Scientists in Schools


There have been over 4500 ongoing teacher-scientist partnerships across Australia, working together to support science teaching and learning in schools.

Newsletter featured partnerships

Issue 11

Issue 10

Issue 9

Issue 8

Issue 7

Issue 6

We have selected some partnerships to inspire and enthuse you. We have organised them into different styles of partnership, although most partnerships involve a range of activities drawing from many styles.

You can also read comments from Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools participants.

Presentations and demonstrations

  • A Queensland mechanical engineer visits regularly to bring relevance to the science unit currently being studied (NEW) - read the showcase
  • ACT extension science students enjoy the opportunity to learn from Nobel Prize winning scientist about the Universe - read the showcase
  • A Victorian astrophysicist demonstrates the solar system and how the planets revolve around the sun after which they investigate how craters are formed - read the showcase
  • A medical engineer enthused an audience of 500 primary students with stories about his work on the VentrAssist artificial heart - read the showcase
  • Year one students in Perth investigated soil science with their scientist - read the showcase
  • A Queensland scientist has been wowing her students with science demonstrations and quizzes - read the showcase
  • A defence scientist working on underwater vehicles took a mini-submarine to his partner school for 'show and tell' - read the showcase.
  • A potato pathologist inspired primary school students to write and perform a 'potato rap' to celebrate the International Year of the Potato - read the showcase.
  • A PhD student with expertise in molecular biology and biochemistry excited primary students with a variety of demonstrations during weekly visits to a local school - read the showcase.
  • A female scientist from a University in Victoria helped students from a girl's college explore extraordinary careers in science with a day of visits, practicals and challenges to the Department of Materials Engineering - read the showcase.
  • A DNA scientist in Western Australia worked with a teacher in to bring the the exciting science of biotechnology alive for over 200 students covering everything from DNA fingerprinting to genetic engineering - read the showcase.
  • Identical twin brothers, teacher John and scientist Peter Nichols, partner up for a day of intense talks and discussions with chemistry students in Victoria - read the showcase.

Science fairs, competitions and long-term projects

  • Tasmanian primary school students explore how sustainability impacts on their lives through the weekly visits from their crop research scientist (NEW) - read the showcase
  • An ACT scientist mentored Year 11 students in their research project for the International Students Science Fair - read the showcase
  • Immunology specialists help Year 9 students in North Queensland to design and implement their own investigations - read the showcase
  • A Victorian scientist stimulates curiosity across an entire school community through projects that include robotics - read the showcase
  • The flexibility to transfer partnerships has enabled a South Australian teacher to continue working with her scientists at her new school - read the showcase
  • A small country school in NSW has involved their parents as well as their scientist in building solar cars and billy carts - read the showcase
  • A physical oceanographer is working with a Hobart school to study erosion and coastal impacts at their 'adopted' local beach - read the showcase
  • A South Australian scientist is coordinating a science fair at a local primary school, including providing tips and suggestions to students, teachers and parents
  • A physicist in Canberra is helping a local school prepare their entry in the 'F1 in Schools Challenge'


  • By providing mentorship and guidance, a WA scientist has been influential in the development of the school's unique Health and Medical Specialist Program - read the showcase
  • An ACT astrophysicist used his expertise in scientific process to mentor Year 9 students in their open ended investigations - read the showcase
  • A SA retired scientist's expertise in sustainability has had an impact on the whole school community - read the showcase
  • A scientist in Canberra is mentoring students at a local high school who are completing high-level science projects - read the showcase
  • A primary school in Esperance, WA, has produced climate change information for their community, with the support of a climate change scientist in Canberra - read the showcase

Teacher-scientist interactions

  • A Queensland materials scientist sends regular email newsletters to his partner teachers with information on interesting science news, ideas for activities and just to keep in touch
  • A Melbourne vet pathologist is conducting workshops for the teachers at his partner school on topics such as animal dissections
  • A NSW energy scientist organised for his partner teacher to undertake research at his workplace during her school holidays
  • A Victorian defence scientist is helping her local primary school identify science activities to fit with the school’s integrated topics

Links to 'real science'

  • Through the help of a Queensland scientist, students gain an understanding the importance of seagrass meadows to the health and cultural wellbeing of their local Torres Strait Islander community. - read the showcase
  • Through his work in overseas, a Tasmanian marine scientist demonstrates the link between scientific research and the importance of learning a language - read the showcase
  • A Victorian medical scientist works with Year 3 students to design experiments in the area of respiratory health - read the showcase
  • An Antarctic scientist from NSW inspired students to name and follow a leopard seal fitted with a satellite tracker over a 12 month period - read the showcase
  • A scientist from Tasmania is giving teachers and their students an opportunity to use the latest technology in their study of plant water usage - read the showcase
  • A biologist researching penguins in Antarctica has named the penguins' ID tags after the students at a small rural Tasmanian school, to give the students a personal link to his research
  • A scientist from Biosecurity Queensland is involving high school students in practical fuit fly and ant surveillance activities - read the showcase
  • A scientist from Gippsland Water is working with junior school students to devise methods of protecting endangered wetland plants - read the showcase

