Hands-On Activities & Events on campus

Come on campus for a half-day of science activities and experience all that the University of Sydney Science Faculty has to offer - friendly and inspiring staff, outstanding facilities and breathtaking grounds!

Contact Jessica Morris to discuss your science excursion:
Phone (02) 9114 0825
Fax (02) 9351 7707

Choose from any combination of the following activities:

BIOLOGY (Years 7-9)

Science Alliance offers school groups the opportunity to visit the School of Biological Sciences at our Camperdown campus and participate in hands on laboratory based activities. The focus is on activities that are not able to be done at school.

Alternatively the School of Biological Sciences may be able to send a speaker to visit your school. The School is happy to speak to groups of teachers, careers advisors and parents, as well as students.

One of our activities includes:

Monsters Beneath Our Feet: the mysterious, spineless world of invertebrates workshop
(Years 7 - 9)

Come face-to-face with mini monsters living in your backyard. Go on an exploration of the exciting world of terrestrial and aquatic invertebrate life that is only made possible thanks to high resolution microscopes and special lighting equipment. Activities include holding some of Australia’s largest invertebrates, seeing unusual properties of scorpions, investigating the magic of insect flight and getting to know the creepy-crawlies that share our homes. This workshop aims to develop students’ skills in animal handling, observation and data recording, as well as reinvigorating their excitement for biology.

Duration: 1.5 hours
Minimum: 10 students
Maximum: 30 students
Cost: $10/student (inc GST)

Contact: Biological Sciences Communicator
Phone: (02) 9351 4543
Mobile: 0434 070 338

CHEMISTRY (Years 7-12)*

Workshops and demonstrations

Great hands on experiments for your Year 11 Chemistry class including titrations, precipitation reactions, chemical analysis and chromatography, as well as demonstrations of instrumentation including Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy.

Duration: 1 hour
Minimum: 20 students
Maximum: 30 students per workshop
Cost: $27.50/student (inc GST)

Contact: Dr Jeanette Hurst
Phone: (02) 9351 3105

* Please note there is very limited availability with these programs due to venue restrictions.


Interactive mathematics workshops (Years 9 - 12)

The School of Mathematics and Statistics offers a range of inspiring and exciting mathematics activities for high school students: from hands on activities covering specific subjects, to awareness raising lectures about the far reach of mathematics and statistics, to careers information talks showing the breadth of opportunities studying mathematics opens up. Show your students how fun, essential and central mathematics is with these activities that provide a greater context for mathematics and statistics. As mathematics and statistics are sensitive to particular levels, goals and aspirations, we are happy to discuss your groupĀ¹s specific requirements and tailor the workshop or talk to create the best possible experience for your group.

Contact: Jessica Morris
Phone: (02) 9114 0825

Mathematical Enrichment and Mathematical Olympiad

The Australian Mathematical Olympiad Committee offers a variety of activities ranging from correspondence programs to residential schools, run with the assistance of academic mathematicians throughout Australia. These programs, which are presented in a carefully sequenced arrangement of enrichment activities, offer valuable tuition and resources to students. The most gifted students may be selected for more specialised training directed towards the Mathematical Olympiad.

Contact: Dr Bill Palmer
Phone: (02) 9351 3048
Fax: (02) 9351 4534
Website: www.amt.edu.au

The National Mathematics Summer School

The National Mathematics Summer School was founded in 1969 and is academically sponsored by the Australian National University and the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers Inc. It is a two-week program for 64 Year 11 high school students, proficient in mathematics, selected from every state and territory. It is presently in its 45th year of operation. During the two week school, students study three topics in higher mathematics and there are, in addition, guest lectures and a special lecture at the Academy of Science.

Date: 5-18 January 2014
4-13 January 2015
Contact: Associate Professor Leon Poladian
Phone: (02) 9351 2049
Fax: (02) 9351 4534
Website: www.nmss.org.au


How to be a physicist (Years 7 - 10)

How to be a physicist - What tools and tricks do physicists use? How do we "do" physics and who does it? Discover how the process of physics works by doing real science with real scientists. From the world's first electronic instrument to the world's largest atom smasher you'll see the process of physics from the start to the finish. Experimentation, discovery and questions and answers, all in the name of physics.

