Activities for Schools

Activities for Schools

Activities for Schools

As a Department we strive to provide valued high quality school engagement opportunities which will encourage a deeper discovery into physics and astronomy, and contribute to making Macquarie University the first choice for supporting schools in our region and beyond.

The Physics and Astronomy department aim to foster and develop further a strong and visible representation in the local and wider communities as an authority in physical sciences, research, education and outreach.

Our most popular activities include:

  • on-campus supervised laboratory experiences
  • tours of our research facilities, such as our Nanodiamondscience Lab and 3D printing laboratories
  • guest lecture opportunities both on-site and in-school.
  • Academics in Schools and study support

Why not get in touch with our Outreach Coordinators in the Department of Physics and Astronomy: Kelly Sharpless and Sue Lumley.

On-Campus Curriculum Activities

Schools are invited into our teaching labs for hands-on lessons with a team of higher degree student demonstrators who will work with your students through a curriculum-focused experiment or activity.

The following are a list of lab-based activities that we offer, including links to the relevant section of the Australian curriculum.

On Campus Events

The Department of Physics and Astronomy get involved in many student events, both on and off campus, throughout the year. Here is just a snapshot of where you might see us.

  • Macquarie Science Experience
  • Camp Aspire
  • Macquarie in a Day
  • Space, STEM and Your Future
  • Open Day
  • Astronomy Open Night
  • Women in STEM
  • Physics and Astronomy Careers Night

Career Building Activities

We offer a series of workshops linked to Citizen Science projects and solving Global Challenges. These include:

Galaxy Classification

There have been many different methods proposed to classify galaxies. The purpose of galaxy classification, as in other sciences (e.g. biology) is to form an understanding of the processes that shape how galaxies form and evolve. This is the essence of studying galaxy evolution, the study of how galaxies changed in the universe since the Big Bang.

In this lab session, you will learn about the different appearances of galaxies, or morphologies, how galaxy morphology is related to other properties such as the age of stars, and how galaxies appearances are shaped by their environment.

The Hunt for New Worlds and Extraterrestrial Life

In this project, you will learn about the transit method of planetary discovery, light curve graphs, circumstellar habitable zones, astronomical spectroscopy and how each can be combined to identify Earth-like planets and potentially, extraterrestrial life.

You will use imaging software on real data from telescopes to model these principles and make calculations of exoplanet parameters. If you are interested in hunting for new planets and searching for extraterrestrial life, then this is the project for you!

Physics and Astronomy Careers Night

Successful completion of a degree in Physics and Astronomy is a demonstration of a keen intellect that has been trained to observe, analyse and interpret complex situations, and to solve a wide range of problems. Some graduates go on to be professional Physicists or Astronomers, but there is a very wide choice of careers that also need exactly the skills that our graduates have gained.

Our yearly Careers Night brings back to Macquarie a number of recent graduates, who tell us what careers they have chosen, and how their degree has given them the skills they needed to succeed. The opportunities really are endless.

Click here to hear presentations from our previous speakers.

Plus also Careers Talks and Women in STEM talks from our academics and HDR Students.

Astronomy Observations and Planetarium

Through the Association for Astronomy we are also able to provide interactive planetarium incursions, and visits to our observatory, again both on campus and at your school subject to what is most suitable (at cost).

For detailed information and quotes, please email

HSC Preparation and In-school Talks

Academics in Schools

The Academics in Schools program places Macquarie University academics in schools to connect students and teachers with researchers who inspire, inform and challenge students to question their thinking. Presentations discuss hot topics, global issues affecting society, have inspirational and significant impact for students and in some cases can be linked to the school curriculum.

HSC Study Lab

HSC Study Lab was created at Macquarie University, and the video lessons were filmed in various locations on Macquarie University Campus. The 350+ videos showcase the variety of state-of-the-art facilities that the University has to offer.

Enquiries and Feedback

If you would like to enquire about ways in which we can support your school and your students, please feel free to email our Outreach Coordinators Kelly Sharpless and Sue Lumley or complete our short Expression of Interest form.

In order to continually improve our offerings we greatly value feedback and insights from the community with regards to outreach.

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