ONLINE EVENT COMPONENT: Women on Mars: a special event for all high school students


Friday, 18 August, 2017 -
09:30 to 14:30






The below event will have an online component aimed at schools in regional Australia.

Please register below and click here to watch the video.

We encourage science teachers interested in being involved in this event to register their details below. This will help us stay in contact with you with the latest instructions on how to log in, participate and enjoy this fantastic event. 

If you have any questions please email:


Women on Mars: a special event for all high school students 

It is with great pleasure that UNSW Science invites you and your science class to participate in two online interactive events being held at the Sydney Opera House on Friday 18 August.

During the free morning and afternoon events, which last about an hour each, students will hear from speakers including two leading NASA scientists and experts in marine science, astronomy, geology and space exploration. We will inspire your students with real world stories from female scientists who have explored our world from the deepest oceans to the outer reaches of the universe.

The online events are open to all high school students, male and female, across Australia with a particular focus on students in years 9-12 who have a keen interest in science. They are being held as part of the Sydney Science Festival during National Science Week.

Schools can participate through a live stream on the UNSW Science Youtube channel. Students and teachers are encouraged to ask questions of the speakers using our online question portal.  

The school events will follow a major public event in the Concert Hall the previous evening, Thursday 17 August, when The Sydney Opera House and UNSW Science’s Big Questions Institute join forces to present Life on Mars: The 2020 Rover Mission, with presentations by the NASA scientists and other researchers.

We look forward to bringing to you an exciting opportunity to hear top scientists discuss their careers, why they chose to study science at university, and outline their great discoveries and innovations.


Session one: The Journey to Mars begins

Friday 18 August, 10.00am – 11.00am (Sydney time)


Professor Emma Johnston: UNSW Dean of Science and a leading marine ecologist whose research is carried out in diverse environments including the Great Barrier Reef, Antarctica and Sydney Harbour.

Tara Djokic: UNSW PhD student who recently discovered the oldest fossil evidence of land-based life on Earth, in the Pilbara in Western Australia.

Kirsten Banks: UNSW science student who will talk about Aboriginal astronomy.

Solange Cunin: UNSW Aerospace Engineering student and co-founder of the Cuberider, a STEM education program that brings access to space to the classroom.

Event MC: Marisa Cardoso: UNSW Science Marketing and Communications Manager.


9.50am – Schools log in and establish video link up

10.00am – Live stream and event begins

·         Professor Emma Johnston – ‘Exploring life under the ocean’  + Q&A

·         Tara Djokic – ‘Discovering early life on earth’ + Q&A

·         Kirsten Banks – ‘Indigenous Australians look to the stars’ + Q&A

·         Solange Cunin – ‘Taking everyone into space’ + Q&A

10.35am – Open Q&A

10.50am – Event close




Session two: Lift-off to Mars and beyond

Friday 18 August, 1.30pm – 2.15pm (Sydney time)


Dr Mitchell Schulte: A program scientist with the Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

Dr Abigail Allwood: from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Dr Allwood is the first Australian, as well as the first woman, to lead a team at NASA, and she has designed an instrument for NASA’s rover that will land on Mars in 2020.

Professor Tamara Davis: University of Queensland cosmologist investigating the mysterious dark energy and dark matter in the universe.

Event MC: Marisa Cardoso: UNSW Science Marketing and Communications Manager.


1.20pm – Schools log in and establish video link up

1.30pm – Live stream and event begins

·         Dr Mitchell Schulte – ‘Houston, we don’t have a problem – Successfully landing on mars’ + Q&A

·         Dr Abigail Allwood – ‘Searching for evidence of life on Mars’ + Q&A

·         Professor Tamara Davis – ‘What’s next? To infinity and beyond’ + Q&A

2.00pm – Open Q&A

2.15pm – Event close



What do I need to connect?

  • A good quality internet connection
  • Access to YouTube (please test using this link:
  • A computer or laptop connected to a large screen
  • Access to Slido for asking questions, create an account here:

How do I register?

  • Please fill out the booking form below, indicating which sessions you would like to participate in
  • We will contact you prior to the day to confirm details of the YouTube link, schedule, how to connect etc