Cosmos » Culture
15 August 2023
Ellen Phiddian is a science journalist at Cosmos. She has a BSc (Honours) in chemistry and science communication, and an MSc in science communication, both from the Australian National University.

Aboriginal school students across South Australia gathered in Adelaide late last week for the 2023 STEM Aboriginal Learner Congress.
Led by the Young Aboriginal STEM Thinkers of South Australia, (YASTSA) the 2-day conference brings students together for dozens of workshops, talks, and activities.
Kylie Maxwell, a teacher who brought students to the Congress from Whyalla, says it’s been a “pretty amazing” experience.
“The hands-on aspect of science is enticing,” says Maxwell.
The Royal Institution of Australia (RiAus), which operates Cosmos, has been providing activities for the Congress since 2018.
This year, RiAus welcomed students into the Science Exchange for two workshops, co-designed with the School of Architecture and Civil Engineering and School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Adelaide.
In one workshop, students looked at sustainable access to fresh water, figuring out how to distribute water around a model town without wasting it.
In the second, students designed and made soap with plant-based ingredients, looking at the creativity required in engineering and design.
Michelle McLeod, Education Manager at RiAus, says they were very happy to welcome students to the building.
“We were thrilled to work with Mitchell Odegaard, past STEM Congress participant and a  YASTSA Mentor, and who is a current Civil Engineering undergraduate at The University of Adelaide,” says McLeod.
Originally published by Cosmos as Soap and sustainability: students gather for the STEM Aboriginal Learner Congress
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.
Please login to favourite this article.
‘Cosmos’ and ‘The Science of Everything’ are registered trademarks in Australia and the USA, and owned by The Royal Institution of Australia Inc.
T: 08 7120 8600 (Australia)
+61 8 7120 8600 (International)
Customer Service
9:00 am — 5:00 pm ACST
Monday to Friday
[email protected]
PO Box 3652,
Rundle Mall SA 5000, Australia
55 Exchange Place,
Adelaide SA 5000, Australia