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Inspiring Australia’s science engagement

Inspiring Australia contributes to the government’s vision to engage all Australians with science.

Inspiring Australia science engagement activities are connecting with people nationwide to:

  • build an awareness and appreciation of science
  • celebrate the excitement of science and scientific discovery
  • enhance the focus on capability and skills
  • improve science communication skills.

Our department:

  • administers grants and prizes to support community-wide participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
  • manages National Science Week, Australia’s largest celebration of science and technology.
  • facilitates national networks to engage regional communities in science.

Supporting community science engagement

The Inspiring Australia Science Engagement Programme supports science engagement activities. Grants and prizes encourage the broader community to engage with science and support participation in STEM related activities, events and competitions.

There are 6 elements:

  • Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science: Australia’s most prestigious and highly regarded awards for outstanding achievements in science, research-based innovation and science teaching.
  • National Science Week Grants: provides the opportunity for community participation in high profile science engagement activities across the nation during National Science Week
  • Maker Projects: Community STEM Engagement Grants: supports collaborative initiatives that deliver interactive and hands-on STEM-related activities to youth under 18 years of age.
  • Citizen Science Grants: supports community participation in scientific research projects that have a national impact.
  • Sponsorship Grants for Student Science Engagement and International Competitions: provides organisations, such as schools and community groups, funds to sponsor Australian students aged under 18 to take part in: STEM engagement activities, events and competitions.
  • Targeted Science Communication: supports a range of activities that contribute to greater public engagement in science, including the Inspiring Australia Managers Network.

Building community science networks

Our department supports science engagement across Australia through coordination of the national network of Inspiring Australia Managers. This Inspiring Australia network includes a dedicated Inspiring Australia Manager with local expertise and connections in each state and territory.

Inspiring Australia state and territory managers can help you identify local and regional needs and provide up-to-date information about the state of science engagement.

The Network seeks to achieve the following outcomes across Australia’s science engagement landscape:

  • engagement with the wider Australian community with sciences, including through major activities and events such as National Science Week
  • increased participation in existing science engagement activities
  • development of new engagement opportunities and activities
  • greater engagement opportunities for groups that are underrepresented in STEM
  • improved participant experiences from science engagement activities
  • creation of sustainable changes in the science engagement ecosystem.

State and territory contacts and websites

Australian Capital Territory

Jillian Matthews

New South Wales

National Office

Northern Territory

Dr Carla Eisemberg

Queensland

Carolyn Cooke

South Australia

Alison Kershaw

Tasmania

Dr Ben Arthur (Chair)

Victoria

Mike Flattley

Western Australia

Imogen Winsborough

Get involved

Find out about annual activities to celebrate science on the National Science Week website.

Read more

Read past insights and publications about science engagement:

Contact us

Email Inspiring.Australia@questacon.edu.au

Last updated: 13 May 2022

Content ID: 45881