Schools en­gage with science

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Ali­cia Per­era

The whole Kar­ratha com­mu­nity was in­vited to cel­e­brate Na­tional Science Week this year, with a first-time pub­lic festival held for the oc­ca­sion.

STEAM Fest is a new ini­tia­tive of St Luke’s Col­lege and the Kar­ratha Science En­gage­ment Net­work.

Stu­dents, staff and mem­bers of the pub­lic con­verged at the high school on Fri­day night for a ma­jor event cel­e­brat­ing ed­u­ca­tion in science, tech­nol­ogy, engi­neer­ing, the arts and math­e­mat­ics.

Stu­dent fi­nal­ists dis­played their science projects for the pub­lic, while In­ter­na­tional Science Film Festival movies screened at the end of the night, and there were plenty of ac­tiv­i­ties such as a com­puter cod­ing sta­tion and mi­cro­scope lab to get vis­i­tors to the festival in­volved in science.

St Luke’s Col­lege head of science Jene­fer Wiltschut said the idea for STEAM Fest had arisen when the school wanted to show the Science Film Festival movies, and re­alised run­ning the school’s an­nual STEAM project com­pe­ti­tion along­side it could make for a big­ger event with broader ap­peal.

“Science is one of those sub­jects I think peo­ple (are) in­trin­si­cally at­tracted to be­cause it’s the cu­ri­ous, it’s the weird, the won­der­ful … so we tried to put some­thing to­gether they could have a look at and be in­ter­ested by,” she said.

The over­all win­ner of the St Luke’s STEAM com­pe­ti­tion was Ak­shat Gupta, 15, with a “smart shoes” in­ven­tion de­signed to con­vert walk­ing mo­tion into elec­tric­ity.

Zoe Oliver, 15, was run­ner-up with an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the ef­fects of caf­feine on mem­ory.

Scitech pro­fes­sional learn­ing con­sul­tant and STEAM Fest judge Steve Grant said he liked the fact that the event brought to­gether many im­por­tant el­e­ments of science ed­u­ca­tion.

Pic­ture: Ali­cia Per­era

STEAM Fest win­ner Ak­shat Gupta, 15, and run­ner-up Zoe Oliver, 15.

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