Explore Future Earth

5 July 2017

The schools theme for this year’s National Science Week (12 to 20 August) is Future Earth, and Australian schools are encouraged to explore the science behind sustainability, and to find out about sustainability issues that are unique to our region.

Primary and secondary school teachers can download the free Future Earth resource book which is packed with ideas and activities to raise awareness of the broad range of innovative sustainability science projects underway around the globe. The book also encourages positive actions that make a direct contribution to a more sustainable Earth.

Future Earth is part of a global effort launched in 2015. This ten-year initiative is designed to advance global sustainability science. The campaign involves tens of thousands of world-class researchers, projects and institutes brought together around an international research agenda based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and other international climate and biodiversity agreements.

Built on decades of international research, Future Earth’s 2025 vision addresses eight key challenges to global sustainability:

  1. Deliver water, energy, and food for all
  2. Decarbonise socio-economic systems to stabilise the climate
  3. Safeguard the terrestrial, freshwater and marine natural assets underpinning human wellbeing
  4. Build healthy, resilient and productive cities
  5. Promote sustainable rural futures
  6. Improve human health
  7. Encourage sustainable consumption and production patterns
  8. Increase social resilience to future threats.

Get involved

Australian students can join this ambitious international movement in a number of ways. Participation can be as simple as a display in the school library, or as complex as a whole-school science fair. There are plenty of ideas in the resource book for designing a National Science Week event that inspires and motivates students and the broader school community.

We hope you’ll join us in encouraging your students to try more science and understand its role in progressing sustainability initiatives for our global community that help to protect our world. Look out for the National Science Week poster that has been sent to every preschool, primary school, high school and TAFE across Australia, or you can download the poster from the National Science Week website.

Young Australians’ Plan for the Planet

In support of Future Earth, senior high school students from 20 schools across Australia have been developing regional and national sustainable development plans as part of the Young Australians' Plan for the Planet Program. The student teams will be presenting their plans for Australia at the National Science Week launch celebrations at Questacon in August.