Thursday 8 July 2021

National Science Week is occurring from 14 to 22 August, and several neighbourhood houses have received grants from Inspiring Victoria to deliver fun, informative and interactive activities!

The diverse program of activities all have an underlying focus on sustainability and citizen science.

You can see a list of what these neighbourhood houses are delivering below. For details on each event, contact the neighbourhood house directly (click on their name for contact information).

Neighbourhood Houses Victoria wishes to thank Inspiring Victoria, an initiative of The Royal Society of Victoria and the Federal Government, for this wonderful funding opportunity.


Eco-dyeing 101 Using Neighbourhood Plants and Flowers

Alphington Community Centre

This workshop will teach community members how to dye natural materials such as wool, silk and cotton using plants and flowers from the immediate neighbourhood. It's fun, sustainable, responsible, has a low carbon footprint, and is a process jam packed with science. The workshop includes a neighbourhood walk to explore plants and flowers that could be good for future projects. 

Climate Action – Coming Together!

Anglesea Community House

This interactive session will include an expo of local groups engaged in climate action such as the Rubbish Rangers from Aireys Inlet who voluntarily collect rubbish around town, and ANGAIR, the Anglesea, Aireys Inlet Society for the Preservation of Flora and Fauna. It will also include an interactive art installation where participants create an art piece from non-organic waste that comes in to the Resale Shed. 

Science and Sustainability

Aspendale Gardens Community Services

Aspendale will host workshops aimed at preschool and primary aged children on the topics of environmental awareness, nutrition and hygiene habits, and sessions on sustainable gardening and garden-to-kitchen cooking for older residents. They will also be supplying information on recycling, energy and sustainability and aim to provide collection points for items that are not able to be included in household recycling. They are also approaching Kingston Libraries to provide story time and craft workshops on the topic of sustainability.

Love Food, Hate Waste

Balla Balla Community Centre

Balla Balla are running a three week program commencing in National Science Week. The first week will focus on composting and recycling, the second week will focus on setting up and growing vegetables at home, and the third week will look into the science behind Cooking, for example, fermenting, food growing biodynamically, cheese and yoghurt making, kimchee, kombucha, sauerkraut.

Permaculture Science and the Environment

Castlemaine Community House

Castlemaine's qualified Permaculture Design tutors will present on the science and environmental benefits of garden design using permaculture principals. The Castlemaine Community House Community Garden will be used to demonstrate some of these principals during this hands-on event. Morning and afternoon sessions will be delivered, with catering from the Murnong Mammas Aboriginal Catering Social Enterprise, using produce from the garden.  

Charlton Next Gen Experience

Charlton Neighbourhood House

Charlton will create a week long walk in and try virtual reality and incorporate incursions of the technology at the local hospital aged care, preschool and schools. Charlton residents of all ages can enjoy this technology to travel the world, experience live events, view educational links, and so much more during the week and into the future through an affordable user pay system.

Play, Make, Sow Day

Greenhills Neighbourhood House

Greenhills will be running a play and make day, presenting practical and fun ways that families and the broader community can be involved in sustainability. Activities will include 'messy play' facilitated by the childcare staff which will include open ended nature play, recycled craft and simple gardening activities. There will be a series of workshops, aimed to encourage repair and reuse through visible mending, including sewing demonstrations by the local Boomerang bag group, as well as a workshop on harvesting winter vegetables and simple pest reduction techniques.

'Fungal Futures' - Partnering with ‘Fungi’ for Sustainable Communities and Healthy Landscapes

Haddon Community Learning Centre

Haddon's event will concentrate on citizen science, sustainable materials and conservation with a focus on fungi. There will be several activities including a talk on fungal conservation and the role citizen scientists play by Sapphire McMullan-Fisher from the National Herbarium of Victoria, a demonstration of using a portable DNA sequencer to find all the different fungi in samples collected from the local environment, the chance for people to view fungi under microscopes, and a chance for people to do hands-on environmental DNA colour change tests (a LAMP test) to see if they have invasive or endangered fungi in their backyards.

Our Life in Science

Hamilton Community House

Hamilton will host four activity sessions, covering differing ways in which our daily lives and existence are intertwined with science. These include 'Bee happy Bee kind' – a session on making beehouses, bee keeping and bee friendly gardens, 'Trees of life' – the value and vital role of trees and their function in aesthetics to climate and environments, 'Indigenous ingenuity' – exploring the many local indigenous plants, creating food sources and visit local plantings at Hamilton Institute of Rural Learning, and 'Mix it, make it' – a hands on making of green cleaners, household and personal products from the pantry.

