SPARQ-ed offers a range of programs suitable for upper primary and junior secondary school students. These are hands-on experiences which focus on skills used by biomedical scientists in a range of situations, including DNA extraction and profiling, the use of microscopes, forensic investigations (fingerprints, fibre analysis, ink analysis and DNA analysis), microbiology and hygiene and cell biology. These immersions can be conducted in the SPARQ-ed facility on the ground floor of the Translational Research Institute in Woolloongabba, Brisbane.

The programs are developed by the SPARQ-ed Coordinator and the SPARQ-ed teacher, experienced registered science teachers, in conjunction with the research community at UQDI. They provide students with the opportunity to carry out authentic scientific investigations in a real laboratory.

Schools can now lodge an expression of interest online for SPARQ-ed Upper Primary and Junior Secondary School Immersions and Experience Days.

2017 availability calendar 

How to apply

Online Expression of Interest Form

Schools can now register an expression of interest for a SPARQ-ed Upper Primary / Junior Secondary School Immersion and Experience Day online.

Please Note: we are aware that there are some problems in accessing the above online form through Education Queensland networks. If you are having trouble accessing the above link, you can apply by downloading and filling in a paper application form and sending it to

Schools will be notified of their success in obtaining a program, and the coordinator will negotiate with the schools the timing of the program and the program undertaken (including any modifications to it).

Important notes

Please note the following points:

  • Temporary parking for small buses on the hospital grounds can be arranged by the Coordinator. Alternatively, the TRI is on a public transport hub, with City Express bus stops on Ipswich Road, a dedicated stop on the Southeastern Busway and is quite close to Dutton Park railway station.
  • The TRI has a cafe, however the time allocated for breaks do not permit a class of 24 students all buying their lunch. We encourage schools to have students make their own arrangements for food. Drinking fountains and toilet facilities are provided.
  • OH&S requirements state that all people in PC2 laboratories wear flat, closed in shoes which do not expose the toes, heels or tops of the feet. Long hair must be tied back. We cannot permit entry to people who do not follow these requirements. Personal protective equipment (laboratory gowns, gloves and safety glasses) will be provided by SPARQ-ed.
  • This is a specialist science outreach program and SPARQ-ed staff are working as specialist resident presenters. For reasons pertaining to OH&S, classroom teachers must be present and actively supervising students in the workshop at a ratio of at least 1 teacher : 24 students.