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Science for Supper

Science for Supper is a science outreach program run out the University of Otago’s Chemistry and Physics Departments that uses an extravaganza of interactive science experiments to excite children, parents, caregivers and extended families from communities around Otago and Southland. Our goal is to show children all the wonders we can learn about our world through science, while providing a comfortable environment for parents to kindle their positive experiences of science and encouraging them to foster their children’s curiosities. Science for Supper brings science experiments out of the university and into our to schools, libraries and community centres, near and far. The program is inspired from previous work by Gloria Penrice (link to her work here).

Setting hands of fire with hydrogen soap bubbles

We have performed Science for Supper at the Dunedin Public Libraries (City, Mosgiel, Blue Skin Bay, Waikouaiti), Weston School (Oamaru), Taieri Beach School, Strath Taieri School (Middlemarch), and Catlins Area School (Owaka).

Making stalagmites with sodium acetate

If you would like to put on a Science for Supper session at your school or community centre, contact Dr. Dave Warren (

We have a range of experiments on offer, such as (see pictures below):

  • Exploding hydrogen balloons
  • Ice cream making using liquid nitrogen
  • Soda making with dye ice
  • pH indicators and fun with colours with boiled red cabbage
  • Making patterns on t-shirts with chromatography
  • Building stalagmites with super saturation sodium acetate
  • Firework flame tests

Take a look at the pictures below to see our various Science for Supper events. Watch the Never Stop Reactions playlist to see some of the exciting experiments and reactions we perform here.

Some other photos from our Science for Supper Sessions

Science for Supper at the Dunedin City Public Library.

Photos from Strait Tairei

Photos from Science for Supper in Malaysia