School students in Critical Thinking programs participate in a range of activities on the campuses of the University of Queensland and its satellite research stations, including event days and camps, during which students gain first hand experience of what research, study and careers are made possible to them through a university education. UQ student leaders and ambassadors assist visiting students with their activities, conduct campus tours and advise them on what life at university is like. 


Senior students are encouraged to undertake a bonus-ranked University course as part of the Enhanced Studies Placement program. The UQCTP is unique in offering PHIL1110: Critical Reasoning through the Brisbane School of Distance Education, making this program accessible to all State School students in Queensland, including those living in remote communities.


An example session list is provided below from a recent event day.




Climate Science

How do you make sense of public controversies? This workshop will look at some of the rhetorical arguments used to cast doubt on the science of climate change.

John Cook

International Relations

How does the international community respond to conflict? In this simulation, students will take on a variety of roles from the government, the opposition, civilians, international organizations, and other states in an effort to stop an ongoing war.

Phil Orchard and Vickie Fraser



Introduction to the Australian Literature Resource (AustLit), a collaboration between researchers from Australian universities and the National Library of Australia, led by the University of Queensland. Teaching staff will include AustLit Director Kerry Kilner, Irene Howe (BlackWords), Catriona Mills (writing and database resource), and Dr Clay Djubal (theatre historian).

Kerry Kilner

(07) 3365 3313


Chemical Engineering plays an important role in addressing many of the key global challenges including climate change, energy supply, water and food security, improved public health, and sustainability. Experience hands-on challenges around these key areas and discover why Chemical Engineering is a career that shapes the world.

Gail Smith

Industry and Outreach Officer



Is music a language? – Decoding Classical Music. This workshop will guide students through some typical musical structures that composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, and Haydn regularly used in their compositions, as well as some of the ‘musical stories' that these compositions tell.


Michael Bradshaw


Designing Your Place - This creative workshop gives you a chance to imagine and design a space just for you. You’ll gain an insight into the architectural design process, learn more about the types of drawings architects make and get an overview of what it would be like to study architecture at UQ.

Fiona McAlpine


Brain Science

A demonstration of physiological monitoring of students and how the results can be used.



Jennifer MacNevin

Administration Officer

Science of Learning Research Centre

Queensland Brain Institute


The University of Queensland

Building 79, Upland Road




T: +61 7 3346 6347

T: +61 7 3346 6301                                                





Meeting the Dead


A workshop aimed at Senior Secondary (year 11 and 12) students and links into the Learning Area of Humanities and Social Science through Ancient History, as well as linking into Chemistry and Biology.  The module will focus on death and burial, forensic analysis techniques and the significance of human remains for an understanding of the life and times in which they lived, including the social status of individuals, the beliefs and practices of the society, the health of ancient populations.

Anne Dighton

Outreach Officer


School of Social Science | The University of Queensland | Brisbane Queensland 4072 | Australia



TV News Reporter Activity.  Test your teleprompter reading skills as your read the latest news.  Report as a news anchor from our virtual news room.


Paul Smith

John Harrison



A workshop on bioethics – case driven and conversational – high entertainment.

A/Prof Andrew Crowden

School of Medicine

Medical Ethics Law and Professional Practice Adjunct Staff



Celebrate Shakespeare 400 with the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble! In this workshop, led by Rebecca Murphy and Linda Taimre, participants will play with some of Shakespeare's most famous works and words. We'll share games, exercises and techniques utilised by the actors of QSE's Core Ensemble. 


Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble Core members - Rebecca Murphy and Anthea Patrick.



The Antiquities Museum will be offering an in-gallery experience including a tour of the collection and handling sessions.

