2019 National Science Week

To celebrate National Science Week and inspire more students to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects at school we visited Maryborough with our Regional STEM Pop-up event on 13 and 14 August 2019.

More than 2500 primary, high and home schooling students from the city and the surrounding area attended educational and entertaining training and activities, with many electing to register for two or three sessions over the two days.

Students were offered a range of sessions from a science-based musical theatre show about dinosaurs for the young at heart to an entrepreneurship class for older students interested in problem solving.

Other activities included drone flying, coding and robotics, Indigenous science, space science and virtual reality experiences.

As well as the day-time activities, the local community was invited to attend ‘Let’s talk STEM’ an evening event that included a panel discussion with four scientists who spoke about their research, career and what it is like to work in a STEM profession. Panel members were:

  • Dr Sabrina Streipert, The University of Queensland - a mathematician who uses her modelling skills to assess the barramundi population
  • Mr James O’Connor, University of Southern Queensland - an astrophysicist who is passionate about planetary science
  • Dr Candice Pullen, Central Queensland University - a cardiovascular pharmacologist with a special interest in diabetes and hypertension
  • Dr Leigh Stitz, Fitzroy Partnership for River Health - a freshwater ecologist who manages and improves river health.

The panel delivered some clear messages for the students attending:

  • follow your passion
  • don’t be distracted from your goal by the opinion of others
  • you don’t have to be the best STEM student in your class to study STEM subjects and have a successful STEM career
  • there are so many career choices – take every opportunity to speak to scientists and STEM professionals about what they do, what problems they are working on, and how rewarding their career is every day.

Before and after the panel discussion, guests experienced virtual reality (coral reefs of the world and student designed future cities on Mars) and browsed the engaging drone, robot, rocket, coral, fossil, citizen science and flying scientist displays.

We partnered with the Department of Education and the Fraser Coast Regional Council to deliver the 2019 Nation Science Week Regional STEM Pop-up.