UNE Discovery – cultivating curiosity, creativity, confidence and collaborative can-do attitudes

The UNE Discovery Program is an approach to outreach, engagement and education of whole communities within which the University is embedded, and reaching outward to visitors in our region. It is comprised of three parts:

  • The Boilerhouse Discovery Space and community engagement facility, which is currently in remediation and planning phase.
  • Discovery Voyager, our effective award-winning mobile discovery platform for students from Kindergarten to Year 10; and
  • UNE Collections, creating a tangible way to engage with the University’s collections.
Boilerhouse Discovery Space

The UNE Boilerhouse sits prominently on the northern edge of the academic campus where it bore the load of heating the University from 1961 until 2000.

The remediated and redeveloped Boilerhouse will be a children’s discovery space accessible to the whole community, an iconic regional destination, and cornerstone of the Armidale Regional Council’s educational tourism strategy, drawing local, regional and national visitors.

Remediation of the building will commence April 2018, and with financial support the space will open to the public in 2022. Watch this space for developments. Find out more here.

UNE Boilerhouse as it stands in 2018 before demolishing

Discovery Voyager

Stay right where you are! Discovery Voyager takes science outreach, engagement and education to schools in northern NSW. It’s a program that hijacks science experiences in the lab and reinvents them in the classroom; since August 2016, our dynamic team of scientists, communicators and educators have brought hands-on, exploratory experiences in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Maths (STEAM) to over 10,000 students in schools from the Qld border south to around Mudgee, and from the coast to as far west as the Castlereagh Highway.

Our activities are all aligned to the NSW syllabus and cater for students in years K-10. The activities on offer span a broad range of scientific disciplines, from Chemistry, Biology and Physics to Scientific Illustration, Palaeontology, and Sport Science, and we are lucky enough to give you access to collections from our Natural History Museum here on campus.

Exploration and play-based learning enhances skills beyond content covered in the classroom. From increasing language, social, emotional, creative and problem-solving skills, the importance of play in children’s learning and overall development is becoming more and more evident. The UNE Discovery Voyager aims to harness this, and tailors transformative, play-based and exploratory experiences to suit students in regional, rural and remote northern NSW.

Engaging people in STEAM from a young age not only helps them think differently about science, but encourages inquiry and critical thinking – skills invaluable beyond the classroom. Allowing students to direct their own learning and explore possibilities aids in their perception of what a love of learning can look like when pursuing tertiary study and life-long learning.

Find us online here

2 young girls playing with archeology, bones in sand

Follow the UNE Discovery Voyager:

UNE Collections

The UNE Natural History Museum is a library of life; a place of activity, interaction and discovery.

The UNE Natural History Museum opened in 2017 and houses a unique collection of botanical, geological, palaeontological and zoological specimens from around the world.

Some of the artefacts collected date back to UNE’s first museum – the Zoology Museum - which was established in 1969.

Decades of scientific research at UNE and donations have built the vast catalogue. Of which only a small percentage is on display.

What you see (and don’t see) is carefully preserved and documented. Every detail of each item meticulously tells a story of where, when and how it was collected.

The museum is housed within a modern exhibition space, presently dominated by one of Australia’s newest dinosaurs.

Known as ‘Lightning Claw’, the sculpture is a reconstruction of a new megaraptor species discovered in opal rubble at Lightning Ridge by UNE researcher Dr. Phil Bell and colleagues.

For more information, click here.

Dinosaur skeleton hanging in museum