Powered by Partnerships

Partnerships are central to Questacon’s ability to engage tomorrow’s innovators, designers and thinkers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Through partnerships, Questacon works to deliver its mission to excite and motivate people through inspirational learning experiences.

From exciting and engaging national programs, travelling exhibitions, boutique programs and a range of other exciting Questacon-led initiatives; partners have been working with Questacon for more than thirty years to engage young Australians and communities across the country in STEM.

Australia’s employment landscape is rapidly changing and skills in STEM are becoming increasingly relevant across all industries and future career paths. Research indicates that 75% of the fastest growing occupations now require STEM skills.

To safeguard the future pipeline of talent, industry leaders recognise more needs to be done to engage young Australians in STEM and inspire them to face the challenges of the future. Questacon’s programs are uniquely positioned to inspire more young Australians to pursue STEM careers and assist in securing the STEM pipeline to ensure Australia’s future prosperity.

Our partners recognise the value of Questacon’s experience, expertise and high quality exhibitions and programs and are proud to work with Australia’s National Science and Technology Centre to inspire and engage all Australians in STEM.

Questacon’s partners are committed to investing in Australia’s young people and together we create sustainability and longevity for real impact. The organisations with whom Questacon works share common visions for a better future for all Australians through engagement with science, technology and innovation.

Questacon’s success is due in part to these enduring partnerships. Questacon seeks to build partnerships with organisations who are committed to seeing positive and lasting impacts investing for the long term in the future leaders of Australia.

More Information

Email: Partnerships@questacon.edu.au

Principal Partner

The Ian Potter Foundation

The Ian Potter foundation Logo

In 2014, The Ian Potter Foundation provided a grant of $7.8 million for significant new initiatives to engage young people with technology and innovation, this was The Foundation's largest grant outside Victoria and the largest grant ever awarded in the areas of Science and Education in its 50-year history. On 29 October 2014 the Prime Minister The Hon Tony Abbott MP opened the The Ian Potter Foundation Technology Learning Centre (IPTLC) at Deakin in Canberra.

The Ian Potter Foundation Technology Learning Centre (IPTLC) offers a range of interactive experiences for students and the public to engage with technology and innovation.

The IPTLC offers free Questacon Maker Project workshops for local and visiting interstate school groups in the Maker Space. These workshops build students’ skills in creative design, innovative thinking and problem solving, and use high-tech gadgets and low-tech materials. During the school holidays the IPTLC delivers similar workshops for students aged 10 to 15 years.

The IPTLC is the hub for the national Questacon Smart Skills Initiative , giving students across Australia, particularly in disadvantaged regions, a greater appreciation of the processes and skills involved in developing ideas and solutions to problems and refining them into useful products and processes.

" Through this grant, the Foundation recognises that Questacon is uniquely placed to deliver this exciting project across Australia, inspiring young Australians to engage with science and be agents of innovation. "

Mr Craig Connelly
CEO, The Ian Potter Foundation

Principal Partner

The Australian Defence Force


The Australian Defence Force and Questacon have partnered to deliver a professional learning program for primary school teachers, Engineering is Elementary, over three years from 2019-2022.

Australia’s future as a knowledge economy depends on emerging generations being engaged with foundation skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Engineering is Elementary is a program developed by EiE, a division of the Museum of Science, Boston, to equip teachers with high quality and accessible tools and skills to deliver STEM content in the classroom.

As announced in the 2019-2020 budget, the Australian Government is committed to the expansion of Questacon’s outreach and education programs. This budget measure, together with support from The Australian Defence Force as Principal Partner, will enable Questacon to deliver Engineering is Elementary workshops to 1,000 primary school teachers in up to 500 schools across Australia. By creating awareness of the application of STEM to real world problems, Engineering is Elementary aims to inspire students to consider future careers in STEM fields.

“Defence shares a stake in building the national STEM talent pool. This partnership will provide us an opportunity to show young Australians the role STEM skills play in the Navy, Army and Air Force”

Brigadier Duncan Hayward, CSC
Director General, Defence Force Recruiting

Principal Partner


The Shell logo

Shell is Questacon’s longest-standing corporate partner. Questacon and Shell have worked together over the last 35 years to deliver the Shell Questacon Science Circus to regional and remote communities across Australia. This partnership, combined with post-graduate students from The Australian National University, allowed the Shell Questacon Science Circus to reach more than 2.8 million Australians and visit more than 600 towns and 110 Indigenous communities over its lifetime.

Shell and Questacon are continuing their 35 year partnership through the delivery of STEM engagement activities, focused on increasing STEM engagement and capacity building in collaboration with communities in regions identified through Questacon’s National Presence Strategy and Shell’s Social Investment portfolio.

New partnership programs will cover a range of activities including ultra-portable exhibit experiences and informal STEM learning workshops. Questacon and Shell will deliver these programs in 2021 and 2022.

Founding Partner

Australian National University

Australian National University logo

The Australian National University is the Founding Partner of the Shell Questacon Science Circus. Through the Centre of Public Awareness for Science (CPAS), the Australian National University has worked in partnership with Questacon and Shell Australia to deliver 33 years of the Science Circus.

Students studying a Masters of Science Communication (Outreach) studying at CPAS deliver the Science Circus program across Australia as part of their practical fieldwork course components. Since 1985, Questacon and the Australian National University have seen more than 400 students graduate from this program and go on to contribute to the national and international capacity of science communication professionals.

Supporting Partner


INPEX logo

In 2019, INPEX and Questacon entered into a four-year partnership to engage young Australians in a conversation about energy, its use, and the role it will play as we progress into the future.

Through this partnership, Questacon and INPEX aim to raise awareness of energy related topics and increase energy literacy within Australian and Japanese communities. This partnership will enable delivery of Energy Shows, Young Persons' Energy Dialogue, Teacher Workshops and a Science Circus Tour to Japan. In addition to these activities, Questacon and INPEX will champion the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, SDG 7 - ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all to highlight the sustainable development challenges faced by the global community as we progress towards the year 2030.

National Careers Institute

The National Careers Institute (NCI) and Questacon have partnered to deliver programs engaging young people in innovation, technology, engineering and design thinking through exciting, hands-on challenges, projects and workshops. Delivered during 2021-22, activities include regional Questacon Invention Conventions and a Questacon Smart Skills tour.

The NCI was established in 2019-20 as part of the Australian Government’s $585 million skills package Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow. The package aims to help train highly skilled and qualified workers, including in regional areas, to meet the needs of business. The NCI was established to ensure people have access to authoritative and accurate careers information and support irrespective of their age or career stage.

Corporate Supporters

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