Going beyond the classroom this Open Day

Students take a ride in bike cabs
Visitors can use free bike cabs to get around campus this Open Day. Photo credit: Craig Sillitoe Photography

Celebrate Melbourne’s iconic architecture through cake, contribute your wee to science and use virtual reality (VR) to sail the seas at the University of Melbourne Open Day this Sunday.

Tens of thousands of aspiring students, families and the community are expected to experience the University’s Parkville and Southbank campuses, with all of its museums and galleries open to the public, as well as newly restored spaces such as the Old Quad.

Parkville visitors can learn about the University’s production of wine and beer and participate in a “guess the aroma” competition to test their sense of smell when it comes to identifying five different aromas found in beer and wine.

Participants can get a literal taste of learning another language at the Faculty of Art’s food fair, where those who order in the appropriate language can receive a meal for free. Prospective students can also participate in language workshops, including Indigenous languages.

For the sci-curious, visitors can contribute their urine to Urinotron – a large-scale installation that takes organic waste and transforms it into power for mobile phones. Watch as your liquid gold turns into sustainable power thanks to the Science Gallery Melbourne pop-up.

Other activities include sampling baked bread using a new form of purple wheat, seeing the judging of the Great Architectural Bake-Off at the Melbourne School of Design and learning how the University produces its own rooftop honey.

VR technology will also be on display in numerous forms, with the virtual sailing program, designed to allow people who have suffered spinal cord injuries to experience the joys of riding waves, and a VR interpretation of Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, reimagined by the Faculty of Arts using an interactive Facebook chatbot and featuring acting students from the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music.

Visitors to Melbourne’s Arts Precinct in Southbank will be able to attend performances and experience the Sound Garden created by masters student Matt Tinkler, using a combination of natural soundscapes and original compositions to explore the built environment.

Melbourne’s new state-of-the-art teaching, learning, rehearsal and performance spaces at the Ian Potter Southbank Centre will also be open.

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell said Open Day is a fantastic opportunity for everyone to see the teaching, learning and research that takes place at the University.

“We invite prospective students and their families to live and breathe the University of Melbourne for a day as our faculties bring their work to life,” Professor Maskell said.

“Come and check out our interactive displays, chat to our lecturers and tutors about a course you may be interested in, and ask our current students about the vast opportunities that are available for those who study at our University.”

Open Day will be held on Sunday 18 August, 10am – 4pm. For more information and details on how to get to the University’s campuses, visit openday.unimelb.edu.au.