The Big Watermelon Experiment: Physics, Forces and Flying Fruit

SYDNEY – 26 June, 2020 – This August, Dr Rob Bell (aka “Dr Rob”) will recreate one of YouTube’s most popular science experiments of all time. With more than 200 million views, the Watermelon Challenge asks the question: How many rubber bands does it take to explode a watermelon?

“While imploding watermelons doesn’t sound highly scientific, there is definitely some science in there … and we’ll be using a lot of scientific principles along the way,” Dr Rob said.

To celebrate National Science Week (15-23 August), Dr Rob invites schools to participate in this challenge in collaboration with Experimentary— a science website filled with engaging, curriculum-based science experiments including videos, lesson plans and reporting tools.

Schools that sign up will receive learning materials including videos and downloadable handouts. Before the experiment, students at each school will predict how many rubber bands they think will explode their watermelons based on the scientific principles outlined in the learning material.

“We’ll measure the watermelons and use that data to predict how many rubber bands it might take,” said Dr Rob.

With the goal of engaging people of all ages in science and science-related activities, National Science Week is an annual celebration of science and technology. During National Science Week each school will conduct the experiment and share images and results on a national scale to compare the data.

“The students are really looking forward to it. We have four teams: Maths, Technology, Engineering and Science, and they’ll be exploding one watermelon each. It’s a great way to demonstrate and learn about physics and get the junior and senior parts of the school together,” said Kirsten Hogg, Physics Teacher, Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics & Technology.

A former TV presenter, Dr Rob hosted the Network Ten children’s science show “Scope” for more than 10 years, and he worked as a Science Education Officer for the CSIRO. He believes offering hands-on experiments through Experimentary to primary students will foster a love of science that will last their whole lives.

Experimentary has recently been chosen as one of the 14 Future Minds Accelerator startups. Future Minds Accelerator is a brand-new Education Technology Startup Accelerator designed by BlueChilli, backed by $10 million from Rio Tinto and support from Amazon Web Services, with the goal of preparing young Australians the future of work.

Schools can sign up now for free at:





Experimentary is an online science resource for primary school-aged children. Experimentary teaches science through experiments, helping teachers and parents deliver science to children in an interesting and interactive way and fostering a love of science in students.

Future Minds Accelerator

A collaboration among Rio Tinto, startup accelerator BlueChilli and the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS), the Future Minds Accelerator supports startups aimed at helping prepare young Australians for the digital future through skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, automation, systems design, and data analytics.

Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto has committed to invest AUD $10 million in a four-year national program, targeted at school-age learners that aims to fast-track the development of skills needed for the digital future. As the primary affiliate of the Future Minds Accelerator, Rio Tinto understands firsthand the capabilities and skills the workers of the future need. Being on the forefront of a traditional industry that has successfully navigated massive change, Rio Tinto understands innovation. Rio Tinto is committed to investing in people — startups solving future challenges, in communities embracing change, schools and administrators, and students of all ages across Australia. Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury is the company’s representative on the Future Minds Accelerator’s Advisory Council.


BlueChilli Technology is the leading tech accelerator in Australia. For eight years, BlueChilli has worked with thousands of entrepreneurs across Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia and supported 140+ startups to build their technology companies. Working with Rio Tinto and Amazon Web Services, BlueChilli aims to empower Aussie kids with the skills of the future.

For more information, please contact:

Hilary Brainard, BlueChilli
M +61 4 3207 5789

Dr Rob Bell, Experimentary
M: +61 4 3838 7019

Media Contact
Company Name: BlueChilli
City: Sydney
State: NSW
Country: United States