General FAQ

1. How will the activities tie in with the syllabus?

All of our activities have been developed to align with and support the NSW Science and Technology K-6 syllabus and the Science 7-10 syllabus. Many of our activities also link with Mathematics, Agricultural Technology, Technology Mandatory, Creative Arts, PDHPE and languages.

The philosophy that science and technology is “an integrated discipline that fosters in students a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world around them and how it works” underpins the work of Discovery Voyager, and we aim to facilitate collaborative and creative ways to make this happen for all students.

Have a look at each of the activity sheets to get a feel for how each one addresses the NSW syllabus.

2. What prior knowledge do my students need? OR Do I need to prepare my students in any way?

We do not expect students to have any prior knowledge in a particular area. However, if you are focussing on a particular unit of work that relates to a specific activity, then great! Let us know what you’re up to and our visit can extend their knowledge in active learning environments.

3. What will students need to wear on the day? Will they need PPE?

Students will benefit from being comfortable and ready for activity for our visit. We suggest that they wear sports uniform, including runners. However, students and teachers do not need any special Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). We provide PPE when required (and in varying sizes to fit everyone).

4. What is the maximum number of students in one activity?

We can cater for up to 30 students in one group. Please do not allocate groups of more than 30. Our ideal group size is around 18-24.

5. Can you explain the level of student involvement and interaction?

All of our activities involve the students in hands on, touch and feel, play-based and exploratory activities. In A Day in the Life of Soils, students become munching microbes and soil invertebrates; in Plants, Poop and Pollinators they go searching in the school grounds for insects, or become busy dung beetles in a fast paced role playing game; in Astrometrics they explore the planets and stars using hands on measurement and models; Busybots involves communicating with programmable robots to explore the basics of coding; the Rocking through Time show uses sights, sounds, props and audience participation and play to explore our Earth’s amazing history; students play with models and use state of the art brain sensing technology to visualise their brain functions in Power of the Brain; in Think Like a Rock students play with 3D landscape models to explore the geological features or our local area, and don lab coats and a can-do attitude to create fizzling concoctions and colourful reactions in Creative Chemistry.

6. What is my role as the teacher in the activities?

We ask teachers to please remain in your teacher role, but learn alongside us! Because you know your students best, please be ready for any individual or group disciplinary guidance you might need to give. However, we find that because our team are new, bringing fun and novel ways of learning into your classroom, we rarely have any issues.

Teachers, be ready for some noise! We allow, and encourage enthusiastic responses to our exploratory activities, but we understand that this is not sustainable for you. We try and give the students space to learn in their own ways in each activity, and ask that you do too.

7. What year levels do you cater for?

We cater for Kindergarten to Year 10 students. This might seem like a wide age range with the same activities. The Voyager team is adept at flexible facilitation for each activity, and we adapt language, content depth and structure according to the age of the students. The team is pretty amazing at doing this, and because many of them are scientists, we find the questions come thick and fast!

8. Are there any follow up activities that you can leave with us?

Yes. We will leave you with follow up experiences and extension activities for you and your students.

9. Can I speak to someone about catering for students with special needs?

Yes. While we are not trained as educators for students with special needs, we understand that integrated and small schools cater for a very broad range of abilities and needs. We are happy to talk to you about a structure, and activities that will work for different learning styles and needs. Click here to drop us an email.

10. Will we need to provide you with lunch?

No! We’ll bring our own sustenance. But we do know there are some expert bakers out there, and we love sampling the fruits of your talents…. 😉

11. Do you offer similar activities for students on the UNE campus in Armidale?

Thanks for asking! There are various opportunities you can plug into on the UNE campus in beautiful Armidale. Each year UNE hosts several science camps, Open Days and hands-on science days. Far Out Science is one of our most popular science days on campus.

In addition, the UNE Natural History Museum is open from 9:30am to 4:30pm weekdays, and has a great café and outside space. Let your curiosity get the better of you and visit us with your school students or your family. Schools and community groups can also book Voyager activities and tours at the UNE Natural History Museum. Group sizes are limited to 30 similar to our school visit numbers. Click here to email directly or click here to visit the Museum website and check out our amazing collections.

COVID information

General hygiene practices not only reduce the transmission of viruses and other pathogens, but also helps to reduce any chance of COVID-19 transmission. Our updated Discovery Voyager protocols reflect our desire to keep students, staff and visitors safe and healthy while adhering to Government and University regulations. If your question is not answered here, please get in touch.

How are we ensuring face-to-face Voyager visits are COVID safe?

We have developed and put in place extensive protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during Voyager visits to schools. These protocols are provided to every school before we visit. If circumstances change and we need to postpone visits or modify how we do things, we will be in touch with your school and keep you informed. We:

  • Clean all equipment between and after all activities,
  • Have reduced time in schools to decrease close interactions and therefore transmission of pathogens,
  • Enact personal and team hygiene protocols for hand sanitising, social distancing, monitoring of individual and team health.

Why have we reduced the activities to two concurrent activities over three consecutive sessions?

We clean and disinfect our equipment after every school visit, and as those of you who have hosted us before know, we have a lot of stuff! The reduction in activities makes the cleaning of equipment manageable for our Voyager staff. By reducing the number of sessions, we are also limiting potential exposure of students, school staff, and Voyager staff to transmission opportunities.

Why has the cost increased by 50 cents to $5 per student?

Our cost per student has changed to $5/student this year. This small increase ensures that the program remains sustainable and valued. Although we have had to reduce activity and session numbers in schools, this does not change the costs of travel, preparation, and resourcing for the program, and the small fee we charge goes some way in covering our costs. For the expertise, equipment and specialist knowledge that students have access to when we visit, we think $5/student is a pretty good deal!

What happens if we need to cancel our visit due to COVID outbreak?

In the event of ambiguity or cancellation due to COVID related restrictions, we will be in touch with your school immediately.  Where possible, we will reschedule a face-to-face visit. There is also the option of an online (zoom) version of our activities. If an online experience, or rescheduling of a face-to-face booking is not possible, we will put your school on our waiting list so you can be contacted to rebook. In the meantime, you can access online games and other resources through our online resources and YouTube channel.