2021 Festival 8-18 July

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Our Ocean: Bringing Climate Data to Life

Looking for more science opportunities now the festival is done? Join in this immersive workshop exploring ocean climate change, and capturing stories of treasured marine species that give meaning to data.


Slice of Life - The World Famous Dunedin Study

An exhibition celebrating the 1,000 most studied people in the world - the Dunedin Study members. Research from this study is changing lives. Now on through the end of August 2021.


Shark Discovery On Otago Harbour

Seeking some post-festival excitement? Look no farther than a shark discovery harbour cruise with Port-to-Port Cruises!


Late Night Under the Moon

Enjoy a very special late night opening while you take in the spectacle of Luke Jerram’s Moon sculpture.


Bang! Science Show

Frankenstein has finally decided what she wants to be when she grows up... a Super Villian! Together with her faithful sidekick, Igor, Frankenstein uses chemical experiments to come up with the perfect villain powers.


Little Creatures

Flex your creative muscles and take part in a unique, three-step artistic process to create little creatures.



Contribute data for our charts by participating in some fun and creative activities.


A Better Future for Aotearoa

Join us for a discussion about creative solutions to the climate crisis, the biodiversity crisis and other problems caused by economic growth.


Imagination Playground

Imagination Playground is an innovative playground equipment system that transforms any space into a play space that encourages learning, social development, movement, and above all fun.


ORC Outside Inside Forest

Come and visit our indoor forest experience! Each day there will be a changing selection of exciting hands-on science & nature activities for kids to explore.


Meet a Mars Rover

What does a scaled-down version of a Mars rover look like? What sensors are needed to make it work? How do you build your own?


Far from Frozen II – Going to Extremes

Climate change is our greatest challenge. Otago Museum’s Far from Frozen science showcase brings the reality of climate change to life, and to you.


Exploring Dunedin's Volcano

Explore the history and sights of Dunedin's extinct volcano from the boat & receive an explosive commentary as we go!


Storytime Under the Moon

Sit back underneath the amazing giant moon installation and listen to stories of te marama, read by University Book Shop storytellers.


Reconnect with our Insect Whānau!

Meet some of our beautiful native invertebrates and learn how we can look after them.


Exploring Sandflats

Explore the Portobello Sandflats with a guide from the Marine Science Centre. Discover the secrets of critters that live beneath the sand.


Reconnect with Ngā Awa / Our Waterways!

Discover who lives in our beautiful waterways, how we can best look after them, and how waterways are central to our wellbeing!


Aquavan Adventures: Coastal Connections

Connect to your coast with the Aquavan and staff from the NZ Marine Studies Centre!


About the Heart!

What happens to your heart when you exercise? Learn how it works, why it sometimes beats slow and sometimes feels like it is going to burst!


Hands on Science for our Youngest Learners

An event for young children and their families to have a hands-on science experience, celebrating all things fun and exciting about science!


Reconnect with Te Ngāhere

Explore the amazing cloud forest at Orokonui Ecosanctuary and meet some of our native tree-sures!


Giants of the Forest

Tūhura is home to more than butterflies! Get up close and personal with the newest residents of the Tropical Forest! 


Light Cycles

Hands-on science and centuries-old stories illuminate the cycles that connect the universe!


Marine Encounters at the NZ Marine Studies Centre

Connect to your coast and meet local marine species to find out what makes them special, vulnerable and resilient.



A workshop showcasing the traditional Māori game Ki-O-Rahi.


Science Academy: High School Science Expo

Come see Science Academy Year 13 students present a series of short talks, films and museum displays on a wide range of science topics.


Fight Like a Physicist

Channel your inner physics ninja in this fun interactive workshop. Learn how to use classical mechanics principles to vanquish your opponent.


Glow Science at the Observatory

Night science like you've never seen it before... Come along to discover the lights in the dark!


Secrets, Ciphers and Codes

Explore interactive, hands-on demonstrations into how keeping secrets has evolved, from earth-based methods to space photons!


Snippets from the Sea: Seaweed Secrets

Join a variety of experts for coffee, short presentations, films and knowledge sharing all about seaweeds!


School of Biomedical Sciences Photo Exhibition

A photographic exhibition showcasing the research and artistic talents of staff and students from the University's School of Biomedical Sciences.


Science Storytime Special

Bring the family and have a blast at our Science-themed storytime!


Tūhura Taster at the Golden Centre

Get a taste of the new Science Show at Otago Museum during this pop-up event!


Tūhura Top Hits: Glow-in-the-Dark Edition

The Science Festival is drawing nearer, come whet your appetite for all things Science with a pre-lunch Tūhura-style show! 


Lego Creations

Make connections with our Lego creation station!


Edible Insects: Past, Present & Future

What is your reaction when you hear ‘edible insects’? “Yum” or “yuck”? Join us as we discuss the interesting topic of insects as food.


