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Regional Australia in the spotlight for Science Week

24 February 2015

Regional Australia is well represented among recipients of 54 grants totalling $500,000 that will help National Science Week burst into life around Australia this August, Industry and Science Minister Ian Macfarlane announced today.

“National Science Week plays an important part in sparking a real and lasting interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Promoting study in these areas is one of the main initiatives of the Australian Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda.

“Nationally, research and development underpin our economy in practical ways that have direct benefits for the community.  Skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics will be crucial to many of the jobs and industries as Australia’s economy evolves and expands into new global markets.”

Now in its eighteenth year, National Science Week will provide an opportunity for Australians to connect with science, technology, engineering and mathematics in their own neighbourhood.

“The depth of Australians’ interest and involvement in science was clear from the volume and quality of applications.  There are some very imaginative projects and I am especially pleased that regional Australia is so well represented, with events being held at Tom Price (WA), Wagga Wagga (NSW), Cairns (QLD), Dunalley (TAS) and on Kangaroo Island (SA), to name just a few,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Altogether, there are 20 projects in regional Australia supported by a total of $186,700 in funding.”

National Science Week highlights include Explosive Science at the Ekka in Brisbane, the inaugural Gingin Science Festival in WA, Under Sea Survivor at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney and the return of the Science Alert Roadshow.

Traditional Indigenous knowledge will be shared in Wiradjuri country and the Deckchair Cinema in Darwin will screen short films highlighting field research in the Top End.

This year’s school theme for National Science Week is Making waves – the Science of Light, centred on the this year’s UN International Year of Light, with projects including the Hidden Science of Light at the South Australian Museum and performances of the Sound of Light by Canberra’s Griffyn Ensemble.

National Science Week will be held from 15-23 August 2015. It is funded by the Australian Government and administered by Questacon as a part of the Inspiring Australia science engagement strategy.  More information can be found at http://www.scienceweek.net.au/.

Media contact:  Mr Macfarlane's Office 02 6277 7070