Science Week

Fun for all ages this Science Week at the Australian National Maritime Museum

SCIENCE WEEK at the Museum

12-20 August 2023


Dip into creative fun, research, interactive events and experiments that celebrate and explore every trophic level of the seas this Science week- from the foreshore to the abyss!


Kids and students across Australia can jump online for the Science Week Quiz or visit our pop-up Ocean Lab in Western Sydney Parklands.


Head into the museum to see our Ocean Wonders exhibition and join in some hands-on creative activities inspired by Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research expeditions around Australia’s beautiful reefs and marine parks. Learn more about harbour health and biodiversity as you take a visit to the Seabin Ocean Health lab or join in an Underwater drone workshop.




Majestic Mesophotic Coral Wonders
Mural Workshops with Ellie Hannon

Saturday 19 August

Sunday 20 August

11am - 3pm 

Free entry

All ages welcome. Drop in, no bookings required.


 Painting by Ellie Hannon (detail)

Ellie Hannon, Detail of Forest of the Sea, 2021


Be inspired by amazing underwater ecosystems in drop-in mural-making workshops with artist Ellie Hannon, as we explore the intersection between ocean science, research and art.  Ellie was artist-in- residence on board Schmidt Ocean Institute’s RV Falkor on a research trip to explore Mesophotic coral reef systems at Ashmore reef in 2021.

 Join Ellie in a mural collaboration this Science week where we learn about and recreate the various corals, sea sponges and organisms that make up the Mesophotic coral reef systems in the Ashmore Reef Marine Park. You can also explore more images from this scientific expedition in our free outdoor exhibition Ocean Wonders.




Ellie Hannon is an Australian artist based in Newcastle NSW that works across exhibitions, public art and community engagement projects. These process-led actions fuel Hannon’s visual account presenting personal and political issues in relation to nature. She explores the natural environment as both a subject and a point of departure that begins an investigation into how interactions and impacts on these spaces shape individual and collective identity.


Ellie Hannon, Artist

In 2021 Hannon joined the Schmidt Ocean Institute vessel RV Falkor as the Artist in Residence on a research trip to explore Ashmore reef, a marine park 400km north of Broome. This research trip is documented in the Australian National Maritime Museum’s current exhibition Ocean Wonders.



Film Screenings: Ocean Wonders


Daily in August, looped

Free entry

10am – 4pm


'I believe in magic; it is in the ocean.' (Michael AW, Elysium Arctic Project Director.) Dumbo octopus (Aulococtena sp.) at the deepest part of the Arctic basin. Image Michael Aw, Chukchi Borderland, 2015. 


In 2020-21, Schmidt Ocean Institute collaborated with research institutions from across Australia and the globe to explore the deepest and most remote parts of the Australian marine environment. This extraordinary footage from ROV Subastian highlights some of the extraordinary discoveries of rarely seen species and environments from this expedition in vivid detail.


Screenings courtesy of the Schmidt Oceanographic Institute


Science week 2023 Ocean Wonders programs are a part of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021 – 2030)


Please note the museum’s cinema space is occasionally booked for private functions and may not be available for public access on the day of your visit. To check availability of film screenings for your visit please contact us on 9298 3777



Valerie Taylor Ocean Prize

Date: Wednesday, 16 August 2023 

Time: 6.30 - 8pm, doors open 6pm 

Museum Theatre

Free, but booking essential

book here


Interested in marine science and ocean conservation? Join acclaimed shark conservationist Valerie Taylor AM for an update on the Grey Nurse Shark Census. Senior scientist Dr Joseph DiBattista will also present on marine science research techniques; his recent paper on Australia’s marine sanctuaries , and the important role of citizen science in Sydney waters. Enjoy beautiful footage filmed by Duncan Heuer, featuring the critically endangered grey nurse shark.


Valerie Taylor with Cuttlefish 


The evening will also include Blue World Foundation presenting the 2023 Valerie Taylor Ocean Prize , for ocean protection and ocean literacy projects across NSW.


