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National Science Week 2021

Join ANSTO for a sensational week of science fun online

National Science Week logos

ANSTO has something for everyone during National Science Week and it’s all free and online. Take a look at what’s on.  

ANSTO National Science Week Hackathon – it’s even bigger and better this year!



The ANSTO National Science Week Hackathon is bigger and better this year with more high school kids from across Australia joining from over forty schools. The hackathon invites students to apply science knowledge using design thinking approaches to problem solve. This year’s hackathon topic is aligned to the National Science Week theme of Food: Different by Design.

New for this year is the offering of a mentor for each school plus access to design thinking coaches, delivered in partnership ANSTO’s nandin and Swinburne’s Design Factory. Mentors include STEM professionals from ANSTO and industry; innovation industry representatives and local stakeholders. There are more details about our Kids Hackathon here.

Thanks to all our mentors and supporters from ANSTO, nandin and external organisations listed below:

Nourish Ingredients

MAS Management Systems

Bega Cheese


Lab Law


Australian Museum

Fight Food Waste


Rubens Technologies


University of Melbourne

Machinam and WeAspire



Refraction Media


Arq Group


Startupbootcamp Australia

Swinburne University


ANZ Food and Innovation and Compliance Network

Design Factory

Peleton against Plastic

Flemming Food Consultancy

Goodman Fielders



Australian Science Teachers Organisation

Royal Australian Chemical institute

Careers with

Australia Institute of Food Science and Technology

Fair Food Forager



“We are particularly excited that we have such an impressive and inspirational group of mentors for the students, who bring experience in world-class research and real-world applications of innovative design thinking,” said Rod Dowler, National Education and Engagement Manager.

The Theme of National Science Week 2021 is 'Food: Different By Design', and encourages teachers and students to look at new ideas, technologies and possibilities the future of food.

It’s also the United Nations International Year of Fruits and Vegetables and the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development.

Join our researchers and industry experts for a 'thought for food' webinar

Another online event, ‘Thought for Food’ virtual panel discussion involving ground-breaking innovators, entrepreneurs and scientists from the food science industry will be held online on Tuesday 17 August at 7pm.

The panel will explore how technology is shaping the agricultural and food industries, the latest research on the sustainable production and consumption of fruits and vegetables, and better ways of managing food waste and distribution.

The 60-minute event is suitable for the general public and includes a question and answer session.

Register here

You’ll also find us at the Australian Museum events.

ANSTO scientists are contributing to other Sydney Science Trail events including:

  • Dr Ceri Brenner, who is participating in a Women in STEM event at 9:45am on Monday 16 August. Registration information
  • Find out about the latest in nuclear medicine and health innovations at the Sydney Science Trail interactive learning portal.
  • ANSTO has also coordinated Life on Mars (with cosmic radiation) an online outreach activity on 18 August at 6:oopm featuring ANSTO user and 2021 AIP Women In Physics lectureship award winner A/Prof Susanna Guatelli on radiation protection of astronauts in human missions to Mars. Registration information
  • Passing the test: How solar energy technology is helping to detect COVID.  Australia needs to conduct hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 tests each day, which means we need countless test kit components.  Researchers at the University of Melbourne have risen to the challenge of developing one of these parts locally, with help from ANSTO. This public lecture, Featuring Dr Nicholas Kirkwood from Exciton Science and Dr Valerie Mitchell from ANSTO. The event is hosted by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science. Registration information
  • THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED. Newly appointed accelerator scientist Dr Stefania Peracchi is taking part in a virtual panel discussion, The long journey of human missions to Mars and back to Earth”, organised by The Embassy of Italy,  the Italian Cultural Institute in Sydney and the Australian Academy of Science on Friday 20 August at 8:30pm. She joins four other scientists of Italian descent who will discuss the challenges of travelling across Space, preparing for human missions to Mars, and what we can learn for life and sustainability on Earth. Stefania will be highlighting her work on Silicon mushrooms: an innovative, miniaturised device for radiation protection of astronauts. Registration information.

Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with our researchers on social

Also, keep an eye out for ANSTO scientists who will be showcased in the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources’  #STEMCreates hashtag campaign. Each scientist has created a 30-second video that shows Australians how STEM is used to solve problems or to save lives.

Here’s to a happy National Science Week from the whole team at ANSTO!