Eyes Underwater: Livestream

Join us for a dive off the Otago Peninsula coast from the comfort of your home!

Event Sold Out

Our Moon: Then, Now & Beyond Exhibition

Explore the moon’s past, present, and future in the Our Moon: Then, Now, and Beyond exhibition. This is an exhibition not to be missed; an out-of-this-world experience where you can enter the orbit of our spectacular moon.


Lines & Wines: A Scientific Playreading

Suitcase Theatre and Dunedin Public Libraries are pleased to present a special NZ International Science Festival edition of Lines & Wines.


Reconnect with Ngā Manu!

Explore the protected paradise of Orokonui Ecosanctuary and meet some of our beautiful native birds!


Creative Connections

Reconnect with your creativity at our science-themed craft table!


Science Drama at the Library

The Library is home to many amazing science books. Come and see how the Taieri Dramatic Society give life to some of these books!


Editing Them Out: Gene Editing and Pest Control in Aotearoa

Join us for a discussion panel on the role of gene editing for pest control in Aotearoa with experts from New Zealand’s Biological Heritage.


Science on the Cube

Enjoy a variety of short Science and Natural History films produced by students, alumni and faculty of the University of Otago’s Centre for Science Communication.

Event Sold Out

Hand Sanitiser: Know It and Use It

This hands-on lab experience will explore an essential commodity in our current world, hand sanitizer, through a presentation and demonstration.


Tiny Ruins - Solo, Under the Moon

Join us as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of acclaimed New Zealand songwriter Hollie Fullbrook’s debut album, with this very special solo performance under Luke Jerram’s Moon sculpture.


Read & Do Science Bundles

Books and activities to read on a science theme available throughout the Festival.


Dogs and Science Working Together

An outline of the ground-breaking work of K9 Medical Detection New Zealand using the enormous potential of canine sensory abilities.


Environmental Monitoring: Coastal Care Workshop for the Community

A public workshop at the Albatross Centre where you will learn how to collect and use environmental data to take action for the environment.


Scifest Tūhura Treat

Join one of our Science Communicators for a surprise activity, which could be anything from any field of science!

Event Sold Out

Reconnect with Reptiles!

Adventure through Orokonui Ecosanctuary and meet our amazing native reptiles!

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ZoBot Revolution

Join the biomorphic robot revolution! On Monday we make robots. On Tuesday we invade the Gasworks Museum with a swarm of robot bugs!


Our Climate Future Exhibition

MfE's Our Climate Future exhibition shares how climate change is impacting us today and how we can create a better climate future together.


Environmental Monitoring: Coastal Care Workshop for Educators

Take your teaching & learning into the real world with this teacher/educator focused citizen science, coastal monitoring & actions workshop.


Who Owns You (and Your Data)

Your data might well be about you, but is it yours? Let’s get down to the dirty business end of digital privacy.


AquaBot Regional Competition

Come and watch AquaBots compete in the very first Otago regional AquaBot competition!


Fun Science at Moana Pool

Enjoy some Fun Science at Moana Pool! Physics, chemistry, biology, geology, astronomy... We will enjoy all areas of science in the pool.


Spacetronauts: Mighty Moons

Explore the weirdest moons in our solar system on this interactive adventure to extreme worlds!


Shark Spy Community Talk

Join shark expert Rob Lewis as he takes you into the amazing world of our local sharks!


Not for the Faint-HEARTed

Faint-HEARTed? Then this workshop is not for you! Come and learn how the heart works by dissecting one.

Event Sold Out

Lego Parkour

Join our Lego mini-figure parkour with Captain Lego. Create an obstacle course challenge to film with our new stop-animation studio.

Event Sold Out

The Secret Science of Balloonology

Discover the science of how balloons are made and how they can be used in balloon modelling to make anything you want!


Science Drama Workshop

Fun Science with Amadeo and the Taieri Dramatic Society are joining forces to turn your favorite science facts into amazing performances!

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After Dark: A Night in the Tropics

Otago Museum opens at night for the hottest attraction in town: music, fun and cold drinks in the warmth of our three-story Tropical Forest.


Organic Farming for the Future

An interactive discussion on regenerative farming and taste a new organic meat & vege patty- healthier for the environment, better for you!

Event Sold Out


Get your jammies on and head to Otago Museum for an evening of family-friendly, after-hours fun!

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Mitre 10 MEGA Backyard Builders: Bird Feeders

Join the Mitre 10 team and Orokonui Ecosanctuary’s nature educator extraordinaire Tahu Mackenzie to build your very own bird feeder!


Rubik Rumble Challenge

Bring your Rubik skills (and your cube) and beat the clock.

Event Sold Out


Come and work with Captain Lego to build a robot out of Lego.

