Info for local councils

  • by Tanya Ha
  • 12 April, 2021
Info for local councils

Your council can use National Science Week as an opportunity to support and celebrate local science and technology-based industries and organisations.

Your libraries and community centres can host science-themed author talks, film nights or ‘Neural Knitworks’ workshops. And your grassroots communication channels can help support your community’s National Science Week efforts, engaging residents and visitors alike with science, innovation and creativity.

Your council can get involved by:

  • promoting the National Science Week activities of your community and schools >>> see our publicity guide
  • running your own events >>> read on for ideas.

Library and community centre events

Science show presenters

Dozens of libraries have run successful and popular National Science Week events, such as:

  • author talks on science topics, such as climate change or local flora and fauna
  • science fiction and non-fiction writing workshops
  • ‘Dive into the Dewey Decimal’s 500s and 600s’ talks, with people sharing their favourite titles from the science, technology and engineering aisles.

For example,

  • Last year, a ‘Kitchen Science and Amazing Chocolate Creations’ event was held at Latrobe Council Chambers as part of Tasmania’s Chocolate Winterfest.
  • In 2021, the City of Wannaroo held a series of expert talks called ‘Gut Feelings’ – looking at the gut-brain link, and eating for a healthy microbiome and a happier mood.
  • In 2020, Waverley Council hosted University of Sydney sleep researcher Dr Camilla Hoyos, who gave a talk on the benefits of sleep, from well-being to healthy brain ageing and dementia prevention.
  • In 2020, City of Boroondara worked within Melbourne’s COVID-19 restrictions and engaged kids doing school from home by providing a list of top reads for National Science Week.
  • In 2017, Hobsons Bay residents learnt about Australia’s iconic canine when dingo puppies visited Altona library.
  • In 2016, Sunshine Coast Council held a wind-up LED light workshop at Caloundra Regional Gallery. Read a media story about the event.

The Science Week Library Activities booklet (6 MB, pdf) has case studies, suggested activities and heaps of inspirational resource ideas.

Host a science film night with SCINEMA

Register to host your own SCINEMA screening during National Science Week and see the best of science films. Playlists are provided for primary, secondary and general viewing.

SCINEMA International Science Film Festival showcases not only the best, but also the diversity of science films from across the globe. From drama to documentaries, animations or epic natural history, these films use the power of the moving image to tell stories about the world, how it works, and our place in it.

Closer to Science Week, you can register to host your own free SCINEMA screening during National Science Week.

Neural Knitworks and Maker Faires: community crafts for healthy brains

Neural Knitworks are crafty get-togethers where people can knit, create or crochet models of neurons from yarn and other materials. It’s based on the principle that yarn craft, with its mental challenges, social connection and mindfulness, helps keep our brains and minds sharp, engaged and healthy.

See the free resources on our website for more information on  running a Neural Knitworks event. Dozens of councils and libraries have done so already. Read a media story about efforts in Echuca in 2015.

Maker Faire events bring together old crafts and new technologies to encourage innovation and creativity alongside technology, engineering and science skills.

The following website provides useful information and guides to running Maker Faire events:

Waste, recycling and sustainability education workshops

The clever people at Switch Your Thinking in WA brought council waste reduction and sustainable living efforts into National Science Week with a suite of initiatives designed to attract a broader audience. They work in partnership with City of Gosnells and other councils.

Science met sustainability in a series of workshops on aquaponics, food preserving and dehydrating, fermentation, and achieving a wasteless pantry; seminars on food waste and cleaning chemistry; National Science Week displays at libraries; give-aways; hands-on activities at the Perth Science Festival; and a pop-up food garden.

In 2017, they worked with a group of Perth councils on events planting trees and exploring sustainability, plant and soil science. In 2018, they ran events focusing on climate science and adaptation. In 2019, they ran ‘Sustainability in the Suburb’ events, with workshops and events on urban resilience, soil microbiology, biodiversity and sustainable home design.

Last year, the Gosnells Science Trail invited locals to make a native bee hotel, garden with microbes and microscopes, discover bush medicine, and more.

See if you can bring a science spin to any sustainability workshops you’re planning in August.

Parks, tourism and wildlife

Newcastle coast cliff walkUse National Science Week to share and promote your natural treasures and bring visitors to your municipality. For example:

  • In 2016, the Marine Education Science and Community Centre, supported by City of Bayside (VIC) held marine life exposed presentations at Rickett’s Point Marine Sanctuary on Melbourne’s south-eastern coastline.
  • The 2015 Newcastle Time Walk tour from Nobbys Head to Newcastle South (NSW, pictured) saw a fully booked walking tour of volcanoes, coal and fossils, guided by geologists. And it’s on again this year!
  • City of Hobart (TAS) Bush Adventures have held activities discovering ‘Where our Wild Things Are’ in the bushland at night.

Species Survival National Science Week Poster thumbnal

Support National Science Week activities in schools

Encourage your local schools to get involved. The Australian Science Teachers Association will have a free teachers’ resource book and poster on the 2024 theme of Species Survival – More than just sustainability.

The theme aims to highlight the importance of science and innovation in ensuring the survival and thriving of different species in an ever-changing world.

Community festivals

Community science festivals can bring several local stakeholders together to support local scientific organisations and/or attractions. For example: 

  • The Gold Coast Science and Tech Festival was supported by the City of Gold Coast (QLD) and Study Gold Coast, highlighting the educational opportunities of the region.
  • The Geraldton Goodness – Science, Sustainability and Innovation Festival celebrates science, technology, innovation and sustainability in the mid-west region of WA, with the City of Greater Geraldton a key partner.
  • The Gingin Science Festival, supported by the Shire of Gingin (WA), makes use of and helps to promote a local attraction – the Gravity Discovery Centre, a ‘hands-on’ science education centre on site at the Australian International Gravitational Observatory.

Have a Brain Break morning tea with your council team

Celebrate science in your staff room during National Science Week by holding a Brain Break morning tea. Hold a science quiz, bring in quirky science-themed edibles or run some short science experiments. It’s a chance to show your colleagues the wonder of science.

Register your Brain Break by 17 July at to receive a FREE National Science Week Brain Break pack, including quiz questions, activity suggestions, coasters and other promotional items. The packs will be mailed out in late July.

Read the guide to running events for resources and tips.


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