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Explore real CSIRO science at our Discovery Centre in Canberra.

COVID-19 changes to operations

The CSIRO Discovery Centre remains closed to the general public in response to the COVID-19 situation. We are open for booked school groups only, with strict COVID-19 protocols in place.

About Canberra's CSIRO Discovery Centre

The CSIRO Discovery Centre offers an interactive journey through CSIRO and Australian science history, showcasing our innovative science and technology to solve Australia's greatest challenges across areas such as energy, the environment, water, agriculture and food, digital technology, space, natural collections, oceans and many more.

Opening hours

  • The Discovery Centre is open for school bookings only from Monday to Friday from 9am to 4.30pm. 

Location

See CSIRO Discovery Centre location and map for how to get there. The entrance to the Discovery Centre is clearly marked at our Black Mountain site in Canberra.

School visits to the Discovery Centre

We welcome school groups to the CSIRO Discovery Centre during opening hours. We offer several facilitated programs for visiting school groups, as well as virtual programs on Monday and Fridays. Costs apply and bookings are essential.

Please contact us at school.booking@csiro.au to book, or for more information on our programs and the CSIRO Discovery Centre.

We welcome booked school groups to the CSIRO Discovery Centre during opening hours. ©  Daniel Boud

Discover CSIRO

Suitable for all ages (90 minutes).

A popular and engaging exhibition-based program covering all general capabilities of the curriculum, focusing on ICT capability as well as critical and creative thinking. Students participate in an interactive activity to discover how CSIRO's innovations in science, technology, engineering and maths have influenced their lives.

A version of this program is also offered virtually, please email school.booking@csiro.au for more information. 

Ecology Lab

Suitable for Years 5-10 (90 minutes).

This open inquiry workshop sees students collaborate to design and conduct their own environmental investigations. Using a variety of real fieldwork tools and digital technology, students will develop science inquiry skills and an understanding of the challenges facing scientists and taxonomists working in the field. In this curriculum linked program, students collect and analyse their own data as well as consulting field guides and resources such as the Atlas of Living Australia to explore their findings. A portion of this program takes place outside.

A version of this program is also offered virtually, please email school.booking@csiro.au for more information. 

Collections Forensics

Suitable for Years 7-10 (90 minutes).

CSIRO is the custodian of a number of collections of animal and plant specimens that contribute to national and international biological knowledge. In this session, students work in teams to try and solve a mysterious crime that has occurred to the CSIRO collections. The task includes experimenting, analysing data and using skills in entomology, chromatography, soil analysis, fingerprinting and hair and fibre analysis.

DNA to the MAX

Suitable for Years 10-12 (120 minutes).

A skills based workshop that draws on prior knowledge about DNA to cement student understanding. In groups students will investigate a food adulteration scam where three cereals that claim to contain CSIRO's super grain – BARLEYmax, are not delivering the stated health benefits. Students will learn pipetting techniques and run their own gel electrophoresis with samples of different brands cereal DNA. They will analyse and compare the DNA profiles from their gels to determine which companies have been misleading on their packaging.

Accessibility information for the CSIRO Discovery Centre

Accessibility

If you require special considerations for your group visit, please contact the Discovery Centre reception on +61 2 6246 4646 or school.booking@csiro.au.

Parking

Accessible parking spaces are available on North Science Rd, next to the public entrance of the Discovery Centre. Please refer to the CSIRO Discovery Centre location and map for more location details. 

Access

The Discovery Centre is located on the ground floor of the Discovery Building. There is a flight of stairs or a lift leading to the Discovery Centre on the ground floor. Additional seating is available in the exhibit spaces.

Wheelchairs

The Discovery Centre exhibition space is wheelchair accessible, with signage and displays appropriate for seated height. There is a wheelchair available for use if required (free of charge).

Bathrooms

There are public bathroom located on Level 1 and Level 2 in the Discovery Centre. There is a unisex, ambulant accessible bathroom located on Level 2 (access via the lift or stairs).

Sensory accessibility

The Discover Centre has written explanations for exhibits and open captioned videos.

Discovery Centre

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