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Science: Science Week 2018


Moments of Discovery - Game Changers and Change Makers Throughout the Ages

The following tasks require students to access the 'Moments of Discovery - game changers and change makers throughout the ages' chart, which is a timeline of individuals who have changed situations, activities and understandings in significant ways in the fields of astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, geology, mathematics, medicine, physics and technology.

TASK - Interview with a change maker

"Global trends tell is that the jobs of the future will increasingly require science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills, with an estimated 75 per cent of today's fastest growing occupations related to STEM", ASTA President says. 

Some of the greatest STEM minds are integrated into the National Science Week, 'Moments of discovery - game changers and change makers throughout the ages' chart.

Investigate some of these people by researching their life and accomplishments, and presetn your interview with one of them by listing the questions you would want to ask them.

TASK - Use today's technologies to broadcast a Game Changer's discovery

Imagine Galileo Galilei, Madame Curie, Alessandro Volta and others having access to the same technology we have available today. How far could their discoveries have spread across the world? 

In this activity, use the 'Moments of Discovery - game changers and change makers throughout the ages' chart and pick a point in history that was a defining moment for a game changer or change maker, and share their discoveries with your generation. 

How might you use today's technologies (for example email, social media, blogs, Snap Chat, YouTube, virtual reality, or augmented reality) to broadcast your chosen game changer's discoveries.

TASK - Comic Relief

Entertain family and friends by creating a comic strip or animated video about game changers and change makers throughout the ages.

TASK - Develop a video game

Imagine a video game produce invites you to produce a scenario, develop characters and create a story about five game changers and change makers and their scientific discoveries. 

Develop and produce an idea for a video game that features five individuals cited on the 'Moments of Discovery - game changers and change makers throughout the ages' chart. Might you video game include challenges and rewards:?

TASK - Chart a timeline

Throughout history there have been many individuals who have become famous for their accomplishments. Choose individuals in the same scientific field form the 'Moments of Discovery - game changers and change makers throughout the ages' chart, research their accomplishments and make a presentation to a panel using a timeline.

Present ideas about how one discovery (for example, in medicine) helped or improved another discovery in the same field.

TASK - Project on a page

Each game changer  and change maker cited in the 'Moments of Discovery - game changers and change makers throughout the ages' chart had a personal motivation that drove their discoveries, and they used their discoveries to solve real problems and create solutions for their socities.

Use the 'Moments of Discovery - game changers and change makers throughout the ages' chart to find those who created solutions for their societies and create a project on a page that communicates what their solution led to ... perhaps a product, a technology or a system?

Reefs at Risk

TASK - Undertake a scientific inquiry

Select a reef and undertake a scientifc inquiry into your chosen reef. Discover detailed information about the reef's:

  • characteristics;
  • distribution;
  • biodiversity;
  • current use;
  • threats, risks and issues affecting it; 
  • impact that human activity is having on the reef; and 
  • ecologically sustainable management.

TASK - Create a blog, poster and brochure

You have been approached by scientists and divers who want you to create a blog, poster and brochure designed to bring awareness to the way local people can better protect the marine wildlife that lives within the waters of Australian reefs by reducing the amount of marine debris that pollutes waterways and oceans. 

In your design, use powerful images and write 'action statements' and suggestions for what can be done to address these concerns. Inspire people to work together by informing your community about the best ways to reduce the amount of marine debris that is washed or blown from the land in to the sea, abandoned or lost by recreational and commercial fishers, and disposed of or lost by ships at sea.

TASK - Design an art installation

The chairperson of the National Science Week Schools Committee is looking for game changers and change makers in schools to be involved in designing an art installation titled 'Reefs at Risk'. 

We are looking for young people to discover and examine endeavours that have involved scientists and/or artists communicating their concerns about our reefs that are at risk.

Your challenge is to research threats to reefs and study ways in which scientists and artists have communicated that we can protect, manage and conserve reefs.

Then use science, technology and art to create a piece for a pop-up National Science Week exhibition titled 'Reefs at Risk', which visitors of all ages will be invited to enter and explore. 

