Two girls playing on the Thong-o-Phone at SparkLab

Permanent exhibition

Session times:
9:30am, 10am, 10:30am, 11am, 11:30am, 12pm, 12:30pm, 1pm, 1:30pm, 2pm, 2:30pm, 3pm

Recommended for ages 6 to 13

SparkLab exhibition guide

Queensland Museum, Level 1

Map
Adult $16
Concession * $14
Child (5-15 years) $13
Family (2 adults + 2 kids or 1 adult + 3 kids) $47.50
Health Care Card Holder $10
Companion Card Holder * Free
Member * Free
* valid card or id required

About the exhibition

Be a scientist

Ignite your imagination in SparkLab, an interactive science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) space, ideal for 6 to 13 year olds!

Follow your curiosity and bring out your inner scientist as you question and wonder about the world around you. 

Play and investigate your way through SparkLab, using many of the same skills that scientists, engineers and mathematicians use everyday.

  • Explore your curiosity as you play with the exhibits.
  • Ask questions, test out your ideas and make observations of what is happening.
  • Design, build and make using your imagination.
  • Share your thinking with others and build on new ideas and questions.

Explore 40 interactive exhibits across three zones and discover the wonder of STEM in your everyday world! See live experiments at the Science Bar and get hands-on to create and solve challenges at the Maker Space

Visitor numbers to SparkLab are strictly limited to ensure a safe space and increased access so you can get the most out of your visit. We highly recommend you purchase tickets online in advance, particularly during school holiday peak period to avoid disappointment.

Family of five at Our World in SparkLab

Our world and how it works

Wonder at the changing world around us and investigate how matter moves, behaves and changes.

Explore Earth’s place in the wider universe and how this impacts our world and daily lives.

This zone includes our popular Science Bar and Science on a Sphere.

Three children leaping in the light in the colour room in sparklab

How do we perceive our world? Do we all perceive it the same way?

Play with light and sound as you question, test and discover how we all see and hear the world differently. Compare your perception in relation to other people and animals.

Three children and two museum learning staff play at the Maker Space at SparkLab

How can we change our world? What does this change do?

Explore forces, energy and structures, and use your imagination to design and build solutions to challenges. This zone includes our popular Maker Space.

Maker Space

Imagine and design solutions to challenges at the Maker Space. Make your creation from a range of materials provided, test out your design and share your thinking with others to build on ideas. Maker Space activities are included as part of your SparkLab ticket.

Current Maker Space activity

Take a seat

6 December 2022 – 27 March 2023

Fold, cut, roll and join! How will you change cardboard to make a mini chair? Be a designer and create a simple prototype using repurposed materials. Consider who your chair is for and shape, structure and stability.

This activity invites you to follow a design process. Below are some of the questions that will help you at each stage of the process.

Think of some solutions

  • Do you have a favourite chair? What makes it just right for you?
  • Who are you designing your chair for? What does the chair need to do?
  • What are some real-world examples of different types of chairs? Do any have moving parts?
  • What is the purpose of the different parts of a chair?
  • What shapes and structure will make the chair strong and able to support the user?
  • What ideas do you have for a design?

Make a prototype

  • What materials will you use to build your chair? If using repurposed cardboard, what type of cardboard would be right for the different parts of the chair?
  • How will you fold, roll, cut, weave and change the cardboard to make a mini chair?
  • How will you join the different parts of your chair together or make moving parts?
  • What part of the design are you finding tricky to build?

Test it out

  • Test out your chair using a doll or toy. Does it support your toy? Do they look comfortable?
  • Is the chair doing what you designed it to do? Does it look the way you hoped it would?
  • What did you observe when you tested your chair? Did anything unexpected happen when you tested your chair?What part of your design worked really well and suited your user (toy)?

Improve your design

  • How could you improve on your design? Are there any areas where you need to improve the strength or stability of your chair?
  • Is there anything else you would like to add that you think your user would need or like? How can we tell that your chair is designed for your user?
  • What ideas could you incorporate from someone else’s design?
  • If you started again, what would you do differently? What would you do the same?
A mind-map diagram

This activity supports the key learning areas of Science, Mathematics and Design & Technology, in the Australian Curriculum.

SparkLab: Design process

Previous program ideas and resources

Discover our previous Maker Space programs and set up our design challenges at home or in your classroom!

Explore

Science Bar

Get up close with live science experiments and explorations where the audience get to ask questions, predict outcomes and direct part of the investigation. These drop-in Science Bar programs are short, intimate experiences that are tailored to the audience.

The Science Bar program changes daily and is included as part of your SparkLab ticket.

Check out the screens in SparkLab for today’s programs and times.

Kids participating in a science experiment in Sparklab

Current programs

Going down hill
Do all things tumble in the same way when moving down a slope? Select different materials and choose the angle of the slope as you investigate how we can change the way things move.

Good vibrations
How can changing properties change the pitch and volume of the sounds we make? Let's make some noise at the Science Bar as you test out your ideas.

Under pressure
What would a marshmallow look like in the vacuum of outer space? Use your science skills to predict and explore how changing air pressure can lead to observable changes in a variety of objects.

