Science in a Van has been facilitating fun and engaging science shows since 2011


Science in a Van provides fun, interactive and memorable ways to see, teach and engage with science - in-person and online.

We're a husband and wife team who live in Tāmaki Makaurau and travel all over Aotearoa (Covid permitting) visiting schools with our unique in-person science shows. There is no cost if we need to 'COVID cancel'.

Online Live STEM Shows

Exciting news! You can now book Science in a Van to visit your classroom virtually.

Since March 2020 Alan and Emily have been experimenting with live and online STEM shows. Using their garage studio in South Auckland, they have developed an exciting formula for these uniquely fun learning opportunities.

Your students will stay engaged during the online session and be motivated to continue the learning with some after session exploration with their families at home or with you in the classroom. You can ‘beam’ us into your physical classroom or we can be guests that visit your virtual lockdown classroom.

There are lots of topics for you to choose from and they are outlined below. Each online session is aligned with the New Zealand Science Curriculum, is developed for primary middle and senior schools and runs for a total of 45 minutes.

These sessions have been developed for New Zealand classrooms but maybe your family, OSCAR or homeschool group would also benefit from booking? Simply get in touch with us to start the conversation.

Every Live-Streamed STEM Show follows this format:

On Your Marks:

  • An exciting visual ‘hook’.

  • Science in a Van introduces themselves.

  • An opportunity for the teacher or a student representative to introduce the class.

Get Set:

  • A high paced 30-minute presentation with demonstrations and carefully curated opportunities for the students to interact, make predictions and respond to the content.

Go!

  • A step-by-step guide to conducting your own experiment. (You’ll get a link to this video so you and your students can access it after the session!)

  • Encouragement for further exploration of the topic.

  • Q & A.

  • Joke of the Day!

The complete package also includes:

A pre-show conversation

  • A phone call or zoom between Science in a Van and the person who has made the booking. We’ll talk about what virtual platform you’d like to use and how we’ll work together to ensure that everyone can access the session and participate safely (featuring your standards and the school's Internet Use Policy).

Digital Teacher Resource

  • Easy to understand and thorough explanations of the scientific concepts covered in the session.

  • Lifetime access the extra pre-recorded videos.

  • Links to the New Zealand Science Curriculum.

Digital Student Resource

  • Student friendly summary of the scientific concepts covered in the session.

  • Lifetime access to extra pre-recorded videos.

  • Motivation and the tools for students to start their own exploration of the topic.

Book Now : Booking Dates : Prices


Live Streamed Science Shows - Topics

Chemistry Chaos - The Material World

  • What is a material? What are they made of? Why do they look and feel different? What happens when you mix them?

  • These questions are all explored in our tour of the material world using the scientific process of guessing (predicting), trying it out (testing) and seeing what happens (observations) as a tool.

  • After Session Exploration: Do gases have weight? Produce carbon-dioxide and compare that gas to the air we breathe.

  • Book Now : Booking Dates : Prices


Forces Are With You - The Physical World

  • Why do things move? Are all forces the same? Can I change the forces around me?

  • In this session we use Isaac Newton’s law of motion as a guide as we explore forces including gravity, air resistance and friction.

  • After Session Exploration: How does friction work? Learn a new party trick and explore how ‘fair testing’ works.

  • Book Now : Booking Dates : Prices


Learning to Fly - The Physical World

  • How do we overcome the effects of gravity? Is the shape of a wing important? Why can’t all birds fly?

  • During this live science show we explore the Four Principles of Flight. Together we use this knowledge and work out why some objects and living things can fly and others are unable to take off.

  • After Session Exploration: Why are some paper planes better than others? Follow instructions to fold a paper plane and identify where the Four Principles of Flight are in action.

  • This show is currently in development: You can’t book this session right now however you can get in touch with us to let us know you’re interested.


Good Vibrations - The Physical World

  • How is sound created? How does sound travel? How do we experience sound?

  • Sound is phenomenal! Like all our live science shows you’ll see fun (and noisy) demonstrations which explore what sound is, how it is created and how it behaves.

  • After Session Exploration: Can sound travel through all materials?

  • This show is currently in development: You can’t book this session right now however you can get in touch with us to let us know you’re interested.

Hot, Cold and In-between - The Material/Physical World

  • What is heat? How does it behave? What happens to materials at different temperatures?

  • Heat is on the move! Everything around us has a temperature and that can change depending on the environment.

  • After Session Exploration: TBA

  • This show is currently in development: You can’t book this session right now however you can get in touch with us to let us know you’re interested.

More sessions coming soon!

In-Person School Science Shows

Science in a Van travels to you and sets up in your primary or intermediate school hall. This makes for an easy, exciting and affordable way to enhance your science programme.

Is it a theatre show? Is it a science lesson? It's both!

