Queensland funding for community science projects

Science projects in all sectors have been given a hand by the Queensland government.

The state government is giving out $148,000 in funding for schools, community organisations, and projects, in the current series of Engaging Science Grants.

With the goal of growing the engagement in science among young people and the community, the grants hope to go some way to reducing the gap between STEM education and jobs requiring STEM skills.

“These grants are about encouraging more people to get involved in science and expanding the reach of science across Queensland,” said Minister for Science, Leeanne Enoch.

“They also help further the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment towards supporting STEM and the jobs opportunities in this sector.”

15 projects, which involve participants such as researchers, schools and communities have won funding, including Councils that have implemented STEM outreach programs. These include the Gold Coast City Council, which runs the Girls who STEAM program, the Western Downs Regional Council for its Drone Coding Workshops and It’s Rocket Science Adventures, a privte organisation that attemps to broaden the applicability of science in the every lives of communities.

All of the grants are targeted towards programs that get people involved in science, a major strength of the program, according to Queensland chief scientist professor Paul Bertsch.

“We want to demystify science – to show that science is exciting. That it’s all about curiosity, experimentation, problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, and very much working in teams – which is the way most science is done these days,” said Bertsch.

“Getting young Queenslanders engaged with science and innovation by demonstrating to them how science can open up new job and business opportunities is a major focus of the Engaging Science Grants program.”

So far, seven rounds of funding have awarded $1.2 million in funding to 128 recipients.

“We know that employment in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Maths (STEAM) is growing two times faster than other occupations and we are committed to embracing these opportunities,” said Enoch.