Monday, 21 August 2017

Junior School - Science Week Report

Wow! Another great Science Week for the students of Mentone Park! After the success of last year's Science Night and open afternoon, the students were excited for this year's activities. The Virtual Classroom gave students a chance to connect with scientists from across the globe. It was phenomenal to have the insights of STEM professionals tuning in from all around the world (including the Amazon!)
  • Dr Kimberley Clayfield, Executive Manager, Space Sciences and Technology, CSIRO
  • Ms Solange Cunin Co-Founder and CEO, Cuberider
  • Prof Paulo de Souza Junior, OCE Science Leader, Data61 | CSIRO
  • Assoc Prof CĂ©line d’Orgeville, Instrument Scientist and Adaptive Optics Group Manager, ANU 
  • Dr Jason Held, Founder and CEO, Saber Astronautics
  • Ms Bernie Hobbs as emcee  

    We heard about how Celine makes artificial stars using lasers to probe atmospheric turbulence, and how Jason works with the Australian Air Force to launch satellites into space. Kim's experiences with creating tiny satellites that have 36 single antennas that link together to get a much better view of the sky was fascinating, and it was exciting to hear about how Australians are involved in building the biggest telescope in the world! Paolo spoke about how he is working on the global initiative for Honey bee Health, which equips bees with tiny microsensors, also known as backpacks, to monitor the bees’ movement and environment.

    Student questions about black holes, space junk, the Mars Rover and their stories about seeing Earth from Mars were the highlight. A huge thank you to the CSIRO Stem in Schools program for making this happen!

    As part of the day, students were involved in a variety of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Maths) activities with the help of our CSIRO STEM Professional Matt Bolger from Data61 who was able to share some great insights into his STEM experiences, including computer game programming, using robots as well as working with software that predicts the paths of bush fires and chances of tsunamis.

    The Sputnik group worked with him on the NASA Parachute Landing Systems activity, testing how to safely land precious cargo. This challenged our students to really think outside the box to develop a design, a hypothesis and an actual parachute system.


There were Science activities:

Technology - coding and problem solving!

Engineering activities:

& Art & Maths activities:

Thank you to Sue Grisdale for organising our CSIRO STEM Professional Matt, and for ensuring we could be one of the schools involved in the Virtual Classroom, giving our students the chance to connect with real scientists and experience the impact of STEM in our world. Sue set up our partnership with the Scientists in Schools program last year which partners teachers with STEM professionals to enhance STEM teaching practices and deliver engaging STEM education in Australian schools. STEM Professionals in Schools is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training.

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