Melting moments
Things are heating up at the Science Bar. Test our your ideas for changing solids into liquids. How do different materials compare? What can you do to affect the rate of change?

Will it float?
Which substances will you choose to go head-to-head in the float tank? Join us at the Science Bar as we explore the mysteries of density and discover together what features make substances sink or float?

Snap, crackle, watt?
Have you ever been zapped by a door handle or had your hair stand up on a trampoline? What materials will you select to create static electricity and how can you use it to make something move

Mix master
Mixing two or more chemicals together can sometimes lead to surprising outcomes. Use your science skills to see what changes might happen. What will you decide to mix together?

Lights, colour, action!
How can we use light and colour to change the way something looks? What happens if we mix different colours together or if we block colours of light? Lead the investigation as we explore the wonders of our colourful world.

Soapy and sour
Things are not always as they seem. Use science, colour and universal indicator to explore the hidden properties of liquids. How can we change how soapy or sour a liquid is?

Science on a Sphere

Science on a Sphere has so much for you to explore! Marvel at the beauty of our blue planet with an image of the Earth compiled by NASA satellite imagery. Watch real-time clouds move across our planet and spot the moment when a cyclone begins to form. Then blast-off to outer space to visit Mercury, Saturn and beyond.

About

Science on a Sphere is a huge 1.8m diameter sphere suspended in the centre of SparkLab. It uses the latest digital technology from satellites and ground-based instruments to project over 570 global, environmental and planetary datasets onto its surface. Explore swirling ocean currents, animal migrations, plate tectonics, earthquakes, Jupiter’s moons and much more at the touch of a screen.

Developed by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States, this technology helps users to visualise and understand the wonder of the world around us and Earth’s place in the solar system.

Kids in Sparklab at the Moon exhibit

Exploring Science on a Sphere

Discover what you can explore by visiting Science on a Sphere datasets and choose how you explore when you visit SparkLab.

Self-led exploration
Follow your curiosity with the touchscreen kiosk to investigate our Earth, take a trip to Mars, visit Venus or circle the Sun.

Facilitated exploration
Join one of our regular facilitated Science on a Sphere exploration sessions where you can ask questions, share your observations and build on new ideas with our SparkLab Learning Officers. 

Science on a Sphere App
Continue your exploration anywhere with the SOS Explorer™ Mobile app version of Science on a Sphere, now freely available for download.

Several children use a information screen in Sparklab

Visit as a school

SparkLab is ideal for schools and groups with children aged 6 – 13 years (Prep – Year 8). A discounted ticket price of $10 per child is available for the following group bookings:

  • School group (Prep – Year 12)
  • Children’s group (children aged 15 years and under)

Please note, bookings are essential for all school and children's group visits. We recommend you book as far in advance as possible to secure your preferred visit date and time.

Plan your school visit

Teacher programs

SparkLab is the perfect venue for your next STEM professional learning program for teachers. We welcome teachers to SparkLab at no cost, and are pleased to discuss your specific focus and needs for your class to tailor a truly memorable experience. SparkLab offers to following benefits:

  • Free entry for teachers and designated booked time within SparkLab.
  • Learning Officers to provide an overview of programs available at SparkLab to support your particular learning focus.
  • Theatre space and break out room (depending on availability).
  • Catering options.

Please contact the Bookings Officer via email or phone (07) 3153 4401.

Email now

Curriculum links and learning resources

SparkLab exhibits and programs link to the Australian National Curriculum in the learning areas of Science, Technologies and Mathematics, and support students to develop their general capabilities in Literacy, Numeracy, and Critical and Creative Thinking. Direct links exists for Physical Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Earth and Space Sciences and Science Inquiry Skills, along with links to Design and Technologies knowledge, processes and skills.

Explore additional Learning Resources

Oakleigh State School Professional Learning Session

“The whole experience at SparkLab was a brilliant opportunity for us as a school to support one of our priorities and to provide an experience which was interactive, engaging and powerful. It was also wonderful to see that a partnership with an external organisation could bring so much to our work – enlivening, consolidating and extending our ongoing work, assisting us to set the course for the following year.” Head of Innovation. Oakleigh SS

Testimonial Oakleigh State School

Free visit for teachers

We invite teachers, early years educators and group supervisors to preview the museum prior to your visit to plan and prepare for your group’s learning experiences. As some exhibitions are ticketed, entry fees apply for family members and accompanying guests. Book online now to arrange your free entry.

Book now

SparkLab at home or in the classroom

Ignite your imagination and discover challenges and experiments you can do at home or in the classroom with our SparkLab team.

Learn more

Purchase an Annual Pass today

Enjoy 12 months of unlimited entry to SparkLab plus more fantastic benefits all year round with an Annual Pass.

Buy now

Additional information

Queensland Museum welcomes all visitors and offers accessible parking and wheelchair access to exhibits, restrooms and café.

View accessibility information

Academic Partner

As the exclusive Academic Partner of SparkLab, Sciencentre, The University of Queensland will provide students studying science, health, humanities, business, education and engineering practical experiences that will foster successful and meaningful careers.

  • University of Queensland Logo

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