Rebecca Smith

Engagement Officer

RD Milns Antiquities Museum

Level 2, Michie bldg. (bldg. 9)

(07) 3365 3010




Past events have also included activies from:


Students will take part in a photosynthesis experiment using water plants. Working in a laboratory at Gatton Campus, students will observe parts of the plant under a microscope and make specimen slides using laboratory tools and parts of the plant. Students will learn about the differences agricultural science makes to everyday life, and tour the current experiments underway in the crop paddocks. Agricultural Science is available to students on camp in grades 8-12.

Ancient History

Students will visit the RD Milns Antiquities Museum and by examining the collection of artefacts, learn about key features and defining characteristics of Greece, Rome, or Egypt. Learn about making ancient papyrus and write your name in hieroglyphs! Suitable for all ages.


Students will visit the UQ Anthropology Museum to see the wealth of artefacts ranging from household implements to diverse performance paraphernalia and musical instruments. There are water-craft, paintings, clothing, hunting gear, a large quantity of stone tools, including grind stones and axes, and some 1,100 spears and arrows. The photographic collection includes images from the early and mid twentieth century and includes fieldwork archives and mission photography. It is an important resource for, among others, family research, visual culture studies, histories of anthropology, native title research, cultural history and post-colonial studies. Suitable for all ages.


With a wide subject matter, broad geographical and temporal relevance to current issues around heritage and Indigenous rights, and a romanticised public profile linked to explorers and discovery; archaeology also has an unusual ability to engage interest from a wide range of social groups and ages. Public archaeological outreach is one way institutions, such as universities, can engage with the community; particularly with prospective students, and provide hands-on, relevant, and interesting educational opportunities. For fifteen years, UQ has been teaching archaeology through simulation in outdoor and laboratory settings. This has resulted in a current article which highlights our program aimed to outreach field archaeology to Queensland’s High Schools. It has proved to be a very successful venture with more than 300 students from nine schools participating.

Drawing upon this experience in archaeological outreach, our activity will take place at the newly constructed Archaeological Teaching and Research Centre, situated on the banks of the Brisbane River on the St. Lucia Campus. Here participants will work side-by-side with archaeologists on a dig, practicing field methods such as excavating, mapping, sieving, sorting, and interpretation. They will fill out a worksheet similar to this one. They will also have the opportunity to make stone tools, learn about scientific archaeology, and communicate with current archaeologists who work in a variety of countries and contexts. Four staff from the Schools of Social Science will run the activity, which is suitable for grades 4-12.


Students will build a mija, a classical Aboriginal building from the Queensland wet tropics. The build will be led by Dr Tim O'Rourke who has researched and written about mija, after learning about them from the traditional owners. Students will help build the mija with saplings and thatch it with palm leaves, and will be able to sit inside afterwards. They will use some modern techniques to make it faster and easier to complete on the day, but they will also be shown a video of the original techniques and images of mija and other traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander buildings. Students will also be told about the work done in the School of Architecture, researching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander architecture and be shown what an architect does. Three staff from the School of Architecture will run the activity, which is suitable for grades 4-12.


Students will visit the UQ Art Museum and look at the works in current exhibitions. With over 3,500 works, The University of Queensland Art Collection is Queensland’s second-largest public art collection. The Collection comprises works by Australian artists from the colonial era to the present, and the Nat Yuen Collection of Chinese antiquities. In addition, The UQ Art Museum is developing the National Collection of Artists’ Self Portraits, the only collection of its kind in Australia. The UQ Art Museum presents a dynamic program of exhibitions designed to provoke enquiry and to explore a wide range of issues relevant to UQ academic life and the broader social life of our audiences. These exhibitions, predominantly contemporary in focus, are diverse in content, form and cultural context. Suitable for all ages.

Brain Science

Students will learn about the anatomy of the brain by matching functions of vision, hearing, touch and memory with parts of the brain. They will then build a plasticine brain with different colours to represent different parts. Students will undertake a computer based multi-tasking exercise to measure how many different things the brain can do at once. Students may watch a video of aerobatic manoeuvers using the brain technology of honeybees, or make a Brain Cap showing different parts of the brain. Staff from the Queensland Brain Institute will run the activity, which is suitable for grades 4-12.