There are lots of topics for you to choose from and they are outlined below. Each science show encourages the students to think like scientists and there are shows which cover content from the Material World and Physical World Strands of the NZ Science Curriculum.

Great news! Even if the 'Traffic Light' changes to red and we can't visit you - there are no cancellation charges. We are focused on keeping in the Auckland region but are open to visits to other areas. If you're outside Auckland and want to book, please contact us first. If you're in Auckland and want to book - click here. We have more information on how we work during each 'Traffic Light' phase here.

In-Person School Science Shows - Topics


The Wonderful World of Bubbles - The Material World

  • This experience facilitates the exploration of identifying, classifying and investigating materials. Students will get an understanding of mixtures, how they can separate and how they can come together to create a reaction! During this show, we journey together through the scientific process of guessing (predicting), trying it out (testing) and seeing what happens (observations).

  • 45 minute science show. Developed for Years 0-4.

  • Book Now : Tour Dates : Prices

What's the Matter? – The Material World

  • What are the properties of a material? How many states of matter are there? This show will get your students excited about solids, liquids and gases. It introduces the periodic table in a fun way and demonstrates how elements can come together to make different materials. We discuss how materials can change with mixing and temperature and enjoy explosive experiments!

  • 45 minute science show. Developed for Years 4-8.

  • Book Now : Tour Dates : Prices

Billy Goats Gruff : A tale of competing forces – The Physical World

  • A classic tale with some new twists! Your juniors will be spellbound as they watch the crafty goats apply their knowledge of forces to move the terrifying troll. By the end of this storytelling your students will be able to use the words 'force' and 'friction'. They will also understand the effect of pulling and pushing a stationary object.

  • 45 minute science storytelling show. Developed for Years 0-3.

  • Book Now : Tour Dates : Prices

Move It! Exploring the laws of motion – The Physical World

  • During this interactive show, your students will learn what Newton's three laws of motion are all about. They will then apply that knowledge to fly Space Chick Steve across the school hall! This show will get you thinking about how and why things move. Cleverly it introduces the concept of fair testing while exploring forces.

  • 45 minute science show. Developed for Years 4-8.

  • We also have a digital resource that works alongside this science show.

  • Book Now : Tour Dates : Prices

The Science of Sound – The Physical World

  • Learn about the phenomena of sound! You and your students will be wowed by demonstrations which explore what sound is, how it is created and how sound behaves. Walk away with a clear explanation and understanding of volume, pitch and frequency. We’ll also break the sound barrier, see a teacher blasted by a pressure wave and have a laugh with a human xylophone.

  • 45 minute science show. Developed for Years 4-8.

  • Book Now : Tour Dates : Prices

In-Person ECE Science Shows

The Wonderful World of Bubbles for ECEs is a 30 minute show.

  • Science in a Van travels to you and sets up in your Early Childhood Centre. Currently we are only offering this ECE show in the Auckland area.

  • This science show is super fun, full of laughter AND will take your under-5s through the scientific process! The children will continue to talk about the show long after it's finished as it's so memorable - who doesn't remember bubbles bigger than a two year old?!

  • During the session we explore lots of simple science experiments to think more about mixtures, how they can separate and how they can come together to create a reaction. There are also body movements to reinforce our learning and even a bit of dancing!

  • Great news! Even if the 'Traffic Light' changes to red and we can't visit you - there are no cancellation charges. We have more information on how we work during each 'Traffic Light' phase here.

  • Book Now : Tour Dates : Price

Digital Teacher Resources

Check out this Co-Lab created by 321Science and Science in a Van!

  • This unique classroom resource brings together the knowledge and insight of teaching the New Zealand Science Curriculum from 321Science and the engaging science communication skills of Science in a Van.

  • It's packed with exclusive Science in a Van videos and easy to follow experiments which have all been tried and tested in the classroom by 321Science. If you’ve seen our ‘Move It!’ science show, this lab will help you extend that experience into your classroom. Haven’t seen the show? No problem, you’ll still benefit from all the fun physics experiments in this lab!

  • Packed with 8 engaging lessons! Stacker Challenge, Tablecloth Pull, Jar of Beads, Ramps, Craters of the Moon, Double Bounce, Balloon Rocket & Tray Spinner

  • A digital resource which is only $50 (including GST) - licenced for one teacher

  • Purchase when you book your show or directly from 321Science

Playing with Science : Teacher Training

Want some fun and laughter built into your teacher-only day? Then this is for you! It’s an interactive session which enables everyone to get hands-on with experiments that they can facilitate in their classroom the very next day. As numbers are smaller, we can facilitate this session in the ‘red’ traffic light Covid setting.

It can be an in-person whole staff session or on a rotation basis throughout the day. Like our science shows, this session is fun and engaging too!

We’ll practice how to ‘think like a scientist’ together. The good news is that this involves a lot of playing! It’s all about questions, guessing, trying stuff out and seeing what happens.