About the Valerie Taylor Ocean Prize
Inspiring wonder and support for our ocean, the prize was established by Blue World to honour the achievements of ground-breaking conservationist and marine advocate, Valerie Taylor, throughout the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
Tickets to this Science Week event also include complimentary access to the museum galleries.


Exhibition and drop in program




The Seabin Ocean Health Lab is the first of its kind in the world, Seabin scientists analyse marine debris – from macroplastics to tiny nurdles, sucked from the sea by the 30 Seabins stationed around Sydney Harbour. Dive deep into the stories behind the data and learn about what we can do to turn the tide on marine pollution.


Open for tours: 14-18 August 11.30am and 1.30pm

Recommended ages 5 to adult 



Free entry

Check tour times and activities on the day of your visit.


Ocean Health Lab pic by Marinco Kojdanovski



Open Age activity



Game on! Explore beneath the surface of the harbour as you learn to pilot one of our underwater drones in 15 minute hands-on trial sessions and demonstrations presented by our ocean-science educators.


Ages 8 to adult

Free, drop in activity

Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 August


12pm to 3pm

Drones trials are suitable for wheelchair users. 

This activity may be cancelled in the event of adverse weather conditions


Underwater drones 





Australian National Maritime Museum pop-up Ocean Lab at


Western Sydney Parklands, Lizard Log, Sunday 13 August 11am – 3pm


Meet the pint-sized planet protectors that save our seas - phytoplankton and zooplankton- at the Maritime Museum’s pop-up Ocean lab

Explore aquatic specimens under the microscope and upcycle marine debris into spectacular new creations. See the biodiversity of Sydney harbour as captured by our underwater drones and get hands on with preserved creature specimens and slippery slimy experiments inspired by the sea.


Science Week - offsite




The Australian Museum, Monday, 14 August to Saturday, 19 August

Free, bookings essential

Be amazed at the beauty and diversity of life beneath the waves in our underwater drone footage. Observe the superpowers of plankton under the microscope. Hold mystery ocean specimens and see if you can make a plasticine boat float!



School programs


Online schools programs

Upcoming, live online events, presented by the Australian National Maritime Museum, are listed on DART Learning.. Read find all of our programs here 


 2023 Live webinars for schools 



Join the Australian National Maritime Museum as we splash into this water themed science quiz!



Join us as we look at some Remote Controlled Vehicles (ROVs) and get a glimpse into what they find beneath the waves around the Maritime Museum and beyond.


Thu 17 Aug – 10am   EXPLORING THE SCIENCE OF CONSERVATION – with special guest Heather Berry from the Silentworld Foundation.

How do we look after old things and preserve remnants of the past?



From floating fish to the latest innovations, dive into the past and present technology we use to better understand our oceans.



Join Wildlife Scientist Dr. Vanessa Pirotta to hear the beautiful story of Calf, a newborn humpback whale migrating with his mother along the east coast of Australia to the icy waters of Antarctica.


Other topics including Ocean Plastics and Marine Food Webs are available by request. 

About DART Learning

Discover a wealth of excellent learning experiences, drawn from museums, galleries, research institutes, scientists, writers, athletes, artists, educational organisations, musicians, zoos and more. The NSW Department of Education’s DART (Distance and Rural Technology) Learning brings knowledge to life for all students, across subject areas.



School Excursions (these can be booked all year round)


They may be small, but only in size! Discover the superpowers of plankton in our Ocean Science program. Students will discover the beauty and diversity of plankton and their vital role in the marine food web. We’ll catch plankton samples from the wharf and view a microscopic world, buzzing with activity, geometric shapes and tiny creatures with alien features.



Discover how you can help to clean up the ocean.

In this program, students take a ‘trash and treasure’ tour, solving riddles to find plastic trash and marine treasures. Learn about sustainability, First Nations peoples’connection to Sea Country, the effects of plastic on food chains, and see a Seabin in action! See science and technology working to tackle waste management, and learn to reduce your plastic footprint on the ocean.


Click here for more information