The Wonderful World of Bees

Iramoo Community Centre

Iramoo will be learning about the Wonderful World of Bees, linking with CMG Honeybee, a local beekeeper and educator on all things bees. They will provide four workshops on bee wax, bee friendly plants and garden identification, from land to hand - all the things that bees collect and make and then what we collect and make, and floral varieties - honey uses, tasting and harvesting and honeycomb.

Busy Bees and their Role in our World

Japara Neighbourhood House

Japara will hold two events, firstly, a children's event with the local bee keeper who will explain the role of bees and how important they are for our environment. The children will be able to see a live working hive which will help them understand where their honey comes from. Secondly, the local bee keeper will set up a display and give a talk on the role of bees in the environment and the amazing process they undertake in their daily lives. A demonstration on the use of bee’s wax will be given to also educate the community of the benefits of this natural product.

Towards Zero Kerang

Kerang Neighbourhood House

A guest speaker from Zero Waste Swan Hill/Bendigo Sustainability Group will conduct a workshop on promoting waste reduction with a potential emphasis on the circular economy. Kerange will also develop a one page resource promoting all the locations in town that provide recycling options, in order to reduce waste, and will also draw together all the wonderful initiatives already on offer which are not widely known about. This will be achieved through partnerships with local business owners, local government and community groups including Kerang Traders and Kerang Landcare.

Who Helps our Gardens Grow? Discover the Recyclers, Pollinators and Other Wonderful Mini-beasts Hidden in our Gardens

Living and Learning Pakenham

Through a rotation of activities, children will discover and learn about the army of tiny decomposers, pollinators and other invertebrates that are an essential part of keeping us alive. Activities will include collecting samples of compost and/or soil and using magnifiers and microscopes they will get to have a close look at these invertebrates, learning how to build their own Pollinator Hotels for their own gardens using salvaged materials, and a bug hunt.

Go Green in Corio

Rosewall Community Centre

In partnership with Sustainability Geelong, these community permaculture education events will inspire locals in the Corio community to embrace practical opportunities for more sustainable living. Throughout the week, activities will include a fabric upcycling workshop to repurpose old clothing, repurposing broken crockery into mosaics, gardening lessons and assistance to older community members in online sustainable living research.

Marvellous Minibeasts

South Kingsville Community Centre

These activities will teach children how living things grow and change, their features, adaptations and their role in food chains. The children will rotate through the Bugtopia Tent, where they handle and feed a selection of minibeasts including stick insects, butterflies, giant litter bugs, yabbies and more. When not in the bug tent, students continue their minibeast discovery at different stations. At these stations, students catch aquatic minibeasts, view bugs up close with microscopes and design their own version of bug features and adaptations through open-ended tasks.

Composting, worm farms and reducing organic load in landfill

The Centre: Connecting Community in North and West Melbourne

The program will run three 45 minute sessions that demonstrate composting, worm farms and reasons why reducing bio-landfill is important to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Two sessions will be offered to schools as part of their curriculum, with one (or possibly more sessions) to be presented as part of weekend activities, targeted to primary school aged children and their families.

Bee Friendly

Whittlesea Community House

This 'Bee Friendly' activity will education community about the importance of caring for our environment and biodiversity, and will facilitate connections to the Whittlesea community garden. An experienced facilitator will deliver a presentation all about native bees, suitable habitats and gardening environments (including the use of pesticides and organic sprays), buzz pollination, selecting bee friendly plants, and working towards increasing native bee and insect populations locally. Participants will have the chance to build 'bee hotels', which will be installed in the community garden and their homes.

Wycheproof Fruit Fly Eradication Project

Wycheproof Community Resource Centre

This garden hygiene and pruning workshop aims to help educate local residents on best practices with regard to the prevention of further spread of fruit fly in the home garden and wider community. 

Yarram Community Garden Expo

Yarram Neighbourhood House

Yarram are going to hold a Community Garden Expo including sessions on setting up compost at home, winter vegies, a cooking with fresh food cooking demonstration, creating a bee hotel workshop for children, and a landcare guest speaker.