Reefs at Risks Resources

  • View the episode of ABC's Catalyst below, Can We Save the Reef? and learn about game-changing scientists who are taking action for the reef.
  • Coral Watch - Learn about Coral Watch, an initiative in Queensland, and how it undertakes reef conservation activities. 
  • Reef Check Australia - Reef Check Australia is an innovative environmental charity dedicated to providing ways for the community to better understand, appreciate and protect oceans and marine environments. They believe in empowering people to take positive action for our reefs through engaging in citizen science, connecting people with reef science, and local conservation projects.
  • Reef Aid - Greening Australia and Virgin Australia has partnered to improve water quality on our Great Barrier Reef, working together with landholdrs to rebuild eroding gullies and restore vital costal wetlands across the catchment. 
  • Boyan Slat is a game changer who used a high school science project to drive his ideas about how to rid the oceans of plastic pollution. Slat's company, The Ocean Cleanup, wants to launch a fleet of floating trash collectors that will clean up 50% of the area between Hawaii and California in five years. 
  • Tim Silverwood is a passionate advocate for protecting our oceans and environment from human impacts. A keen surfer, Tim became alarmed at the increasing risks plastic pollution posed to our oceans and wildlife, co-founding the not-for-profit organisation 'Take 3' in 2009. Tim is also the founder and Director of ReChusable. 

Media and Videos - this weblink including videos, articles and news reports on Tim's work. An example is included below. 

  • Learn about a startup company in India that is making edible spoons to help remove plastic from our lives. 
  • Watch the clip below from BBC News about a floating bin that can suck up plastic bags from the ocean. 

Cybernetics Technology

TASK - Create a presentation on responsible body modification, enhancement and transformation

Leading scientists, technologists and engineers are showing how technology can help many people. There are a number of implanted electronic devices like the 'Cochlear ear' that have been developed to fix a problem, rather than transform current human capabilities. There are also many scientists, technologists and engineers developing prosthetics that replace missing body parts.

Investigate ways the human body is being modified, clinically enhanced and transformed. Bring awareness to the issues of responsible body modification, enhancement and transformation. What is the best way to communicate your ideas - a video, animated cartoon or documentary?

Cybernetics Technology Resources

A Cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of your inner ear (cochlea). 

Mobius Bionics is a medical device company focused on bringing advanced prosthetic technologies such as the LUKE arm to upper-limb amputees. Fueled by decades of research-driven product development, the Mobius Bionics team brings together extensive experience in delivering pioneering medical technologies to market.

Aimee Mullins was born without fibular bones, and had both of her legs amputated below the knee when she was an infant. She learned to walk on prosthetics, then to run - setting world records at the 1996 Paralympics. Aimee is a passionate advocate for a new kind of thinking about prosthetics.  

The Eyeborg Project began when one-eyed filmaker, Rob Spence decided he wanted a prosthetic eye with a video camera in it. 

The Alternative Limb Project was founded by London-based, Sophie de Oliveira Barata, using prosthetics to create highly stylised pieces of art. Sophie designs bespoke prosthetics, from arms that resemble snakes to legs studded with diamonds, as featured in the London 2012 Paralympic closing ceremony.

A Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) is a surgically implanted mechanical pump that is attached to the heart. 

Insulin pumps is a small battery-operated device that delivers insulin to patients with diabetes. 

Make a Positive Difference


TASK - Develop a concept map on climate change

Develop a concept map on what you know about climate change - what it is, what it comprises, what it affects, its potential impacts on living things in a variety of ecosytems, and who and what produces emissions that can affect the Earth's climate. 

Discover more about global temperatures and how they have changed. Explore the website Climate Lab Book and view a spiral graph that highlights global temperature changes from 1850-2016.

Undertake further research and read the article Ice Core Data Help Solve a Global Warming Mystery, on the Scientific American website which explains how current polar records show connections between atmospheric carbon dioxide and temperatures in the natural world. 

Climate change adaptation involves taking action to adjust to, respond to, the effects of changes in climate. Add climate change adaptations to your concept map.

Emerging Ideas for the Future

TASK - Be a game changer or change maker

Be a game changer or change maker. Develop some ideas. Develop some concepts. Develop a prototype and sell your ideas as a startup. Check out these startups below:

Orange Sky Laundry

Find out about two social entrepreneurs who began Orange Sky Laundry to help the homeless and who won the Young Australian of the Year Award in 2016.

