Illuminations – Questacon

4 - 14 March

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Portrait Professor Michael Gore AO, Questacon’s founder.

In 1980, Questacon began as a project of The Australian National University (ANU), at the Ainslie Public School, staffed entirely by volunteers. Mike’s great love of teaching both students and the general public inspired him to develop Australia’s first interactive science centre. It was in 1975, during a trip to the science Exploratorium in San Francisco, that the idea for Questacon was born and his goal to educate and inspire future scientists took shape.

His legacy extends across Australia and internationally through his establishment of the Science Circus, with the intention to reach people in regional and remote communities across Australia – not just those who could make it to Canberra. This hands-on model of science engagement has been adopted across the world, in countries such as Brazil, Canada and China.

Mike was passionate about developing science centre capability internationally, and was instrumental in establishing the Asia Pacific Network of Science and Technology Centres (ASPAC), sharing knowledge and developing science centres across the Asia Pacific.  He became committed to helping African science centres following an invitation to speak at a science festival there and Questacon and the ANU both continue to support this work to this day.


One of Questacon’s newest out-of-this-world immersive gallery experiences. Gaze at Questacon’s 7-metre Mars globe and discover the strangely familiar landscape of this foreign world.

Mars will bring you up close and personal with the red surface of Mars, which is home to the Solar System’s largest canyon and tallest volcano. Featuring a 14-metre-wide high-resolution panorama of the Martian surface as seen by NASA’s Curiosity Rover, Mars lets you imagine what it would be like to set foot on another world.

Feature Collection

A collection of staff-led science demonstrations that have visitors engaged, immersed and amazed in the world of science.

Current Experiences

A collage of experiences showcasing the science exhibits and activities on offer throughout Questacon