Science Info Day

This full-day activity is open to high school students in years 10, 11 and 12 and is designed to give you a taste of university life as a science student at UNSW! 

What happens on the day?

All the different UNSW Science disciplines offer activities and lectures to help you determine what area of science might be right for you. The activities are often hands on and give you the chance to experience what studying science at UNSW is all about. 
The day starts at 9am with regsitration, and is finished a little bit after 3pm. You will need to make your own way to UNSW Kensington Campus.


In 2016, we will run two Science Info Days - most likely in July and November. 


2015 Activities

Quantum Computing

Biological, Earth and Env Sciences 

Biotech & Biomolecular Science

 Materials Science

Climate Change






Australian Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology


Quantum Computing: Using tiny things to solve big problems


Find out how scientists are making new and powerful machines that can harness the weird and wonderful rules of quantum mechanics to enhance computing power. To see these quantum effects, the machines have to be tiny. This is the realm of nanotechnology, where special types of microscopes allow us to build a electrical circuits atom-by atom. You'll also get hands-on with a demonstration of ultra-cold liquid nitrogen that makes our experiments possible, as well as a tour of some of UNSW's cutting edge experimental physics labs.

Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences


How do they solve the crimes on CSI?



What is biochemistry? What is molecular biology? Immerse yourself in the molecular world as you journey through the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology, soaking up the key themes that underpin life on this planet. Do you watch CSI or other crime shows on TV and wonder how they use DNA to solve those crimes? In this talk, you will also discover the methods employed by forensic scientists to solve crimes whilst taking part in an active simulation of a forensic crime scene investigation. Can you unravel the mystery and determine who committed the crime?

Investigating DNA 
and Forensic Science


What is DNA, what does it look like and how can we use it to solve crimes? All of these questions and more will be answered during this multi-faceted workshop that will give you insight into several areas of modern science, including molecular biology and forensic science. The workshop includes a visual presentation and two hands-on lab work stations in where you will explore the structure of DNA and use forensic techniques to solve a crime.


Viruses verses Humans 




Human kind and viruses have lived and evolved together for hundreds of thousands of years. In this lecture I will describe some of the interactions between humans and viruses.  I will attempt to answer such questions as; what are viruses, how are they transmitted, how they suddenly emerge, how they have helped us and why some viruses can easily kill us and other are harmless. Finally, I will outline the main weapons humans have against viruses and how to make new ones.

Climate Change Research Centre


Ocean Flows

Presented by:
Climate Change Research Centre


What drives ocean flows? How is an ocean different from your kitchen sink? Why are storms rotating? In this session, we will look at the effects of rotation on fluids flows of the ocean and atmosphere. Rotating flows have counterintuitive properties. The understanding gained from a simple experiment using food colouring in a spinning tank will change the way you look at weather patterns and ocean currents.



Get into chemistry - a workshop


Our students love our state-of-the-art facilities and this is your chance to step into these labs and be part of a live chemistry workshop. The chemistry activities will include hands-on experiments such as the preparation of biodiesel, Chromatographic separations, and other fun demonstrations such as elephant's toothpaste and the detection of “blood” by chemiluminescence.The School of Chemistry is recognised nationally and internationally, for producing world-class fundamental and applied research, applied to address real-world challenges. Take part in this workshop as your first step in learning what such world-class chemistry can offer.

Materials Science



Materials = Technology explosion!



Materials Science and Engineering offers unlimited possibilities for innovation and development. As a materials engineer, you could be involed in developing environmentally friendly and economical metals, advanced surface coatings, biomedical materials, advanced composites and much more.




Keeping Secrets



HSC Maths Tips & Tricks and Maths Careers



James wants to send a secret message to Q. He places the message in a box and locks it. The problem is, he doesn’t trust Q with the key. Only James is to have the key. How does he send the message to Q? In this talk I will explain how simple mathematics is used very creatively to enable messages to be encrypted and decrypted securely.


Breeze through your exams with insight into simple university maths like L’Hopital’s Rule, Advanced Combinatorics, Integration by Inspiration and the Heaviside Method. Hear general exam tips from university students who’ve seen it all! Also learn about the  world of options that UNSW maths studies can lead to.

Biological, Earth and Env Sciences


Biocrust! Yeah!


Daze of Discovery at the Centre for Ecosystem Science
Snails to Squid: Invertebrates in Coastal Marine Ecosystems


Biocrusts are clusters of tiny plants, fungi and microbes that live on the ground. They are found all over Australia, especially in the outback, but they’re hard to see if you don’t know what to look for. Biocrust organisms do several important things for ecosystems: they photosynthesise, they reduce erosion, and some even convert nitrogen gas in the atmosphere to a form of nitrogen that plants can use. You will examine biocrust specimens under a microscope and identify as many species as you can!


Ever wondered why, how or what about the natural environment around you? Join us at the Centre for Ecosystem Science for a journey of discovery; delve into our research experience, meet some ecologists, ask questions and gain skills. In this session we'll be listening to and identifying bat calls and we'll also explore the world of microscopic crustaceans.


Walk along the beach or rockpools and you will be surrounded by hundreds of spineless animals. These creatures make up the bulk of marine and intertidal organisms. But what do they do? Why do some live in rockpools and avoid the open ocean? How do they fit into the ecosystem? This hands-on seminar will introduce some of these creatures and give you an up close and personal experience of how they live. Find out why these animals are essential to the functioning of coastal marine ecosystems.





Ever wondered how Astronomers study about all those beautiful jewels on the sky? In this presentation we will talk about stars, constellations and the galaxy. We will learn how to know the age of the stars and how hot or cold they are. How stars can help us navigate our way? How far those stars are and how big is our Universe? Are we alone? To know about all these exciting questions join our portable planetarium show: The StarLab!



The Science of Mind and Behaviour



Are you interested in how the mind develops and works? Why do we behave the way we do? Make the decisions we do? The Psychology activity will give you an insight to the world of psychology and how it is put to use in the real world. Be a part of simple demonstrations and learn how you can study psychology at UNSW and where it can take you. 




Optometry @ UNSW - a Career with a Vision 





This will cover the role of inpatient eye care (what do optometrist's do), including relationships with other eye care health professions. We will review what's involved in getting into the vision science and optometry course at UNSW Optometry, and discuss the areas covered during the combined degree. Possibilities after graduation for vision science and optometry graduates are also discussed.