Creative Writing 

Led by real published authors, students will learn about fiction, poetry or screenplay and write a collaborative work together by the end of the session. Interested in Crime, History or Detective stories? Get creative future authors! Suitable for all ages.


Students will learn the parts of the teeth, gums and jaw; and learn what affects tooth development. Students will learn about the importance of dental health and hygiene, and get to examine each other's teeth with dental mirrors. Students will also hear about the roles of dentist, dental nurse and dental hygenist; and find out how they can enter study into one of these fields. Suitable for all ages and very popular! 


Students will use an interactive video game to see how well they would manage the economy.  Staff from the School of Economics will explain the computerised model which simulates a real life economy and students will then get the opportunity to try out their own policy decisions and test the economic outcomes.   The simulation provides valuable insight into the usefulness of economic principles and policies.  It also allows students to look at all the tough decision that come with running an economy and is a great starting point for debate around economic theory.  If you are interested in how governments or businesses make policy decisions and how trade markets work this is a great workshop for you! Suitable for grades 9-12.


This activity involves designing and building a simple water filtration plant, and observing the machine in action. Students will learn about the different kinds of engineering branches, what each does in real life, and where engineering can take them. Suitable for all ages. 

Human Movement Studies

Students will learn what science has to do with exercise and physical activity in their daily life. They will learn how we can measure strength and aerobic fitness and the role that hearts and lungs play. Later they will play cooperative games and undertake challenges in one of the UQ gymnasiums. Older students will have the opportunity to learn about significant Indigenous moments in Sport and discuss the changes these made to the way we see sporting heroes. Six staff from the School of Human Movement Studies will run the activity, which is suitable for grades 4-12.

International Relations

Small groups of students will take part in a simulation exercise around the fictional failed state of 'Zanda', a dictatorship involved in human rights abuses. Students will be assigned to one of four groups: the Zandan government, a rebel group, the civilian population, and other states. They will learn about the United Nations Security Council, and discuss what it can do in these types of crises. Each group will then be given five minutes to discuss what strategies they want to play, followed by three rounds of negotiations with other groups. Following the end of the simulation, the students will briefly reflect about what they expected to happen and whether the outcome was any different. Two staff from the School of Political Science and International Studies will run the activity which is designed for grades 10-12.


Students will create an episode of the UQ Journalism weekly news report - ‘The Rundown’. This will involve using microphones, video cameras, and reading from a teleprompter in the School’s TV studio. A recording of the episode will be made available after the Experience Day. Three staff from the School of Communication and the Arts will run the activity, which is suitable for grades 4-12


Students will participate in a courtroom role play in the UQ Moot Court led by members of the UQ Law Society (UQLS) and Justice and the Law Society (JATL). Students will be introduced to such legal concepts as Burden of Proof; Guilt and Innocence; Evidence-in-Chief and Cross Examination; Prosecution and Defence; and Judge, Jury, Witness and Counsel. Four staff from the T.C. Beirne School of Law will run the activity, which is suitable for grades 4-12.


Learning languages is more than just words! Tudents will be introduced to the elements of linguistics including language families, grammar and syntax. Students will learn a few greetings in contemporary european and asian languages, and have the opportunity to demonstrate some phrases from their own language. This activity is run by staff from the School of Language and Comparitive Cultural Studies. Suitable for all ages.

Marine Biology

Students will conduct a survey over seagrass beds, recording seagrass species, coverage and number or types of organisms associated with seagrasses. They will compare areas with little to no seagrass cover, and discuss how seagrasses alter the environment, and provide habitat for similar/different organisms to those seen on sandy areas. Wading in water, they will use seine nets to sample over seagrass beds, and demonstrate how different sampling techniques will provide different information on a system. They will observe and record types of organisms collected in a seine over seagrass and sandy substrates, compare these in two areas, and compare organisms recorded by quadrats or seine netting.

