Hi there! My name is Shae and I’ve worked at Macquarie Educational Tours for almost three years. This year, I’m working with the Bookings & Flights team, having previously worked as a Tour Planner. Before this, I was a Primary School Teacher and spent two years working in the UK and traveling throughout Europe.
Questacon is an absolute must-see venue when in Canberra. It’s a win-win situation for both teachers and students – students will have an unforgettable time exploring the hands-on galleries, and teachers will receive endless praise from students for taking them there! I can still vividly remember my visit to Questacon when I was in year 6 – now 16 years ago!
For me, there are 4 exhibitions you simply cannot miss at Questacon. The Awesome Earth gallery hosts two of my favourites – Earthquake Lab and Caged Lightning. The Earthquake Lab takes “hands-on learning” to the next level, where you can experience the tremors and shakes of a simulated earthquake. Hot tip – make sure to hang on to the railing! While you’re in the Awesome Earth gallery, watch out for the 15-minute countdowns displayed around the room. You do not want to miss the Caged Lightning show! I also highly recommend the Excite@Q gallery, where students (and teachers!) can face their fears on the Free Fall. This was a highlight from my last trip to Questacon and I definitely didn’t squeal like a little kid as I fell…
If your feet are looking for a break from walking through all the galleries, make sure to stop by a Spectacular Science Show. These shows educate and engage the entire audience and your students will walk out feeling excited by science and technology, with a deeper appreciation for the subject. Shows run frequently throughout the day, are FREE with your entry and are run by passionate, experienced and entertaining staff. You may even be lucky enough to be picked from the audience as a volunteer for an experiment!
When you start to feel peckish or need a caffeinated pick-me-up, Atomic Catering at the Questacon Café will have you sorted. Their delicious lunch packs and creative dinner menu (with the option of Geode Mousse or Edible Rocks for dessert) make Questacon a great venue to slot in around those mealtimes. Your students can fill their bellies and re-energise with fresh and satisfying food, ready for more exploring.
A trip to Canberra can be memorable for so many reasons. You will arrive back at school with a strong feeling of patriotism and a better understanding of Australia’s history. For me though, right up there with all of those experiences at Parliament House and the Australian War Memorial, is a visit to Questacon.