Funding boost to NSW Science Hubs will deliver educational, entertaining events to more regional areas

12 Feb 2014

The State Government hopes to inspire and foster a love of science by boosting funding for a host of innovative public events in regional and rural New South Wales.

Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner has announced $70,000 will be spent extending the dynamic network of Regional Science Hubs – enabling more communities to celebrate science through public programs and events.

Mr Stoner said the hubs will develop and deliver high-profile events state-wide to showcase scientific achievement and highlight the importance of science to our everyday lives.

"The talented people behind the NSW Regional Science Hubs come from a vast array of scientific fields but they all share a common passion for science, which they want to impart with the community," Mr Stoner said.

"Those experts in science will link in with professional organisations, educational institutions, industry bodies and community groups across regional and rural New South Wales to plan an ongoing program of events and activities, to promote the value and importance of science to all Australians.

"The NSW Government has increased the funding available to new and existing science hubs from $20,000 to $50,000 this year, while Inspiring Australia has committed $20,000 as well.

"We hope this additional funding will enable more communities to experience some of the tremendously innovative and instructive science events we have seen in previous years," he said.

Some of the events produced by the hubs last year included a sustainability fair at Dubbo; an astronomy festival in the Murrumbidgee region; a workshop on the science of sound at Cootamundra; and a mini science festival at Penrith.

NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, Professor Mary O'Kane, said the hubs also play an important educational role.

"Not only do the Regional Science Hubs hope to capture the interest of those attending the many and varied events but they also aim to be educational and informative – particularly for our young people who might be considering a career in the sciences," Professor O'Kane said.

"This is a terrific science outreach program, and I would encourage experts in science, professional organisations and educational institutions to join with industry and community groups across the state so that we can further engage the community through entertaining and educational science experiences," she said.

Applications for the 2014 Regional Science Grants program close on Wednesday 26 March 2014.

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