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The Division of Sciences is proud of the work done by our students and staff in Community Engagement. Community Engagement is here to support both school students and teachers in reaching their potential in science.

Alongside the Community Engagement programmes developed by individual departments, the Division of Sciences has developed three important Community Engagement programs to support secondary school students.

Hands-On at Otago

Following the long-term success of Hands-On Science, Otago is very excited and proud to offer Hands-On at Otago. Hands-On at Otago incorporates projects related to science, health science, humanities and business.

Hands-On is a week long event run on campus, and is designed for secondary school students entering either Year 12 or 13.

Learn more about Hands-On at Otago

Science Academy

Science Academy is a year-long programme, organised by the University of Otago, for Year 13 secondary school students attending rural / provincial, small, or lower decile schools. Science Academy has a strong emphasis on enhancing students ability to excel in their final year of secondary school science, analytical thinking, problem solving, and the important role of communication and the way science in the 21st Century considers social and ethical concerns.

Alongside the student programme, Science Academy also offers a Teacher Professional Development programme (see our website).

Learn more about Science Academy

Science Wānanga

Science Wānanga are three-day hands-on experiences for Māori secondary students in Aotearoa / New Zealand. Staying on marae with university students, scientists and kaumātua, students get to hang out and do real science in their local communities.

Learn more about Wānanga

Departmental Community Engagement

Alongside the Community Engagement activities organised by the Division of Sciences, most University of Otago science departments run their own specialised Community Engagement programmes.

Departmental Community Engagement

Outreach Certificate

To recognise the valuable time and effort our students invest in science outreach, the Division of Sciences has created the Outreach Certificate. The Outreach Certificate celebrates students' achievements and endorses the time and effort they put into outreach.

Sign up for the Outreach Certificate

Science Notes

Science Notes is a radio show broadcast on Otago Access Radio, our local community radio station. It provides a place where graduate science students can talk about their research and play some of their favourite music. It also provides a way for students thinking about getting into science, and the general public, to hear what doing science is actually like.

Science Notes Website and Archive

Programme of regular events

Programme When does it happen? Who is it for? Where does it happen?
Programmes that are run regularly from Sciences
Marine Studies Centre Courses throughout the year Early childhood through to year 13 Portobello Marine Science Laboratory, Otago Peninsula
Science Wānanga Courses throughout the year, depending on location Year 9-13 Māori students Throughout New Zealand
Hands-On at Otago January each year (applications close in October) Students across NZ entering Year 12 or 13 University of Otago

January (1st camp)

July (2nd camp)

Year 13 students from low decile, rural, or provincial schools University of Otago (online tutorials and networking at your place all year)
Brain Bee Round 1 March Year 11 students - South Island schools In schools
Junior Maths Competition April Years 9, 10 and 11 In schools
Problem Challenge - Maths April through to October Year 7 and 8 - all NZ schools In schools
Tertiary Info Day 28th April Senior students and families wanting to see what Otago has to offer University of Otago
International Science Festival not this year Anyone and everyone All over Dunedin, including the University of Otago
Careers Expo May - August Students in year 7 - 12 In main centres and provincial centres
Science Quiz June Year 11-13 In Schools
Brain Bee Round 2 Late June Year 11 students - South Island schools University of Otago
Regional Science Fairs August to October Students in year 8 through to year 13 Regional centres across NZ