Merck backing indigenous communities in creating a new approach to STEM skills

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An innovative chemistry, soap-making and hygiene engagement project is launching in partnership with young Indigenous scientists.

Merck’s Giorgia Todesco will travel to the Northern Territory with the DeadlyScience team to pilot the first DeadlyLabs kit.

Learners in rural Northern Territory are set to road-test a new science kit exploring the chemistry of soap-making and hygiene with experiments based on Indigenous science.

This month, DeadlyLabs - a new project from DeadlyScience, supported by Merck – will pilot the chemistry learning kit with children in Robinson River in rural Northern Territory.

DeadlyScience was founded in 2019 by Corey Tutt OAM to empower and engage young Indigenous children with science.

DeadlyScience has delivered more than 25,000 books, 700 telescopes and other learning tools to students in remote communities.

“DeadlyLabs is the next step in giving Indigenous learners more opportunities to learn and play with science from an early age and highlight career pathways for upcoming scientists to emerge from these rural communities,” said Tutt.

"At Merck, we’re excited by opportunities to spark curiosity in children,” said Rebecca Lee, the managing director of Life Science and country speaker at Merck Australia and New Zealand.

“The science of soap-making is a fun way to explore and address the serious topic of staying healthy. This is important as Australian Institute of Health and Welfare statistics show that some life-shortening infectious diseases like rheumatic heart disease are more prevalent in regional and remote areas.”

Merck commercial marketing coordinator Giorgia Todesco will travel to Robinson River to work with the DeadlyScience team.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be there in person to see learners taking part in DeadlyLabs,” she said. “And the pilot is just the beginning. We’re looking forward to applying what we learn and seeing the kits spark curiosity in more remote and Indigenous communities around Australia.”