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Media Release: Applications open for Eco-Science Schools Day 31.5.16

Each year the Eco-Science Schools day provides exciting science and sustainability learning opportunities for local students as part of the desertSMART EcoFair. Applications are now open for local schools to engage in the event, which provides unique and hands-on learning experiences with national and local science, environment, engineering and arts organisations.

desertSMART EcoFair is Central Australia’s premier science and sustainability event and this year will spread across multiple venues in Alice Springs. The Eco-Science Schools Day has been an integral part of EcoFair, with up to 150 students each year engaging in science and sustainability learning not normally found in their classrooms. This year Eco-Science Schools Day is on Friday 12th August at the Olive Pink Botanic Gardens.

“Eco-Science Schools Day is an incredibly important part of the desertSMART EcoFair event. It provides local students access to the work of local and national organisations, to industry experts, and celebrities including Costa Georgiadis. We hope to really inspire students take a keen interest in science and sustainability,” said Eco-Science Schools Day organiser, Carmel Vandermolen. 

“Climate change, the health of our environment and the way that science shapes our world view are all issues that are going to have an increasing importance for the next generation. The aim of Eco-Science Schools Day is to not only provide students with unique learning opportunities, but to also encourage them to become active citizens and engaged in science, sustainability and solving problems such as climate change,” said Miss Vandermolen.

There are a limited number of workshops, and schools are encouraged to register class attendances as soon as possible by emailing Carmel at [email protected].


This year the workshops include:

Engineers Without Boarders Australia (EWB)

Engineers Without Borders Australia will be running workshops on humanitarian engineering, based on their work with community partners here in Australia, and across South and South-East Asia. Expect hands on, informative sessions on the nature of engineering work, and it's application in addressing issues of social justice.

Land for Wildlife

You don’t have to travel to the rain forests of the Amazon or the coral reefs of Australia to discover biodiversity. Just walk out the door, and you’ll find an amazing diversity of life in our own backyards. In this activity, students will have a chance to explore the diversity of life at Olive Pink. They’ll also get an introduction to how scientists size up the biodiversity of an area—and the importance of micro-habitats to biodiversity.

Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network -  Larissa Baldwin (AYCC)

Young people from all across Australia are standing up for a safe climate and sustainable future. Larissa Baldwin is the National Co-Director for Seed, Australia’s first Indigenous Youth Climate Network, a branch of the  Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) and will presenting at the desertSMART EcoFair Schools Day on how to be a leader on sustainability in your school and community. Seed is currently working with young people right across the Northern Territory who are already experiencing the impacts of climate change. Larissa will be presenting on the ways that we as young people and the leaders of today, can be the positive advocates for the just, fair and sustainable future that we want to live in.

Parks and Wildlife Commission NT (Parks)

Students will investigate park management by managing their own mini National Park. This activity will focus on all the different aspects of the National Parks system, their role in conservation and through interactive scenarios, the challenges that managers of these areas face now and into the future.

Shell Questacon Science Circus

Students will have a chance to experience how everyday materials can explore scientific concepts. Hands on activities are an opportunity for students to put their imagination and problem solving skills to the test and see how creative they can be.

Live & Learn

For students living in the centre of the Australian continent certain impacts of climate change, such as sea level rise are rather intangible and difficult to appreciate. However Climate Change knows no geographical boundaries, emissions created in Australia impact on people living elsewhere in the world. This activity is an opportunity for your students to link up in real time, on-line, with young people in the Maldives. The Maldives is a small nation in the middle of the Indian Ocean, with 400,000 people living across 200 islands. It is well known as an idyllic tourist destination, but the highest point in the whole nation is only 2.4 metres above sea level. A facilitated discussion between students and the Maldivians will provide an insight into the plight of the Worlds most vulnerable people in the face of dangerous climate change – the experience is both intellectual and genuinely moving and motivating on a personal level as people share the facts, ask questions and tell their stories. Participating classes can be supported with preparatory or follow up materials which also contribute to achieving cross-curriculum priorities of Sustainability and Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia.

InCite Arts

Exploring volume and density of sound. 

Series of short experiments with the relating to sound - different volumes of water in glass bottles, different lengths of PVC pipe, other junk percussion instruments that will be made by the students on the day.  Looking at how length/density/volume effects pitch and how different sounds are made.  These instruments will then be used to develop compositions and simple tunes.

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