Chemistry and biotechnology

We offer an exciting range of on-campus and in-school workshops that will energise Year 9-12 students about chemistry, biochemistry, biotechnology and environmental science. To find out more or to book, contact

The science behind the tricks and deceptions in marketing

Supermarket shelves are full of claims such as no added cholesterol, made from vegetable oil, dolphin safe, good for the environment, contains no chemicals etc. What is the science, and in particular the chemistry, behind such claims? Do they have real meaning or are they just ploys to get us to buy their products?

This presentation looks at the science (chemistry and maths) behind such claims and illustrates the relevance of science to our everyday lives.

When good chemicals go bad

The environmental movement started decades ago when Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring highlighted the hidden danger of chemicals in the environment. This presentation highlights our current understanding of chemicals in the environment. What chemicals do we use every day which may be a problem to the environment and why are they problems? What chemical properties do chemicals need to be considered a problem?

Chemistry and biomolecular science

In this presentation students will be shown some entertaining scientific demonstrations and learn how we use microbiology and chemistry to improve our quality of life.

Chemistry in action

Chemistry is full of visually stimulating spectacles that can amaze everyone, from young children to chemistry veterans. This presentation gives students the opportunity to see some of these experiments performed, along with a discussion of the science behind them and the value of the chemistry involved.

Investigative chemistry

In this interactive workshop students put on safety gear to get hands-on experience in the lab. They'll use qualitative testing techniques and chemical instrumentation to discover how we learn more about the world around us.

DNA workshop for VCE Biology

This workshop explores the structure and function of DNA. Three practical activities will contribute to VCE Unit 4 biology:

  1. Amplification of DNA by the Polymerase Chain Reaction
  2. Investigate size fractionation of DNA by agarose gel electrophoresis and applications of this technique to analysis of genes
  3. Investigate the structure of DNA and its role as the genetic material, through the understanding the processes of RNA transcription, protein translation, and the technique of DNA sequencing.

Student work experience

We offer opportunities for high-achieving, motivated students to undertake work experience placements in the Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology. Students interested in applying should email a cover letter and resume to Angela McKellar.

In2science Peer Mentoring and CSIRO Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools

Swinburne Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology staff and students are actively involved in the In2science Peer Mentoring Program and the CSIRO Scientists in Schools Program.