National Science Week, observed this year from August 13 to 21 in Australia celebrates the scientific foundation for all our innovative breakthroughs. It was initiated by the Australian government, which organizes their event every August, to celebrate the impact of science, engineering, math, and technology on the world, as well as recognize the contributions of Australian scientists. This event has grown in popularity and is now celebrated by various countries such as Britain, India, and Ireland, to name a few. The dates for National Science Week are determined by each participating country.
History of National Science Week
We may not have liked science or related subjects in school, but we cannot deny the great impact it has had on our lives. Scientific breakthroughs and innovations have given us answers to many of the challenges we’ve had to face. Therefore, it is no surprise that a holiday was created in honor of the achievements made in the field of science by its pioneers. Although there are different branches of science, this holiday focuses more on the applied forms of science. These can be traced as far back as Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia whose people made foundational contributions to mathematics, astronomy, and medicine.
The Scientific Revolution began in 1500 A.D. and brought about new/modern science, which was more reliable, integrated with mathematics, and created a connection between older scientific thoughts and classical physics. In this period, major scientific advances were made by the likes of Isaac Newton, Robert Hooke, Blaise Pascal, William Gilbert, and Galileo Galilei who is often referred to as the ‘father of modern science.’ After the Scientific Revolution and Age of Enlightenment, the 19th century saw the birth of science as a profession and the term ‘scientist.’ Centuries later, there are over eight million scientists worldwide, and that number keeps growing.
The Australian government established National Science Week in 1997 to acknowledge their very own scientists, and their contributions to world knowledge, and to inspire the world through science. Since then other countries such as Ireland, Britain, and India have joined in as participants. This holiday is observed at different periods in the year, at a time determined by the countries involved. For example, Australia observes theirs in August while India observes a National Science Day on February 28 every year.
National Science Week timeline
The Scientific Revolution begins, which ultimately leads to the development of modern science.
‘Scientist’ — ‘the one who practices science’ is coined by William Whewell to replace the older term ‘natural philosopher.’
The first British Science Week is held and organized by the British Science Association.
The Australian government establishes National Science Week.
National Science Week FAQs
What is this year’s National Science Week theme?
Every year for National Science Week, the Australian government creates a theme for schools to get involved in the week. This year, the school theme for National Science Week is “Glass: More than meets the eye.” This is based on the United Nations International Year of Glass.
What does STEM have to do with National Science Week?
Simply put, STEM is a smart abbreviation for the educational approach that uses the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Therefore, STEM professionals are specialists in the aforementioned disciplines and can tutor others. STEM instructors and other science professionals are key players in National Science Week.
When is British Science Week?
British Science Week is held in March, and this year it was held from March 11 to March 20.
How to Observe National Science Week
Attend an event
On this holiday, participating countries organize several interesting events that could spark or boost the scientific spirit in you. Find out if your country observes National Science Week, and if so, research when it takes place and what events are happening.
Start a fun experiment
There is a scientist in every one of us, and today is the perfect opportunity to unleash yours! Is there any invention you think would make life easier? Try your hand at creating it today, and if you don’t know where to start or don’t have anything particular in mind, that’s okay because there are millions of resources and ideas online.
Visit a science center
Another great way to observe this holiday is by visiting a science center that can inspire you to learn more. Make it a fun family trip, and go exploring — who knows where your inspiration lies?
5 Interesting Facts About Famous Scientists
Darwin doesn’t deserve all the credit
Although Charles Darwin often gets all the credit for the Theory of Evolution, he actually collaborated with Alfred Russel Wallace while developing it.
Marie Curie is a Nobel Prize rockstar
Marie Curie is the only person to win Nobel Prizes for two different sciences — Physics and Chemistry.
Stephen Hawking defeated all odds
Stephen Hawking was told he wouldn’t live past the age of 23 after being diagnosed with A.L.S., but he lived to 76.
Nikola Tesla had traits of O.C.D.
Known as one of the three ‘fathers of electricity,’ Nikola Tesla exhibited several traits of O.C.D., one of which included walking around a building three times before entering.
Thomas Edison didn’t invent the light bulb
Although he invented the first fully-functional light bulb, earlier inventions from Warren De la Rue and Joseph Swan laid the foundation for the light bulb.
Why National Science Week is Important
It inspires innovation
Science is an innovative discipline in itself, and scientists create groundbreaking inventions because they are inspired by science. National Science week is all about inspiring everyday people like us — by learning more about the scientific inventions all around us, we may be inspired to innovate as well.
It’s a week-long event
National Science Week gives us an entire week of activities, events, and inspiration, as well as enough time to get in on the fun.
It connects fellow science lovers
Another great thing about National Science Week is that it effortlessly connects people from all over the world who have an interest in science. This is done through virtual and physical events, allowing fellow science lovers to meet, mingle and share ideas.
National Science Week dates