STEM HUB Science Fair Working Group Meeting 2


Wednesday 7th March 2018
Opened 4:00pm


  • Anja van Hooydonk – Teacher of Mathematics & Science St Mary’s Catholic College; Mathematics B Panel Chair Cairns; QAMT President Cairns
  • Matthew Ritchie – President of The Makers; Business Innovation Development Consultant for TAFE
  • Jason Moore – STEM Champion
  • Celia Berrell – Science Rhymes; Admin Cairns Neurophysiology


  • Adam Hooper – past STEM Champion

Funding Application

Matthew Ritchie advised us we have just received a funding application form which needs to be completed and returned by 1st April in order for our request for 15k to be considered – this grant provides a maximum of 10k in 2018 and 5k in 2019.

We spent significant time endeavouring to answer the application’s question segments, but concluded that THE FUNDING APPLICATION NEEDS TO BE TACKLED within a STEM HUB general meeting including those on the committee.

Matt said TAFE had not yet got back to him about the use/hire of their premises for this event.

He was confident that permission should be forthcoming, however the process is slow.

We need a ball-park figure on costing for our Science Fair event as a priority.

Matt has offered to enquire with Edge Hill SS for an example of a school fair.

Celia asked at Whitfield SS, regarding their Science on the Oval event: The SOTO Event (initiated by JCU’s A/Prof Hilary Whitehouse and Whitfield SS teacher Annette Ryan 2008) was for primary school children from various Cairns schools.

They received a grant of $60,000 over four years.

The $15k expenditure for each event included costs such as bussing children from other schools; printing & marketing; consumables; hiring a videographer to film and document the event.

I don’t believe it included any costs related to public liability or premises.

With no further funding, this annual event is now limited to Whitfield school students only and relies heavily on JCU, Trinity Bay SHS, parents and organisations to provide foc support.

Annette told me that nowadays, they budget for $50 for each stall.

We need advice on liability issues for the event. Will we need to provide our own insurance? What funds need to be allocated for marketing & equipment hire?

Further Thoughts on a Science Fair

We continued with our concept of:

  1. a pilot project with low budget
  2. inviting school students and parents as main audience
  3. inviting schools to showcase their best STEM item created/presented at a previous event (such as National Science Week).
  4. inviting further education, organisations and STEM industries to participate/showcase
  5. keep content local
  6. one-day annual event planned for 1st Friday in Term 4: 12th October 2018 (10am – 6/7pm?)
  7. TAFE preferred location
  8. entry fee – gold coin donation
  9. schools responsible for their own transport costs, etc. (CRC may be able to assist with some funding for specific schools on application)
  10. Possible competitions/prizes?
  11. still liking mission statement “Seeding strong STEM relationships to grow the future”.

TAFE as first choice:

  1. could use amphitheatre & outside areas with marquees (some schools have their own marquees?);
  2. part of carpark for drone use.

Possible issues with electricity supply?

Invitations to participate: Jason advised we needed more detail in order to present this as an invitation to schools. We need a flyer or something tangible to give them

This brought us back to budget and funding application urgency; prioritising what segment of the funding application is relevant to the Science Fair concept vs other aspects of the proposed STEM Hub

Conclusion: We need to have an urgent meeting with all team members to make further decisions and complete funding application by 31st March

Next Meeting: proposed for Wednesday 14th March 4pm at Judi Bain Conference Room 10-12 McLeod Street. Awaiting confirmation on writing these notes.

Meeting concluded 5.40 pm.

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