Your teachers will get hands-on with six different experiments. In the process we revisit how affirming and motivating it is for students when their teachers have a genuine learning experience alongside them… aka … you don’t need to know everything!

Each experiment comes with a PDF which has:

  • A list of everything you’ll need.

  • Suggestions on how to get your students engaged eg: play time!

  • Science Basics: Short simple strong sentences and connected vocabulary.

  • An easy-to-understand explanation of the experiment.

  • Clear links to how the experiment connects with everyday examples.

Most of the experiments focus on 'The Physical World' but there are 'Material World' experiments too.

Our prices are always reasonable, and it does depend on the length of time we’re with you and how many teachers attend.

Get in touch with us to start the conversation - contact@scienceinavan.co.nz or call us on 022 682 3009.

Science in a Van YouTube Channel

Check out the Science in a Van YouTube channel. During the multiple lockdowns we produced over 60 live streamed science shows to help support teachers, students and families with online learning.

If you're enjoying the Science in a Van videos consider supporting the development of these free resources.

Big thanks to the Science Learning Hub for allowing us to link to their fabulous resources.

To book or not to book?

Thank you so much Emily, weeks later our children are still talking about your show!! You do such an amazing job at engaging the children to learn about science while making it so much fun for them. We look forward to having you back again in the future. – Nina Busing Kindergarten


I loved that the Science in a Van team were so inclusive. They welcomed X personally, with big smiles, and made a real effort to get to know him (esp while we were waiting in the hall on our own, during the break). I felt well supported, and at ease in allowing X to move freely around the room, interacting with the bubbles and engaging with the Science Van teachers. It was a really positive learning experience for X, and I would recommend the Science Van team to other schools, especially those who have children with special needs. - Julia, learning support extraordinaire : Waiheke Primary


These guys are so great. During the lockdown our two girls were transfixed by their entertaining YouTube live shows. Hoping to watch their shows in person soon. – Justin, Thankful Dad

Alan and Emily confirmed that teaching science like any curriculum area, is all about confidence to TAKE RISKS (make a fool of yourself if necessary) and never be afraid to be seen as a learner by your students. - Jonathan Davidson, Laingholm School

Your show is engaging, fun, hands-on and incredibly informative and we are so grateful that you have managed to instil a love and fascination for science in our young tamariki. - Trinity Kindy Teaching Team

You can see more reviews on facebook and on google.

COVID-19 Update

Nervous about booking ahead? Don't worry! Many of us are struggling to make plans at the moment. We’ve done everything possible to take the stress out of making a Science in a Van booking.

Science in a Van is helping to slow the spread of COVID-19 by:

  • Sticking close to home. We are taking bookings from schools and ECEs in Auckland. If you are in the North Island and want to make a booking, please contact us before filling in the booking form.

  • We have redesigned our shows to maintain sensible physical distancing.

  • We have adapted 'The Wonderful World of Bubbles' show to ensure that our breath-blown bubbles pop on us and not on you! :)

  • Science in a Van are following the Ministry of Education guidelines.

Red: We are unable to visit your school/ECE for in-person science shows BUT we can facilitate 'Playing with Science' - our teacher only session.

Orange: We are allowed to visit if your own policies are allowing non-essential visitors.

Green: We'll be there!

  • We will not turn up at your school if we have Covid symptoms. We'll let you know, get tested and reschedule.

  • We are vaxed to the max and have our 'vaccine pass'!

  • We are currently wearing masks when on site and during our shows.

If we need to cancel your booking, we'll work together to reschedule or offer online alternatives. If we are unable to reschedule, you won't pay anything if COVID craziness makes it impossible to make your booking happen.

Programme and Content Development

Between them, Emily and Alan have had decades of experience writing and delivering content development for schools, museums and visitor attractions. If you’d like help scripting an educational show, tour or interactive experience – get in touch.

Snapshot Science at your next event

Planning an event and looking for something extra for your visitors? Science in a Van’s latest offering ‘Snapshot Science’ is the perfect addition!

Science in a Van will help create a buzz as they roam around your event with a range of their interactive and entertaining science demos. These demonstrations will draw a crowd and can easily keep the attention of 15-20 visitors at one go. In the quieter moments we can have longer interactions with individuals or family groups.

Visitors of all ages will have the chance to experience a selection of exciting science demos and get hands-on too! Imagine a mix of circus, science, magic and comedy.

Science in a Van always comes to your venue prepared. We are a self-supporting mobile unit with everything we need and the experience to present and engage in a changing environment. We can activate any area. This might mean walking around delivering small interactions, adding value to ‘dead time’ as visitors wait in a queue or, with Alan’s vast street busking experience, spontaneously create a show area with a large audience.

Make your next event even more memorable!

Contact us to start the conversation.

Science in a Van is proud to have provided educational services to the following institutions: