9,184

We will deliver coding workshops to the community in Thargomindah and its nearby communities. The coding program involves free workshops for both teachers and students. The workshops teach new approaches to problem solving covering computational thinking, design thinking, system thinking, and how to create digital solutions to solve community problems. Students and teachers learn to become technology creators and not just passive consumers of technology.

Edlp Pty Ltd Coding Kids in Charter Towers $9,500

We will deliver coding workshops to the community in Charter Towers and its nearby communities. The coding program involves free workshops for both teachers and students. The workshops teach new approaches to problem solving covering computational thinking, design thinking, system thinking, and how to create digital solutions to solve community problems. Students and teachers learn to become technology creators and not just passive consumers of technology.

Fifty Six Creations Pty Ltd Fiftysix Opportunity Workshop $10,000

According to the Foundation for Young Australians' New Work Order report, 60 percent of students are currently being trained in jobs that will be radically changed by automation.

The Fiftysix Opportunity Workshops teach young people about the skills of the future. Computer science, STEM and entrepreneurship are all covered.

Griffith University Wetland wander $10,000

Wetlands within the catchments of the Great Barrier Reef are valuable and beautiful. However, not many people know about these wetlands, and thus, not many people care about them. The goal of this project is to create an immersive installation consisting of video, photography and audio so the public can experience wetlands through art. The project will have wide outreach as it will be showcased in public spaces and on various websites. Through this installation, people will have the opportunity to learn about wetlands, to create awareness of their scientific value, and to appreciate their beauty.

Kingaroy State High School Polymer chemistry initiative $10,000

The polymer chemistry initiative is a unique partnership between Kingaroy State High School and the Centre for Advanced Imaging (CAI) at The University of Queensland. Scientists from the CAI will synthesise polymers at the school. The students will then travel to the CAI for a three-day camp where they will use the advanced facilities at the CAI to characterise the polymer synthesised at the school. Students will use a number of scientific techniques. 

Northern Peninsula Area State College Science extravaganza $9,390

Science applies to our everyday life and leads to  many career pathways. In order to raise the school community’s engagement with science, the college will deliver activities throughout National Science Week with a culminating day celebrating science and the interrelated disciplines of technology, arts, engineering and mathematics (a science extravaganza). Talented people from our parent community, school leaders and key staff at the college, experts at James Cook University in Cairns, and the Fizzics Education team, will engage with staff and students at Injinoo Junior to create a knowledge and skill sharing community.

Queens Beach State School Bowen makerthon $10,000

A series of workshops will be delivered to introduce students, educators and the wider community to STEM, digital technologies, entrepreneurship and creativity. Specialists will visit the Bowen and Whitsunday communities to provide hands-on learning activities for people of all ages.

Rockhampton Special School Special STEM $9,000

This project will enable students with multiple disabilities to experience STEM, through an inquiry learning approach, while training teachers, and engaging the local community. The project will design and resource a maker space to enable students to engage with innovative technologies to support their understanding of STEM. The project will link students with neighbouring schools, parents and wider community members through the participation of Central Queensland University and Rockhampton Regional Council Library.

The University Of Queensland Advanced imaging and data collection: from SPARQ-ed to virtual reality $10,000

This project is aimed at improving the quality and reach of the SPARQ-ed program and establishing an online presence with high quality STEM-based projects. The aims are to streamline SPARQ-ed's imaging, data collection and analysis capabilities for students visiting their laboratory and to deliver similar opportunities to students who are not able to visit them.  The project will enable students to extract and/or visualise micro-organisms by using advanced technologies (such as fluorescent microscopy). The students will also be able to perform complex techniques and record their results often during real-time live streaming.

Toohey Forest Environmental Education Centre Zika Mozzie Seeker - secondary schools $9,400

Zika Mozzie Seeker is a citizen science project by Metro South Health that seeks to engage high school students to collect mosquito egg samples for both in class analysis and for molecular screening of Zika mosquito DNA using a world-first methodology. The project will unite working scientists with students and, in doing so, raise the profile of science and the benefits of science to the wider community.  The project will also showcase the drug discovery pipeline using the unique facility of the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery.  Participating schools will receive teacher professional learning and specialist student immersion programs.

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

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