Best of science in the Hunter

Astronomer at large Professor Fred Watson, Dr Karl and physicist Professor Geraint Lewis join the smorgasbord of science-inspired events and activities in the Hunter to captivate the whole family as part of the 2019 National Science Week Celebrations. Supported by Inspiring Australia, the week will feature visual displays, hands-on activities and expert talks on all kinds of topics from drones and astronomy to winemaking and electrons.

Moon Mysteries

Kicking off the celebrations on Friday 9 August, Professor Fred Watson Australia’s first Astronomer-at-large will hold a public lecture in East Maitland on Moon Mysteries. For the parents, why not venture into the Cessnock wine region on Friday 16 August to learn about the history and future of winemaking at the Bots and Barrels event.

Science in practice

A full day of entertainment is on the bill on Saturday 17 August at the University of Newcastle’s Science in Practice.

Events include:

  • Mini Electric Vehicle workshop (11am -1pm)
    We have the parts, do you have the interest? Come and build, and race, a mini electric vehicle. Will yours be the fastest? Choose from among the many wheel options, axels, gears, solar panels and so forth from the kits and determine which pieces and configuration produce the best result.
  • Hands-on interactive science activities (1-4pm)
    These interactive stations include earthquake machines, hovering magnets, speed cup stacking, electrostatic generators, liquid nitrogen icy poles, computer games played with your mind, competitions, and many other activities that help everyone better understand science.
  • 6 minute professor talks (2-3pm)
    This hour-long session will host a series of several six minute professor talks on Microbial Beasts, Paint-on Energy, Quantum mechanics and nanomaterials, People parts and androgen production and more.

The Colour of An Electron

6.30pm, University of Newcastle, Saturday 17 August
Join Dr Karl and Astrophysicist Professor Geraint Lewis as they light up the electron for National Science Week. Explore its astounding role in the world of colour. Bring your questions for the Q&A to Griffith Duncan Theatre, University of Newcastle. Bookings

Bots and Barrels

Ben Ean Winery, Friday 16 August
Be captivated by one of Australia’s foremost winemakers and marketers, Mr. Brian McGuigan, as he takes you on a journey into the wine industry and its scientific advances over the past 50 years. There will also be presentations from one of Australia’s largest drone companies and opportunities to use innovative robotic and additive manufacturing technologies that are emerging in Agriculture. Bookings

Minisparx + Bigsparx: Deep-Sea Inventing

Eighteen04 Parry St Newcastle, Wednesday 14 August and Thursday 15 August
An afternoon workshop inviting sparky thinkers and their parents/guardians to dive deep and engineer a whole lot of awesomeness using introductory electronics. A lot of cool technology is inspired by what’s happening under the sea – particularly by the creatures who inhabit it. We’re going to learn from the science of animal engineering (known as biomimicry) to learn from and build the sea of the future. Bookings

Creative Coding

Hunter Valley Grammar School Ashtonfield Thursday 15 August
What better way to celebrate National Science Week than to spend it with your daughters and favourite young girls bonding over tech and learning awesome new skills. This is a great opportunity for the young ones to share their interest in coding with that important person in their life.

Discover! How Plants Work

Throughout Science Week at Hunter Botanic Gardens, Heatherbrae.
This is an interactive exhibition designed for primary and high school students and adults. The exhibition features illustrated information about plants and a range of plant specimens. A range of simple observations and experiments are set up for visitors to perform.

Hunter Science Festival

Topping off a week of events on Sunday 18 August will be the highly successful Hunter Innovation and Science Hub’s Science Festival returning to Newcastle Museum.

About the organisers

National Science Week in the Hunter is brought to you by the Hunter Innovation and Science Hub with support from Inspiring Australia. The Hub fosters a collaborative approach that unites and supports a multitude of organisations in the Hunter region committed to enabling the broader community to engage with and enjoy the wonders of science. Learn more at