Discover our previous Maker Space programs and set up our design challenges at home or in your classroom!
9:30am, 10am, 10:30am, 11am, 11:30am, 12pm, 12:30pm, 1pm, 1:30pm, 2pm, 2:30pm, 3pm
Recommended for ages 6 to 13
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 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.
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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.
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.
Explore forces, energy and structures, and use your imagination to design and build solutions to challenges. This zone includes our popular 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.
6 December 2022 – 10 July 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.
This activity supports the key learning areas of Science, Mathematics and Design & Technology, in the Australian Curriculum.
Hi, I'm Brandon and welcome to SparkLab at Queensland Museum. In SparkLab, we give our visitors the opportunity to solve problems and think creatively in our Maker Space.
Our Maker Space activities, which are aimed at children 6 to 13 years old, help them develop skills that are important for their future careers and in tackling global issues of tomorrow.
In SparkLab, we use a design process to help our visitors get started. We have them consider the challenge, think of some solutions, make a prototype, test it out and then improve on their design.
Challenges that are open-ended and link to real world examples give our visitors motivation to see value on what they are working on.
A key aspect of our Maker Space activities is user-centred design. In our Maker Space activity Zip to It visitors are challenged to create a device to safely take an object or a person down a zip line.
When approaching the activity, makers consider questions like; Who am I designing a solution for? What did they need to transport? Where did I need to send it and why do they need to get it to the other side?
Thinking about these questions can help visitors make choices about the size or shape of their device and decide what types of features to include.
The SparkLab Maker Space is a safe and supportive environment where all ideas are welcome. There is no one right answer.
When tackling the challenge, visitors can draw on their prior knowledge, their past experiences or their imagination, to test out all different ideas.
To help makers get started we provide them with real world examples in the form of stimulus images, objects and prototypes, as well as using a bucket of stuck ideas and thinking guides to support the early stages of design.
We provide a variety of materials in the Maker Space and encourage participants to think about their properties when making a prototype.
Some of the materials can be used as surfaces, structures or connectors. It is important to provide enough materials to allow for a range of different solutions, but not too much so that choices become overwhelming.
We also include wild card materials that visitors may not expect to find in the Maker Space or specialised materials, depending on the challenge.
When selecting materials, we consider the sustainability of their choices. Can we use recycled or repurposed materials and can we recover certain types of items and use them again?
We encourage makers to test their designs and make observations. What did they notice? And did something unexpected happen? When you're testing your prototype you need to remember that there's no such thing as failure.
Even if it doesn't work, then you learn something and you can keep improving it and try to make your design even better.
When improving the design we need to think what parts of our test went really well and what parts can we modify or improve.
In this stage it is important to remember to check whether the requirements of user are being met. For example, if you are transporting a person down your zip line, how safe would they feel? What things could you change about your design to make them feel safer and give them a relaxing trip?
The design process will guide visitors through the activity, generating a feeling of ownership and success at each stage.
As facilitators, we celebrate their successes and consider whether it's appropriate to add to the challenge or extend their thinking.
For Zip to It this could be as simple as changing the angle of the zip line or suggesting that they attempt moving a more fragile cargo.
It is important for visitors to share what they have observed in their tests. They need to link it to real world problems and they can talk about the science and try to explain how and why certain things have happened.
They can use maps and technologies to gather and analyse data and to verify how effective their improved designs were. In a classroom, a real world extension to any activity could be to consider the economic, environmental and social impacts that result from design solutions.
Thanks for joining me at SparkLab at Queensland Museum. We can't wait for you to use the design thinking skills to tackle new challenges in at SparkLab and in our everyday world.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
Discover what you can explore by visiting Science on a Sphere datasets and choose how you explore when you visit SparkLab.
Follow your curiosity with the touchscreen kiosk to investigate our Earth, take a trip to Mars, visit Venus or circle the Sun.
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.
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:
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.
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:
Please contact the Bookings Officer via email or phone (07) 3153 4401.
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
“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
Queensland Museum welcomes all visitors and offers accessible parking and wheelchair access to exhibits, restrooms and café.
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.
Plan your visit to Queensland Museum, centrally located at the Queensland Cultural Centre, South Bank.
Queensland Museum is easily accessible by foot, on public transport or by car.
Find out accessibility information including wheelchair access, quieter times, sensory resources and more.
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