Due to COVID-19 restrictions, National Science Week takes an innovative twist this year, delivering a wide range of online events from 15-23 August 2020.
NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte said the state's science community had risen to the challenges of lockdown: “Among hundreds of imaginative events and programs developed for the community to enjoy online are citizen science experiences, podcasts, innovation challenges, virtual tours, live-streamed panel discussions and science-themed, educational video games.”
“Scientists across NSW are taking the opportunity in Science Week to share their research, discuss why they became scientists and explain how their work helps to make our world a better place,” said Professor Durrant-Whyte.
Designed to connect community members with cutting-edge science and technology, National Science Week typically reaches thousands of audience members at live events across the state each August. With 2020 celebrations going online and event topics ranging from bushfires, pandemics, research commercialisation and climate change, to biosecurity, biology, art, ecology and nuclear science, it’s expected there will be increased engagement this year.
The Australian Museum and the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney have joined forces with Taronga Zoo, universities, scientists and performers to deliver the Sydney Science Trail. Users can virtually explore digital exhibitions and participate in a range of engaging activities including live-streamed talks and demonstrations from world-class scientists, researchers and curators.
The Trail’s jam-packed schools’ program explores the theme of adaptation through an immersive, curriculum-linked virtual classroom in which students can compete against each other in ANSTO’s National Science Week Hackathon, learn how nature is reappearing after this year's bushfires through UNSW Sydney's Environmental Recovery Project or attend a Women in STEM live panel.
In addition to shining a light on the crucial work scientists carry out, Professor Durrant-Whyte said that National Science Week plays an important role in instilling an interest in science amongst children and young people.
“With the world increasingly looking to science for answers to our most pressing challenges, including COVID-19, we are well-positioned to inspire the next generation of innovative thinkers to consider pursuing a STEM career. We need their energy, curiosity and ingenuity to tackle challenges in areas as broad as health and medicine, food security and agriculture, resources management, population growth, climate and the environment,” he said.
For further information on all the National Science Week events being hosted virtually across NSW, visit the Inspiring NSW website.