Links to programs, competitions, places & events
Suggested vacation programs by school year
- Year 8
January: Science Experience (Macquarie)
- Year 9
July: UOW Learning Labs or Sydney Uni Science Discovery (as alternative to January) or GERRIC
September: Science Experience (ANU or UNSW), as alternative to January
January: Science Experience Sydney Uni (‘3 days as a CSI’)
- Year 10
July: UOW Learning Labs
All vacation programs
UNSW GERRIC ‘Scientia Challenge’
A range of workshops from a number of academic disciplines taught over three days. Designed to stimulate the interests of gifted students. On-campus, University of NSW, July. This is one of the core scholarship activities in Year 8
Provides a 2 day series of selected workshops for high achieving students Years 9 and 10. University of Wollongong, held in January & July.
Sydney Science Experience (‘3 days as a CSI’)
Discover through hands-on lectures and presentations the reality behind a lot of popular forensic television shows. Students perform tasks such as blood typing, DNA analysis, identifying fibres from a crime scene, cleaning a digital photograph and undertaking fingerprint analysis to collect evidence against six suspects. Year 10 or 11. On-campus, University of Sydney, January. This is one of the core scholarship activities in Year 10.
ConocoPhillips Science Experience Programs
Various universities run 3-day Science Experience programs with varying content and at different times of the year. Some of these are:
The flier with details of all the above is here – have a browse at the different topics in each program.
STANSW ‘Young Scientist’ Awards
(Years 8 to 12) Carry out scientific investigations, invent something or build a model. The Young Scientist categories and judging rubrics are designed to support the NSW science curriculum. STANSW will forward the major winning entries of the Young Scientist Awards to the BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards.
Gifted & Talented Discovery Program
Provides talented high school science students with additional challenges and stimulation in the areas of biology, chemistry and physics. Alternative to the ‘3 days as a CSI’ program. Selective – requires registration & qualifying exam previous Oct-Nov. Years 9 and 10. Uni of Sydney, July & October.
Each day has a different theme – for example 2014 included nuclear science, nanotechnology, analytical chemistry, plant ecology, 3M tour, fire lab tour and a couple of citizen science projects. Each day has a combination of incursion/excursion, hands-on, presentations by scientists and “build your own” activities. Years 9 & 10, 2 days, Several different venues. $250 Limited places, book early
For academically gifted high school students. Two-week fully residential curriculum which is sponsored by the Sydney Uni School of Physics. Winter every second year; only 50 students from NSW. Year 12 (2015). On-campus, Uni of Sydney. Students must apply to attend the ISS, and are selected on academic merit and leadership qualities.
The NYSF program (2 weeks) consists of a mix of scientific, formal, personal development, and social activities. These range from laboratory visits to sports evenings and from a bush dance to group dynamics. Students must be also sponsored through a local Rotary club and there is a multi-stage selection process including presentations. Quite competitive, typically 2,000 applicants for 400 places. Year 12, On-campus, A.N.U.
A wide variety of exhibitions, shows, special events. Check the website for latest details.
CSIRO Discovery Centre Canberra
The main focus is an interactive exhibition showcasing the latest research into: Green energy; hydrogen as fuel; global climate change; Australia’s woodland biodiversity; new technologies; gene technology; wellbeing and healthy foods.
Located on the grounds of the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (CDSCC). Learn about the role that Australia plays in the exploration of space.
Sydney Vacation Trip
Visit a range of places –
Melbourne Vacation Trip
Visit a range of places –
To be supplied
BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards
These are Australia’s most prestigious school science awards with first prize of $4000. Year 11. They reward young people who have undertaken practical research projects, which demonstrate innovative approaches and thorough scientific procedures. Entry is via Young Scientist or CREST
Australian National Chemistry Quiz
Aims to promote interest in and appreciation of the role of chemistry and chemists in our society, and engender a better understanding of the nature and relevance of chemistry amongst students. Held in July each year, Year 9-10, Year 11 and Year 12.
Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize
The competition encourages students with a passion for science and for communicating ideas to tell a scientific story via a short video piece (1 to 3 minutes), cultivating the next generation of Dr Karls and Adam Spencers. $4000 first prize! Years 9 to 12.
The Science Olympiad Competition is the training and selection process for top performing secondary science students which culminate in the International Science Olympiads. Students must first sit a 2 hour exam in biology, chemistry and/or physics. The top 70 students are eligible to attend the 2 week residential Australian Science Olympiad Summer School (cost $1800, held in January at Monash university) Year 11.