Duration: 1.5 hours
Minimum: 8 students
Maximum: 50 students
Cost: $10/student (inc GST)

Contact: Tom Gordon
Phone: (02) 9351 3201

Astronomy: CAASTRO in the Classroom (Years 7 - 12)

Reach for the stars without ever leaving the classroom. Astronomers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO) will be beamed into your classroom via videoconferencing to share with you the secrets of how the universe works. Be prepared to ask your own questions about anything from the solar system to galaxies to the big bang. The content is well aligned with the Cosmic Engine, Space, Astrophysics, and other courses in the NSW Stage 4-6 syllabi.

Duration: 1 hour
Cost: None

Contact: Greg Madsen
Phone: (02) 9036 5106
Fax: (02) 9036 7158

CUDOS - Photonics (Years 9 - 12)

Photonics is the study of light, covering all technical applications of light over the whole spectrum from ultraviolet over the visible to the near-, mid- and far-infrared. It is becoming increasingly important as we reach the limits of electronics in this information age.

Our dedicated postgraduate students at CUDOS (the Centre for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems) are ready and willing to visit schools and present some basic science of light that ties in with the NSW science curriculum and the new National Curriculum. The presentations feature a range of interactive demonstrations and the students talk about what it's like studying physics at University and what career options are available. Visit the CUDOS website for more information.

Duration: ~ 1 hr per presentation or other session lengths can be negotiated
Cost: Free!
Location: Your School in the Sydney area, but we will tour rural and regional areas if there is enough demand from a cluster of schools

Contact: Susan Shade
Phone: (02) 9351 2637


Agriculture is much more than fields and tractors! The Faculty of Agriculture and Environment is involved in a range of fascinating topics spanning science and economic disciplines. Students have the opportunity to expand their understanding of today’s big environmental issues such as carbon and water management, food security and use of the world’s natural resources.

The faculty provides a range of fun hands-on workshops and talks related to general science, environmental science and agricultural science including plant biology,entomology, soil science and food chemistry. For those interested in business and economics, the faculty offers activities exploring agricultural and resource economics. Workshops can be tailored for primary or high school students and are conducted on our heritage listed camperdown campus..

Additional opportunities include a laboratory tour and introduction to our research.

Is Economics all about Money?

Economists study the allocation of scarce resources. Whilst economists do study how people choose to earn and spend their money, they also study how people interact with each other in managing scarce resources and the environment. Money is important but so too are trust, fairness, and cooperative behaviour. This activity uses interactive games to explore economic behaviour in markets and environmental dilemmas.

Food and Money

How much would you pay for a chocolate bar? Is an orange worth more than an apple? Why is bread so cheap? The answers to these questions and many more, can be found out through the economics of food. Commonly known as agricultural economics, this is the way in which people make, buy and sell food around the world and ultimately determines what price you pay in the supermarket. In this workshop you will take control and compete against your classmates to get the best deals on a range of commodities like fruit and chocolate. Be market savvy, develop some unique strategies and supplement your lunch with what you win!

Plant Science

Find out why plants are the true powerhouses of the world. Students explore the diversity of plants and learn about the recent advances in plant biotechnology. You will have the opportunity to perform hands-on experiments including DNA extraction and CO2 measurement.

The Chocolate Workshop

We all love chocolate, but do we really know where it comes from? This delicious food science workshop takes students on a sensory exploration of cocoa! Depending on the audience, the workshop can be adjusted to include elements of biology, economics, social sciences and environmental science.

Catch the Robber!

Trace the steps of the thief using forensic soil techniques. This exciting, interactive workshop will show students how to make their own pH test kit and then use it to identify the culprit and solve the crime!

Duration: All workshops are 45 minutes
Minimum: 10 students
Maximum: 30 students
Cost: $8.80/student (inc GST)

For all Faculty of Agriculture and Environment activities:
Contact: Jessica Morris
Phone: (02) 9114 0825
Website: sydney.edu.au/agriculture/outreach/

Year 12 students will be able to hear a range topics across the agriculture HSC syllabus, latest research and applications.

All students studying HSC Agriculture welcome.

Date: To be advised in 2014
Contact: Jessica Morris
Phone (02) 9114 0825


Design is only limited by a student’s imagination and we attempt to foster innovation, inspiration and lateral thinking in our Architecture and Design computing programs. The faculty can offer schools in the Sydney metropolitan area access to world leading academics and top students for school talks or alternately, we’re happy to accommodate school visits that include a facilities tour and a talk on either architecture or design computing.

