We are cautiously returning to classrooms.


UNE Discovery Voyager are returning to classrooms in 2021. The schedule of activities, student numbers and space utilisation will change to accommodate government regulations, and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students, teachers and our staff in our place of work and yours. Let’s work together to establish the safest option for a visit to your school.

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

All our activities address Knowledge & Understanding of the Living World, and help develop or embed the Skills of Working Scientifically. This is from early Stage 1 to Stage 4 students. Then depending on the focus of the activity, we incorporate Creative Arts (Living Latin Pollinators, Butterflies), Geography (Precision Ag, School of Ants), PDHPE (Dynamic Bodies) and Languages (Living Latin). Have a look at each of the activity teacher sheets to get a feel for how each one addresses the NSW syllabus.

Be aware, however, that our approach to exploring these learning areas is different to how they are taught in schools.

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 Primary Connections, Science by Doing or other unit that relates to a specific activity, then great! 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, especially if they are doing the Dynamic Bodies activity, which requires some running, jumping and cycling. However, students and teachers do not need any special Personal Protective Equipment.

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 our activities, except Curious Chemicals, involve the students in hands on, touch and feel, play-based and exploratory activities. In the Science of Soils, students essentially make mud pies in their soil tubs; with School of Ants they go searching in the school grounds for ant nests, and collect worker ants; in Dynamic Bodies they jump, run and cycle; Palaeontology involves sensory play in kinetic sand; the Purpose of Pollinators is a good excuse for a game; students play with tuning forks, water, PVC pipes and drums to explore sound waves in the Physics of Sound, and in Precision Agriculture students use expensive gadgets to measure reflectance of green spaces.

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 are currently developing suggestions for follow up experiences for you and your students. School of Ants has follow up material that we leave with you, and as the Term goes by, so will all our other activities. Ask your facilitator.

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. Far Out Science is one of our annual events. For 2018 we’re teaming up with the Australian Museum and their Science on the Road group who will be hosting an event in Tamworth in October 2018. This will take the place of our Far Out Science event this year and our Discovery Voyager team will be assisting and running activities for Science on the Road. Far Out Science will be back at UNE in 2019. Further information and booking details will be shared here soon! Keep your eye out for registration opening in June!
In addition, the new 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. Click here to email directly or click here to visit their website directly and check out our amazing collections.