After the seine netting activity, students will conduct a laboratory based project to observe and learn techniques used to identify and classify various fishes. They will experience using taxonomic keys, descriptive and pictorial guides. They will be introduced to the external anatomy of fishes, and discover how certain aspects may be similar or different between closely or distantly related species. Marine Biology is suitable for students on camp in grades 8-12.

Molecular Biology

Students will be studying algae!They will collect samples of algae plants from the UQ lakes and observe their characteristics under a microscope. Theywill conduct an experiment in photosynthesis and even make algae biscuits to eat! The algae and molecular biology in general will be discussed in terms of alternative energy sources. This activiy will be conducted by staff and students from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience. Suitable for all ages.

Nursing and Midwifery

Students will learn how to take a pulse, a blood pressure reading, and conduct a diabetes blood test. Students will also learn about monitoring a baby's heartbeat and delivering babies in all sorts of circumstances! Suitable for all ages.


Students will experience real pharmacy related tasks such as monitoring blood pressure, measuring body mass index; and use placebos to use an asthma inhaler and inject insulin. Students may also get to dispense a prescription using jelly beans, and make a medicinal cream. Two staff from the School of Pharmacy will run the activity, which is designed for grades 4-12.


Students will use reasoning skills to consider such questions as "Is society more than just a bunch of individuals acting for themselves?", "Is reason more important than emotion?" and "If humans have rights, should other animals?". Students will draw on the Critical Thinking lessons taken during the term to discover how language and cognitive awareness empowers them to think critically about their lives. This session will be run by our very own Philosopher and Solid Pathways Curriculum Designer himself - Peter Ellerton, from the Critical Thinking Project. Suitable for all ages. 


Students will be provided with a brief look at some of the diverse sub-disciplines within Psychology, and engaged in interactive exercises and discussions that will enable them to experience a range of psychological phenomena first-hand. Discussions include the psychological factors behind relationships and social groups, and how psychological research is carried out. Six staff from the School of Psychology will run the session, which is designed for years 8-10.

Shakespearean Theatre

The Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble will perform the ‘Instant Romeo and Juliet’ or 'Half Hour Hamlet' in just 30 minutes!  - a fast and funny way to welcome audiences of any age to Shakespeare. The four performers will then lead the groups through a series of activities which support the performances. For the younger groups, the focus will be on drama games and kinetic learning, giving a taste of Shakespeare without getting too heavy. For the older students, the team will ‘unpack’ the language, and lead smaller groups through scenes and improvisations. Four members of the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble will run the activity, which is suitable for grades 4-12.


The aim of this activity is for students to combine Critical Thinking with creativity to explore how teaching can change the world. The key message is that learning is about creating new ideas and knowledge, and about imagination and possibility. Students will discuss their ideas and then make a collaborative art canvas. Five staff from the School of Education will run the activity, which is suitable for grades 4-12.

Veterinary Science

Students will observe and make notes about animal behaviour in cats and dogs. Led by the clinical team, students will then discuss animal behaviour, their body language, their interaction with humans, and the role of animal behaviour in the treatment of animals. This will then lead into discussions regarding responsible pet ownership, de-sexing, micro-chipping, environmental enrichment provided by animals, and animal welfare in general.

Students will visit the anatomy lab and observe specimens of animal bone and tissue. They will examine samples under microscope and have the opportunity to handle and disect a cow or pig placenta in order to learn about structure and function of the animal's organs and physiological systems.

Students may also visit the Large Animal Hospital if a suitable case study is present and time permitting. Veterinary Science activities are suitable for grades 8-12, and are available to students on camp.

Wildlife Science

Students will visit the Native Wildlife Teaching and Research Facility situated on the Gatton Campus. There they will observe endangered species in breeding programs and under observation. Students will have the opportunity to hold a Blue Tongue Lizard. Suitable for students on camp in grades 8-12.