A man and woman both dressed in blue saftey gear are lighting a glass beaker.

In February, the Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP, Minister for Small Business representing the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, and His Excellency Mr Takaaki Kojima, Ambassador of Japan officially launched the 20th Anniversary Program.

In July, the Questacon Smart Moves Invention Convention was held in Canberra. Thirty high school students from across Australia and two high school students from Japan participated in workshops and activities to develop their innovative ideas and skills.

In September, the Australia-Japan Science Performers Exchange Program brought five Japanese science centre performers from throughout Japan and a representative of the National Museum of Nature and Science to Canberra to participate in a workshop program with Questacon science communicators.

In October, Questacon’s Director, Professor Graham Durant, attended the STS Forum in Kyoto, Japan at the invitation of Japan’s former Finance Minister, Mr Koji Omi. This annual forum creates aspace for open discussions on the advance of science and technology.

Also in October, the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator the Hon Kim Carr, hosted a gala dinner to celebrate 20 years of achievements since Questacon opened its doors. Australia’s Prime Minister, the Hon Kevin Rudd MP, delivered a recorded welcome and congratulatory message. His Excellency Mr Takaaki Kojima, Ambassador of Japan, delivered a congratulatory message on behalf of Japan’s Prime Minister, Mr Taro Aso. A special part of the program was the presentation of the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation which was an expression of Japan’s profound appreciation and respect for Questacon’s invaluable contribution to promoting mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and Australia.

In November, Questacon hosted the Karakuri Ningyo Technology Exchange Program. The program consisted of a Karakuri Mechanics Workshop for Australian primary school students and a Karakuri lecture for the general public.

Later in November, Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, visited Miraikan, Japan’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. During his visit, Minister Carr presented a plaque to Mr Ryu Shionoya, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, in appreciation of Japan’s continuing support on the occasion of Questacon’s 20th Anniversary.