Workshop overview

Year level 7-9
Capacity 16-32 students. If you want to bring more students, email
When School days: Monday-Friday
Duration Half day (Years 7 - 9)
Where QUT Gardens Point, Science and Engineering Centre
Cost Free (refer to Terms and Conditions.)

Workshop details

"The greatest scientists are artists as well."

Albert Einstein

Cosmos magazine said in 2018 that “for as long as artistic expression has existed, it has benefitted from interplay with scientific principles – be it experimentation with new materials or the discovery of techniques to render different perspectives.”

This is the basis of this new workshop which brings together art and science to discuss the impact of nuclear technologies and the important role scientists play in communicating complex concepts to a broad audience.

Drawing on the art of Ken and Julia Yonetani and their collaboration with scientists on the impact of the Fukushima nuclear disaster students will explore artistic and scientific forms of communicating the impacts of nuclear technologies. Students will explore concepts outside of the Australian curriculum through the application of nuclear physics in medicine, industry, space exploration, nuclear weapons and nuclear disasters.

Students cover disciplines including science (chemistry, physics, biological sciences) and visual arts through an exploration of key concepts and activities. Students will:

  • Explore the inter-connectedness of art and science as a means of communication using historical and current QUT research as stimulus
  • Learn how science and art can be used to communicate important scientific discoveries, health messages and current issues in a range of formats to different audiences
  • Explore how visual artists use art and science to communicate concerns about nuclear technologies
  • Learn about positive and negative aspects of nuclear technologies and impacts on humans and the environment using microscopes to explore cell mutations
  • Make art by providing an artistic response to their research on nuclear technologies and sharing this with the class

This workshop was developed in partnership between QUT STEM High School Engagement and the QUT Art Museum.

Book this workshop

All bookings are subject to availability of university spaces and presenters.

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Discover more workshops

You can also add a 30-minute interactive experience at The Cube to your visit.

Curriculum links


Year 7

  • Science knowledge can develop through collaboration across the disciplines of science and the contributions of people from a range of cultures (ACSHE223)
  • Solutions to contemporary issues that are found using science and technology, may impact on other areas of society and may involve ethical considerations (ACSHE120)
  • Communicate ideas, findings and evidence based solutions to problems using scientific language, and representations, using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS133)

Year 8

  • Energy appears in different forms, including movement (kinetic energy), heat and potential energy, and energy transformations and transfers cause change within systems (ACSSU155)
  • Scientific knowledge has changed peoples’ understanding of the world and is refined as new evidence becomes available (ACSHE134)
  • Solutions to contemporary issues that are found using science and technology, may impact on other areas of society and may involve ethical considerations (ACSHE135)
  • Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions based on evidence (ACSIS145)
  • Use scientific knowledge and findings from investigations to evaluate claims based on evidence (ACSIS234)
  • Communicate ideas, findings and evidence based solutions to problems using scientific language, and representations, using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS148)

Year 9

  • Scientific understanding, including models and theories, is contestable and is refined over time through a process of review by the scientific community (ACSHE157)
  • People use scientific knowledge to evaluate whether they accept claims, explanations or predictions, and advances in science can affect people’s lives, including generating new career opportunities (ACSHE160)
  • Formulate questions or hypotheses that can be investigated scientifically (ACSIS164)
  • Select and use appropriate equipment, including digital technologies, to collect and record data systematically and accurately (ACSIS166)
  • Analyse patterns and trends in data, including describing relationships between variables and identifying inconsistencies (ACSIS169)
  • Use knowledge of scientific concepts to draw conclusions that are consistent with evidence (ACSIS170)
  • Communicate scientific ideas and information for a particular purpose, including constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions and representations (ACSIS174)
  • Multi-cellular organisms rely on coordinated and interdependent internal systems to respond to changes to their environment (ACSSU175)
  • Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems (ACSSU176)
  • All matter is made of atoms that are composed of protons, neutrons and electrons; natural radioactivity arises from the decay of nuclei in atoms (ACSSU177)
  • Chemical reactions, including combustion and the reactions of acids, are important in both non-living and living systems and involve energy transfer (ACSSU179)
  • Values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (ACSHE228)

Visual Arts

Years 7 and 8

  • Develop ways to enhance their intentions as artists through exploration of how artists use materials, techniques, technologies and processes (ACAVAM119)
  • Practise techniques and processes to enhance representation of ideas in their art-making (ACAVAM121)
    Critical and creative thinking
  • Present artwork demonstrating consideration of how the artwork is displayed to enhance the artist’s intention to an audience (ACAVAM122)

Years 9

  • Conceptualise and develop representations of themes, concepts or subject matter to experiment with their developing personal style, reflecting on the styles of artists, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists (ACAVAM125)
  • Manipulate materials, techniques, technologies and processes to develop and represent their own artistic intentions (ACAVAM126)
  • Plan and design artworks that represent artistic intention (ACAVAM128)
  • Evaluate how representations communicate artistic intentions in artworks they make and view to inform their future art making (ACAVAR130)

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