Field trips and excursions

  • During their annual field trip, Victorian students learn about the techniques and equipment used by a spatial research scientist - read the showcase
  • North Queensland students have made a difference through a four year project to improve the local lagoon environment - read the showcase
  • A Queensland marine scientist teaches students about sea turtles with long term results - read the showcase
  • A WA weeds specialist organised a visit to her laboratory for Year 6 students to complement her classroom visits and activities - read the showcase
  • A group of year 11 and 12 students from a school three hours north of Brisbane visited their scientist's medical lab and the Queensland Medical Museum in a mammoth 14-hour day trip - read the showcase
  • A radiographer in Exmouth, WA, arranged a visit for students to the local hospital, where they saw ultrasound and x-ray machines in action
  • A biologist in Queensland attended her school's 3-day year 11 biology field trip to help students learn about biology and ecology research studies
  • A group of year 6 students from a school in News South Wales took part in a stream survey involving looking for macroinvertebrates that were either tolerant or intolerant to pollution, as an indicator of the health of the stream - read the showcase
  • A retired geologist in Victoria is accompanying primary students on field trips to explore the geology of the school grounds and local area - read the showcase

Long-distance partnerships

  • A SA medical researcher has been working with a group of senior biology students from a regional school - read the showcase
  • A group of students in the Northern Territory with the support of a Queensland scientist have discovered a unique tarantula species which will have a long term benefit to the whole community - read the showcase
  • A scientist in Brisbane helped run 'Biotech in the Bush' in Kingaroy, around three hours north of the city, and has hosted Kingaroy students for work experience in her lab - read the showcase
  • A school in Goulburn, NSW, has worked with a Canberra ecologist to produce a booklet on local bird species, and in a three-way mentoring partnership - read the showcase
  • An Antarctic scientist in Hobart has formed a long-distance partnership with a primary school in Townsville, sending regular emails to the students about his research
  • A scientist on a field trip to the South Pacific is sending regular reports of his research to his school in North Queensland
  • A Hobart-based Ice Core Analyst received a warm welcome when she visited her partner school in Darwin, NT - read the showcase

Extra-curricular activities

  • A Townsville-based marine biologist helped his mother organise a Coral Reef Open Day at her school, including science activities and displays of reef organisms - read the showcase
  • A Canberra scientist runs a lunch-time science club and community meetings about environmental sustainability at her daughter’s school
  • A Brisbane high school held a science breakfast for their year 11 students, at which their scientist was guest speaker
  • A Western Australian defence scientist is spending half a day each week running an extension science class at his local primary school
  • A partnership between a Remote Sensing Researcher and a rural Darwin secondary college has helped one Year 12 student to determine his career path - read the showcase

Creative ICT

  • A Tasmanian school has developed a science website on which they have published interviews with their Antarctic scientist
  • An astrophysicist in Melbourne has helped her school research the moon and publish their work online [external link]
  • Two computer scientists in South Australia are teaching students at two remote schools how to write their own webpages


  • A Victorian mathematician is working with his partner to create a DVD to help distance education students appreciate life as a mathematician - read the showcase
  • An ACT mathematician is keeping it simple in his partnership where senior maths students gain insight to the application of maths as well as gaining work placement opportunities - read the showcase
  • A Queensland mathematician spent a day working with various secondary classes, giving them new skills in maths techniques. - read the showcase
  • An ACT electrical engineer is regularly working with Year 2 students, nurturing and extending their love of mathematics. - read the showcase
  • A Queensland mathematician guided Year 8 students through creating a truncated icosahedron sculpture from recycled CDs. - read the showcase
  • A Western Australian mathematician is sharing his fascination with mathematics by helping students to appreciate mathematics as ideas rather than just calculations, illustrating it through the application of statistics in everyday life. - read the showcase
  • A Victorian mathematician has inspired students through regular brain teasers, tutorials and lectures using applied mathematics and a tub of very cold water. - read the showcase
  • A Queensland engineer guided Year 2 students through planning and constructing a Cinderella Coach using the same principles as a “real engineer”. - read the showcase
  • An ACT mathematician developed an opportunity for senior students to investigate a real world scenario using the primary tool of an applied mathematician - mathematical software. - read the showcase
  • A Victorian mathematician is using computer simulations to model and help students better understand the world around them - read the showcase
  • A Queensland mathematician took a community of teachers, parents and students on a mathematical journey during a maths evening held at a Queensland school - read the showcase
  • A Victorian mathematician displays a most impressive array of interactive maths activities - read the showcase