Science - Do it, Live it, Love it!






What's On

Anatomy and Structural Biology
Clothing and Textile Sciences
Computer Science
Design Studies
Food Science
Human Nutrition
Marine Science
Medical Laboratory Science
Microbiology and Immunology

Anatomy & Structural Biology

Controlling your appetite: Would you like fries with your Ghrelin?
Your brain needs to know when it is appropriate to eat and when it is not, otherwise you would not be able to control your body weight. Following a big meal, your brain receives information from the stomach and pancreas telling it to stop eating – for now.

Anatomy Workshop: The Anatomical Food Processor
How does your food get all the way to your stomach? And when it gets there, what happens to it? This hands-on workshop is not for the squeamish. Do you have the stomach for it?
Saturday10 July, 1 – 4pm Bookings are essential. 12 years and over (maximum 20 participants).
To book please email:

Visit the W.D. Trotter Anatomy Museum
A walk around the WD Trotter museum brings to life the wonders of the human body. Bookings are essential (maximum 40 participants per tour). Cameras or other visual recording devices are not permitted in the museum.
Friday 9 July - 1pm, or 2:30pm
Saturday 10 July – 10:30am, or 2pm
To book please email


Goldilocks and the three biochemists: getting your food “just right”
Food gives us the energy and nutrients we need to survive. But just like in Goldilocks, the amount and type of food we eat needs to be “just right”. Too much or too little can cause health problems and disease. Come to the Biochemistry display and discover how your body burns the food you feed it, and what can happen if there is too much or too little in your diet.


Who eats who? It’s a Plant Eat Bug world…
We rely on plants for food: grains, fruit and vegetables. They are the food source for the animals we eat too… so what do plants eat? Or should we ask WHO?


Dr Als and their Chemical Mayhem
Chemistry magic, flashing lights, roses that crumble like sand, smoke and loud bangs! So much excitement, so little time…

Clothing & Textile Sciences

Biodiversity: Sources for protecting the body and mind
Explore the many and varied raw materials humans use to protect themselves.

Computer Science (Graphics)

Hang ten or eleven … Hang Glider simulator
Fly over Queenstown in a simulated hang glider. This demonstration features a 3 metre wide dome shaped screen and aims to simulate real flight and generate the feeling of hanging high above the lake and mountains.

Are you in tune?
We demonstrate software to help musicians to sing or play in tune. Come and check out your skills.


Muttonbird is an acquired taste
Researchers have been working with local Mäori for over a decade monitoring muttonbirds In order to check chick numbers, they use a unique device called a Burrowscope, looking through twisty burrows underground, trying not to disturb the nesting families. Do you have the skills to burrowscope? It’s harder than you think!

Dentistry Tour

Visit the Dental School and its new simulation clinic. Come and see this ‘state of the art technology’ demonstrated by some of the students. Bookings are essential (maximum 20 participants per tour).
Saturday 10 July -1.00pm, or 2.30pm.
To book a place on one of the above tours please visit

Design Studies

Tasty morsels for the mind
How do you present information in a way that the viewer will find most appealing? Most informative? Most memorable? Gives you something to “chew over”…. Come and see!


Seeds and weeds
How can these things be made “Beerable”? For some grains like sorghum, fermenting is the most effective way to extract their nutritive value. On the other hand, some of the plants used in beer-making are considered weeds… so what goes in your favourite brew?

Gel out
Make your own fruit flavoured treats…. and then take them off into a corner and look after them so no-one interrupts them….

Love Me Tender
What makes a good steak good? Flavour and tenderness can both be enhanced by marinades … how does that work?


Tour of the Geology Museum

Shaky Isles - Earthquakes in the South Island of NZ
There have been quite a lot of large earthquakes around NZ in the last few years. Come along to find out how faults cause earthquakes, what major faults threaten Dunedin, and to examine some of the rock products of earthquake faulting.

Human Nutrition

How far can you go on a block of chocolate?
How much exercise do you need to burn off a block of chocolate? Do the experiment to find out. You choose the food, then exercise it off while we monitor your energy output.

Marine Science

Turning Back the Tide: Marine Science at Otago
Visit our touch tanks and get hands-on with our local coastal creatures – see if you can identify them using your FREE Rocky Shore Guide! Play fishy games, and find out how our scientists study the world beneath the waves.

Medical Laboratory Science

Solving the puzzle
Medical Laboratory Scientists provide diagnostic information essential for diagnosis and treatment of health and disease.

Microbiology & Immunology

Microbes – Food Production Factories
Micro-organisms are involved in the production of many foods. These range from beer and bread to sauerkraut and soy sauce. What is a “probiotic” and do probiotics provide health benefits? Come and find out more.


Kitchen Physics: Let’s look around the kitchen
Have you ever been told not to play with food? That is exactly what we are going to do. We will measure the speed of light with marshmallow or chocolate and create -200C cold ice-cream. Show the crazy physicist way of removing breadcrumbs, and how to power your torch with a lemon. Don’t bring the Edmonds… we have a better cookbook.


A Matter of Taste
Taste, smell and vision contribute to our sensation of food. Explore this through some fun activities at the Physiology stand.


 Captured in Motion
Video technology allows body movements to be captured on the computer. Motion capture is used clinically and in sports to measure movement, and in movies and computer games to animate characters. Be captured on computer and see yourself move.


The Psychology of Food and Eating
How does the perceived value of food affect your enjoyment of it? How can optical illusions make you fatter? Discover the answers to these questions (and more) as we explore the psychology of food and eating.


Eggs – the origin of the species
Female animals can make eggs. This egg is a rather amazing innovation, that not only has DNA, but also a large amount of food – food that is needed for the development of the embryon, and often, for the development of the larva after hatching – and at times, to satisfy our needs for food! Come and get into the nitty-gritty of the egg!


NZ International Sciences Festival University of Otago