The graduate exhibition (first week of December) showcases the talents of all our graduating students from the architecture and design computing programs. We invite school groups to attend this exhibition.

Contact: Jonathan Hulme
Phone: (02) 9351 7591
Fax: (02) 9351 5665


Engineering is not just about building bridges and IT is not just about computing. Throughout the year, we invite high school students on campus to experience what engineering and IT is all about and what it’s like to study at Sydney. Students can participate in fun, interactive workshops, challenges and competitions, tour our facilities and talk to our academics and current students about study options and job opportunities and life at Sydney. During the workshops they might create their own avatar, build a signal railway or a prosthetic leg or race in a fuel cell car challenge. our students can also visit high schools and run activities with students, aligned with the curriculum.

Contact: Sandra Lange
Phone: (02) 9351 2131
Fax: (02) 9351 4654

National Computer Science School 2014
Dates: 4-13 January 2014
The National Computer Science School brings together talented young people for an intensive week of computer programming, robotics, web design and related activities at the School of IT (Faculty of Engineering), University of Sydney. NCSS is a residential school and open to all students in Australia in their penultimate high school year.


NCSS Challenge 2014
Dates: To be advised in 2014
The NCSS Challenge is a five week programming competition designed to educate participants about computer science. The Challenge involves participants solving interesting but simplified computational tasks. Unlike existing competitions, the Challenge is designed to cater for both beginners and advanced students. The Challenge will be particularly valuable for science students, mathematics students and computing studies students.

NO PROGRAMMING EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED. We teach you how to program as you go along.

Girls' Programming Network 2014
Term 1: Saturday 1 March 2014
(School term Week 5)
Term 2: Sunday 1 June 2014
(School term Week 5)
Term 3: Saturday 9 August 2014
(School term Week 4)
Term 4: Sunday 2 November 2014
(School term Week 4)

The Girls' Programming Network (GPN) is a programming club developed and run by girls for high school girls interested in learning and/or improving their computing skills. GPN is a unique opportunity to meet other females with similar interests, find a mentor and learn about university life from female university students. The program has been developed and run by female IT students - under the guidance of academics at the University of Sydney. No programming experience is required.

For all IT activities contact:

NCSS Co-ordinator
Phone: (02) 9351 3423
Fax: (02) 9351 3838
Website: www.ncss.edu.au


The Nicholson Museum is the largest antiquities museum in Australia with a collection of objects from Egypt, the Middle East, Greece, Italy and Europe. The museum is open to the public, in addition to functioning as a teaching collection for the Department of Archaeology. The museum has a full-time conservator who works with the objects and alongside archaeology students who are studying ancient materials, technologies and manufacturing processes.

Visits to the Nicholson Museum which focus on science in archaeology and involve a tour of the conservation laboratory can be organised.

Contact: Dr Craig Barker
Phone: (02) 9036 5409 (enquiries) / (02) 9351 8746 (bookings)
Website: sydney.edu.au/museums/collections/nicholson.shtml
Cost: General Admission - free

Education program prices
Primary school:
2 hour visit - $12.50/student (inc GST)
3 hour visit - $14.50/student (inc GST)

High School:
2 hour visit - $15.00/student (inc GST)
3 hour visit - $18.50/student (inc GST)

The Shellshear Museum is the only museum dedicated to physical anthropology in Australia and holds collections of human skeletons, other primate skeletons, vertebrate skeletons and casts for the study of human evolution. The museum is open to school groups, in addition to functioning as a teaching collection for the Discipline of Anatomy and Histology and research collections for bona fide researchers. Research in the Museum focuses on human osteology, particularly in the areas of forensic anthropology and forensic dental anatomy, burial practices and dietary analysis of bone.

Contact: Dr Denise Donlon
Phone: (02) 9351 4529
Duration: 1.5 hours
Maximum: 20 students
Cost: $11/student (inc GST)
Website: sydney.edu.au/medicine/anatomy/museums/shellshear.php

The Macleay Museum is a museum of natural history, ethnography and the history of science. Its significant collections, based on the original donation in the 1880s by William John Macleay and later additions, are important for the purposes of historic research and teaching. The Museum offers programs for school visits which focus on various syllabus topics, including science (especially biology and scientific history), history and Aboriginal studies.

Website: sydney.edu.au/museums/collections/macleay.shtml