Skip to content

'Raven about birds': Young Tassie Scientists hit the road

From ancient Antarctic ice cores to an app for heart health, 29 enthusiastic scientists are taking to the road this week to spread the word about their research and careers as part of the Young Tassie Scientists program.

Over the next month, they will be giving presentations to nearly 8,000 students in 79 schools across Tasmania, from Franklin to Lilydale, Strahan to Smithton, and everywhere in between.

The Young Tassie Scientist program aims to inspire Tasmanians by showcasing local research and what a career in science really involves.

In celebration of National Science Week, the Young Tassie Scientists will share their passion for science and learning with more than 25,000 Tasmanians at various National Science Week events in schools, science festivals and expos state-wide during August, including TastroFest in Ulverstone, the Festival of Bright Ideas and Science in the Pub - Zeehan.

Niamh Chapman, PhD candidate at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research, and host of the first-ever Science Street Party, is using her research to help connect patients and doctors to prevent heart attack and stroke using simple technology.

“I want to use science to understand the problems that people face and work to change things for the better,” Ms Chapman said.

Matthew Fielding, PhD candidate at the University of Tasmania’s College of Sciences and Engineering, will be “raven about birds”.

Mr Fielding is an ornithologist who is fascinated by extinct dwarf emus.

“Not all scientists wear white lab coats – my kind of science involves hiking boots, the wilderness, and a pair of binoculars!” he said.

Young Tassie Scientists co-ordinator Dr Adele Wilson said the program is a fantastic opportunity for schools to bring science into the classroom, and it also demystifies what science and engineering researchers do for work every day.

“The Young Tassie Scientists are keen to show Tasmanians that science isn’t scary or hard, and a lot of it happens outside the laboratory,” Dr Wilson said.

“Science and engineering aren’t just for the smartest kid in class; it’s for anyone curious to learn about the world and how things work. These young researchers are learning how to communicate what they do, and why they do it, in a fun and interesting way.”

The Young Tassie Scientists give relaxed and interactive presentations, talks and hands-on activities to students in schools.

They will also give after-school science workshops for the Children’s University and will be appearing at Science Week festivals and public events State-wide.

Today the scientists begin their tours across the North-West Coast and southern Tasmania, before hitting the road in northern Tasmania later in August.

The Young Tassie Scientists program is made possible by funding from the Australian Government through a National Science Week grant and is supported by the University of Tasmania’s College of Sciences and Engineering.

More information about the Young Tassie Scientists, including scientist profiles, can be found at

Published on: 29 Jul 2019 10:10am