ECU’s National Science Week activities to shine light on indigenous culture


Dr Magdalena Wajrak (Chemistry Lecturer), Jason Barrow (Cultural Awareness Officer) and Caroline Bishop (Manager Education Partnerships). Picture: Martin Kennealey
Dr Magdalena Wajrak (Chemistry Lecturer), Jason Barrow (Cultural Awareness Officer) and Caroline Bishop (Manager Education Partnerships). Picture: Martin Kennealey

ACTIVITIES such as boomerang throwing and Nyoongar tool making will be part of the National Science Week program at an ECU event this month.

The Wadjak Northside Community Science Exchange will bring traditional Aboriginal knowledge and contemporary science together in a day of free activities on August 20.

The hands-on community event aims to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to study and work in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) areas.

Event activities will include traditional Nyoongar tool making and its links to chemistry, plus boomerang throwing and the physics of flight.

People can also learn about bush tucker and bush medicine and how it links to the environment and sustainability.

There will be basket weaving and biological sciences, sustainability and environment, microscope discovery in biological and environmental sciences, identifying fingerprint patterns and unknown odours, and using polymorph to make boomerangs.

ECU education partnerships manager Caroline Bishop said the Wadjak Northside Community Science Exchange would build on the success of another award-winning ECU community outreach program.

“Old Ways New Ways began in 2014 visiting primary and high schools across WA and the Northern Territory, including regional and remote areas,” she said.

“It was designed to encourage and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary and high school students to study science at tertiary level and ECU has now visited around 2000 students.

“The Wadjak Northside Community Science Exchange is just one more way we can reach out to potential students and build their confidence in their ability to study science at university.”

What: Wadjak Northside Community Science Exchange

Where: Wadjak Northside Community Centre, 2 Finchley Crescent, Balga

When: August 20 from 10am–3pm