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How to win a Nobel Prize

Session description:

Mary is only 10, but she has a big dream. She’s been doing experiments at home and thinks science is pretty cool, but she really wants to win a Nobel Prize. Mary is the hero of Nobel Prize-winner Barry Marshall’s hilariously informative illustrated time-travelling adventure book, How to Win a Nobel Prize. In this energetic and interactive event, the book’s co-author Lorna Hendry and illustrator Bernard Caleo take kids into the wild, weird and wonderful world of science. Along the way, they’ll meet Einstein, Marie Curie and Rita Levi-Montalcini. They (literally) draw out some of the characters from the book and get kids started on some seriously silly experiments they can do at home.

Topics covered:

  • Introduction to the book How to Win a Nobel Prize
  • Who are Barry and Mary in real life?
  • What is the Nobel Prize?
  • Albert Einstein (discussion of his science)
  • Activity – drawing Einstein
  • Experiment – elephant toothpaste
  • Marie Curie (discussion of her life and science)
  • How are elements named?
  • Activity: naming and inventing properties of a brand new element
  • Rita Levi Montalcini (discussion of her life and science)
  • Experiment- bouncy egg
  • Experiment-egg in (and out of) a bottle


  • 3 x easels and drawing pads / stand-up flipcharts / black textas
    OR large whiteboard and whiteboard markers / cleaner
  • Table with drop cloth underneath
  • Access to kettle & powerpoint for boiling water
  • Laptop and projector for Powerpoint. We will bring the PPT file on a USB.
  • Optional video (via YouTube, so internet access would be needed).

Duration: 50-60 minutes

To learn more about Bernard Caleo click here.

To learn more about Lorna Hendry click here.



The Booked Out team were lucky to catch Bernard and Lorna’s How to Win a Nobel Prize session in action at Northcote Library recently, and it was so much fun.

Lorna and Bernard bring the perfect combination of scientific fact and explosive energy to their session – all the kids immediately stopped to watch the show. The hour is filled with variety to keep students occupied – a great mix of experiments, history about famous scientists, chemistry, myth-busting, and more! The session is both educational and entertaining.

We particularly loved the audience participation in the experiments, complete with a mini-labcoat for volunteers. Watch out for the egg experiment – things are bound to get a little smelly and silly!

—- The Booked Out Team (Disclaimer: The Booked Out Team are not biased or remotely scientific in any way so this testimonial is 100% proof)

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