Event Cancelled

Quantum Cryptography via Satellite

Learn about the future of space-based encryption and how entangled photons hold the “key” to quantum-secure communications.

Event Sold Out

Meet a Scientist

What is it like to be a scientist? What do scientists actually do? Come along to this interactive workshop and find out!

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“Plantible” Paper Making Workshop

Plantible Paper Making Workshops for Children: Combining a love of science and art.

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Space Lasers!

Lasers, the moon, telescopes and jelly lenses – come explore how optics makes space science better!

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Mission to Mars

In this workshop you will code rovers to navigate simple obstacles to complete their mission.


The Heart of a Woman

Join Manaaki Mānawa: The Centre for Heart Research as we hear from a range of world-leading researchers in heart health.

Event Sold Out

Upcycled Food Dining Experience

Learn the science of Upcycled Foods and enjoy a unique meal prepared by Everybody Eats Chefs, made with rescued food supplied by KiwiHarvest


Association for Women in the Sciences (AWIS) Triennial Conference

This conference provides an opportunity for women in sciences to develop skills to support their professional advancement, and to learn from and network with other women working in the sciences.


Mitre 10 MEGA Backyard Builders: Rat Trapping Tunnels

Are you keen to do your part towards pest control and help protect our native species? In this workshop, you can!


Yoga Under the Matariki Moon

Celebrate Matariki with this blissful nourishing yoga under the Full Moon at Hanover Hall. With Jessica Latton from the Dunedin Yoga Studio.


Science Expo

Come and explore the range of research taking place at the University of Otago, where we constantly go beyond. Lots of exciting activities for kids and adults of all ages.


Science Teller: Imagine a Sustainable Society

Imagine living in a sustainable society. What would that look like and what would it take to get us there?

Event Sold Out

Mitre10 MEGA Backyard Builders: Insect Hotels

Want to provide a habitat for the awesome creepy crawlies that live in your garden? Come build an insect hotel with the Mitre 10 team!


PreFest: Junior Film Festival

Join us at the Dunedin Public Library in the lead up to the festival for a mini film festival for kids and teens!


PreFest: Pop up Science at the Malls

Join us for some pre-festival fun at the Meridian and Golden Centre malls!

Event Sold Out

Inhalers & Artificial Lungs: Fighting Lung Disease

Explore how scientists use artificial lungs to develop inhalers for lung disease, and the cutting-edge treatment research taking place at the University of Otago.

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Unleash Your Inner Detective: Forensic Based CSI Workshop

Expand your armchair detective skills and solve a crime in this interactive and immersive workshop run by a real forensic expert.


Opening Night: Science in the Spotlight

Join us on the opening night of the Festival for a discussion around the upcoming challenges associated with climate change.

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Kōrero te Marama/Talks about the Moon

To conclude the 2021 NZ International Science Festival, join us under te marama, the moon, for two engaging talks.

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Aquavan Adventures: Amazing Adaptations

Get hands on with the Aquavan! Learn about crab feeding and defensive strategies, then meet some marine critters at our mobile touch tank.

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Fireside Chat with Siouxsie Wiles

Join us for a fireside chat with New Zealander of the Year, Dr Siouxsie Wiles!


Plastic Unwrapped: The Politics of Change

Plastics have played an important role in our world for over a century - but is it as bad as we think?


Centre for Science Communication Student Film Premiere

A fantastic evening of Science and Nature films produced by Master’s students of the University of Otago’s Centre for Science Communication.


Ōtepoti Overlays

If you peeled away the layers of the city, what would you find? Ōtepoti Overlays is a walk-through installation juxtaposing native flora against contemporary versions of nature.


2-Minute Talks: Young Women in Science

Come hear young women talk about their science with only one picture, one prop and two minutes.


PreFest: Inspiring Scientist Zoom Series

The NZ International Science Festival invites your school to be a part of our Inspiring Scientist Zoom series.


Quantum Shorts Film Festival Screening

Catch the top ten quantum-inspired short films from the 2021 Quantum Shorts Film Festival in the most immersive theatre in Dunedin! 

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CODE Virtual Reality & Gaming Centre

Come immerse yourself at our Pop-Up Virtual Reality & Gaming Centre and be amazed by some of the latest virtual reality experiences from around the world!


W.D. Trotter Anatomy Museum: Guided Tours

Have you ever seen the smallest bone in the human body? Tour the W.D. Trotter Anatomy Museum and discover the wonders of our anatomy.

Event Cancelled

Dunedin Maths Craft Day

Discover the maths behind the craft and the craft behind the maths at the Dunedin Maths Craft Day.


Big Science Show

Popular science communicator Amadeo returns with his assistant Bonnie for another big science adventure at the Teachers College Auditorium. Amadeo has a new assistant this time... and they don’t always see eye to eye.