10 ways to celebrate National Science Week

National Science Week

Woo hoo! National Science Week runs from August 14 to 22 and we couldn’t be more excited about all the awesome STEM events taking place.

From using machine learning to bake, to hearing the inspiring stories and journeys of Indigenous people and women in STEM, here’s how you can celebrate National Science Week from the comfort of your own home!

1. Pen a piece about the STEM in everyday life for the UNSW Bragg Student Prize for Science Writing

The UNSW Bragg Student Prize for Science Writing is a competition for Year 7-10 students in Australia. You’ll need to write an 800 word essay on this year’s topic, which is the STEM in everyday life. There are amazing prizes up for grabs, and the winning essay will be included in the 2022 edition of NewSouth Publishing’s highly acclaimed anthology The Best Australian Science Writing.

Get your entries in quick! This competition closes Friday, August 27 at 5pm. Head on over to the competition page to enter.

2. Flex your filmmaking skills for the University of Adelaide Young Scientist of the Year Video Competition

For this comp, you’ll need to create a 2-5 minute video that showcases an environmental problem that needs to be recognised, or explains your solution to an environmental problem on one of the following areas:

You could be named the University of Adelaide Young Scientist of the Year, score $500 for yourself, $1000 for your school and publication on the University of Adelaide and Careers with STEM websites. There are more prizes up for grabs too!

Need help putting together an incredible science video? We’ve got all the tips and tricks below.

Entries close Friday, October 29. Check out the competition page for more info.

3. Enter ANSTO’s National Science Week Hackathon

Students from all over Australia can combine communication skills with STEM and design thinking with ANSTO’s annual hackathon. This year’s topic is ‘Food: Different by Design’, which looks at food production and sustainable agriculture, giving students the chance to explore topics like biosecurity, food technology and laboratory-developed foods.

Through the hackathon, you can design game-changing solutions for healthy people and a healthy planet and be mentored by industry-leading experts.

ANSTO’s National Science Week Hackathon 2021 will begin on Monday, August 16 and submissions must be received by 11:59pm on Wednesday, August 18.

You can find out more about what’s involved in the hackathon (and how to enter) here.

4. Combine machine learning and cake recipes in the Girls Day Out in STEM: The Great Machine Learning Bake-off.

Girls Day Out in STEM - National Science Week

You might have heard that learning to code is as easy as learning a recipe. Now, girls aged 10 to 14 can put that to the test! They’ll meet two Google machine learning specialists who use a machine learning model (ML) to make a whole new type of baked goodie.

Ever wondered what a half-cookie, half-cake hybrid would taste like? Two Google Cloud engineers will be able to tell you! Using machine learning, Googlers Natalie Piucco and Marina Deletic have trained a ML model to create completely new recipes: 50% cookie and 50% cake – a Cakie and 50% bread and 50% cookie – a Breakie.

Are you up for Girls Day Out in STEM Challenge? You’ll need to…

  • Register: Get access to the SECRET recipes (ask for your parent’s permission first)
  • Prepare: Reach out to your friends and family to form your team
  • Organise: Grab your ingredients
  • Bake: Enjoy with friends and family
  • Share: Let’s see your finished product
  • Poll: Vote to have your say
  • Win: All those registered will be in the draw to win prizes

Sign up to access the SECRET ML recipes that will be revealed on Saturday, August 14 at 9:00am when the vault is opened.

You’ll have one week to do the baking challenge during National Science Week. Enter here. Happy baking!

5. Tune in to SciFest 2021

Who wants to go on a virtual excursion? SciFest is running until Friday, August 27 and you can join some of Australia’s best science presenters for online workshops and events.

Here’s the sched!

School Science Shows

After School Science Shows

Science Showcase Monday, August 23

You’ll need to register to attend, so head over here to reserve your spot!

6. Binge watch STEM doco, Not the Science Type

If you’re looking for a new series to get into, take Not the Science Type for a spin! It’s a four-part docu-series that looks at negative stereotypes and the need for greater diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM. It follows four women who break down boundaries within their fields – biology, engineering and science and tech-based applications.

You’ll meet:

  • 15-year-old inventor Gitanjali Rao who was named 2020 Kid of the Year on Time magazine for creating a mobile testing device to detect lead in drinking water
  • Ciara Sivels, a nuclear engineer with Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, and the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the University of Michigan
  • Dr. Jessica Taaffe, global health scientist, microbiologist, and an AAAS If/Then ambassador
  • Dr. Jayshree Seth, chemical engineer and 3M’s chief scientist advocate, with 72 patents to her name.

This series will premiere in Australia in National Science Week. Check the National Science Week website for viewing times.

7. Check out the Indigenous Science Experience Online

What can Aboriginal astronomy tell us about the night sky? How is our native flora used as bush medicine? What can we learn about sustainable living from 60 000+ years of Indigenous culture? Find out the answers to these questions and more during the Indigenous Science Experience Online.

The Indigenous Science Experience Online is a series of workshops and webinars that will run through National Science Week. The sessions will showcase a wide range of Indigenous and Western STEM presented by Indigenous secondary students, Elders and community members and STEM outreach providers from various organisations.

Head on over to the National Indigenous Science Education Program website to see the sessions that are currently open for registrations.

8. Learn about our first scientists

Corey Tutt - National Science Week

Tune in to Our Deadly Science by Corey Tutt – he’ll be celebrating the incredible knowledge of our first scientists – from bush medicine, astronomy, engineering and forensic science to chemistry, land management and ecology.

Corey will also be talking about his work at Deadly Science, a program that provides science resources, mentoring and training to remote and regional schools across Australia with a focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

This event will take place on Sunday, August 15 from 5:00-6:00pm. Race on over to the National Science Week website for booking info.

9. Hear from amazing women in STEM

We can’t get enough of STEM pathway stories. Get ALL the advice from a panel of incredible working in STEM. You’ll hear about their journeys and amazing research, and be inspired by their work.

The panel will feature Dr Ceri Brenner of ANSTO and Dr Jen Matthews of UTS, with other panellists to be confirmed.

The Sydney Science Trail 2021 – Women in STEM Panel will be held on Monday, August 16 at 9:45am to 10:45am. Get all the webinar and booking deets here.

10. Cast your eyes to the sky

Karlie Noon - National Science Week
Image: Rhett Wyman/SMH

Fancy a stroll through the cosmos? Join Karlie Noon as she tours her favourite astronomical objects combining both Western and Indigenous understandings of the sky. Karlie is Sydney Observatory’s Astronomy Ambassador a Gomeroi astronomer and science communicator. She’ll transport you light-years away to explore the late winter, August skies through the telescopic eyes of the historic Sydney Observatory!

This Southern Sky Livestream is happening on Wednesday, August 18 from 7:30pm to 8:30pm. Book your spot here.

You can explore even more cool science events at the National Science Week website. Also keep your eyes peeled to the Careers with STEM events section for upcoming webinars you won’t want to miss.

Louise Meers

Author: Louise Meers

Louise is the production editor for Careers with STEM. She has a journalism degree from the University of Technology, Sydney and has spent over a decade writing for youth. She is passionate about inspiring young people to achieve their biggest goals and build a better future.


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