Cows for Cambodia

Discover more about the Cows for Cambodia program and how cows help create sustainable lives for villagers in Cambodia.

Thankyou Water

Read about social entrepreneur Daniel Flynn who created Thankyou. The company was born in 20008 in response to the world water crisis. Today, Thankyou has over 40 products available in 5000 outlets in Australia (including 7-Eleven, Coles and Woolworths). The idea was to take a more holistic approach to combating poverty, with 100% of their profits funding safe water, food and hygiene, and sanitation services around the world.

Daniel Flynn presented at the 2016 Festival for the Future, in New Zealand, sharing the story of Thankyou. You can check out his presentation here

'Field Test': Dublin, Ireland

Explore some radical adventures in future farming. View an exhibition of startups by the Science Gallery Dublin as part of the Global Science Gallery Network pioneered by Trinity College Dublin. The exhibition showcases curators and advisors from Farm Cyborgs, Farmstand Forecasts, Grow House, Ag Lab, Loci Food Lab, and Seed Boutique.

Science Week 2018

Science Online Database


World Book Online


National Science Week Twitter

Looking into Space

TASK - Research space probes

Research at least three space probes that have been launched from Earth to explore the solar system. 

  • Luna 9 that landed on the moon
  • Venera 7 that landed on Venus
  • The probe Ulysses that studied the sun
  • Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 that studied the outer planets
  • the Cassini probe that photographed Saturn
  • the Huygens probe that was launched from Cassini to land on Titan, a moon of Saturn
  • The New Horizons probe that researched Pluto
  • The Kepler mission that is discovering planets orbiting other stars

TASK - Undertake a scientific inquiry

Research the Australian Telescope National Facility and investigate their amazing and diverse observatories and technologies that are used to study different aspects of the universe. 

Create a Talking Avatar

TASK - Create a Talking Avatar

Imagine how a talking avatar could promote the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. The book became an immediate bestseller and Shelley was only eighteen years of age when she delved into the world of science and medicine, and created her character who comes back to life. 

Delve deeper into the concept of Mary Shelley's creature, which is designed and created from human body parts and infused with the essence of life by an electric shock. 

Probe into Mary Shelley's book and step into the character of her scientist-hero, Victor Frankenstein.

What might your Frankenstein-inspired avatar say?

What might it look like?

What might it actually be used for?

Exercise your imagination and design your own Frankenstein-inspired avatar and share it as part of National Science Week. 

Use Voki to create your avatar.

What a lot of Rubbish


What waste does your school produce?

What litter do you find continuously in the school grounds? 

Does the local council provide any rubbish collection, recycling services or resource recovery options?

What other organisations or businesses collect different types of waste for recycling or resource recovery? Where do they take it? What do they do with it?

TASK - Design a system to manage school waste

Your challenge is to design a system to manage the school's waste more productively and in a way that it doesn't end up in our stormwater drains, rivers, wetlands and oceans.

Design a system for managing all the waste from your school. Take into account: bin positions, whether bins have lids, food waste, green waste, paper, plastics, cans, glass, chemicals, new equipment that might be needed, costs, and any restrictions. 

Produce a scientific report outlining the system and share it with the School Leadership Team and Parent & Friends Association (P&F). 

Eco Designs

TASK - Design an eco-friendly space or structure

Eco-friendly buildings can be designed to conserve and manage water, waste and energy. Walls and roofs can be insulated to save energy. Grass roofs insulate buildings and can provide habitat for wildlife.  

Landscape architects, engineers and builders, design and build spaces like Green Walls and Dementia Gardens and parks and landscape design like Ngarara Place that recognise the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, culture and histories.   

Use your knowledge and understanding of sustainable design and use science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) to create a new space or structure which is harmonious with the environment and evokes peace, tranquillity and restfulness. 

Create posters, design and present Computer Aided Design (CAD) designs and/or 3D models of your idea, including plant selections and discuss finding and learnings from the project. To assist you in this task download Auto Desk Fusion 360 from Self Service or use Google Sketchup.

TED Talks - Game Changers and Change Makers