Stu­dents dis­cover world of sci­ence

North West Telegraph - - News - Sophia Con­stan­tine

Na­tional Sci­ence Week, held be­tween Au­gust 11-19, is Aus­tralia’s an­nual cel­e­bra­tion of sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy.

Here in Port Hed­land, schools have cel­e­brated by host­ing their own ex­per­i­men­tal ac­tiv­i­ties, en­cour­ag­ing stu­dents to un­leash their cre­ativ­ity and put their imag­i­na­tion to the test.

Cas­sia Pri­mary School

Years 4 and 5 have spent the term learn­ing about honey bees — and the peril the in­sects have been un­der — dur­ing their bi­o­log­i­cal sci­ence class. Stu­dents are now com­bin­ing their sci­ence work with de­sign and tech­nol­ogy in the form of an iPad game.

“We’re re­ally try­ing to teach stu­dent’s real-world prob­lems by re­lat­ing their class­work to their lives; some classes are fo­cus­ing on smaller is­sues like the Pil­bara cli­mate’s af­fect and this class is more of a global is­sue, STEM co-ordinator Jeremy Kane said.

“The stu­dents are able to re­alise the ac­tual im­pli­ca­tions of world is­sues on their lives here in Aus­tralia and be­ing able to trans­late that into an iPad game is very en­gag­ing for their age group as well as be­ing able to fac­tor in im­por­tant skills such as de­sign, prob­lem-solv­ing and eval­u­a­tion.”

Baler Pri­mary School

Baler Pri­mary have been work­ing on waste man­age­ment and re­cy­cling projects while brain­storm­ing ways Port Hed­land can re­duce, re­use and re­cy­cle.

Sci­ence spe­cial­ist teacher Kally Flett said “We’re try­ing to fo­cus on sus­tain­abil­ity with the stu­dents and con­nect it across all the learn­ing ar­eas to show the stu­dents that sci­ence isn’t just a one class a week subject. We’re putting that em­pha­sis on here be­cause we be­lieve the ca­reers in the fu­ture rely on skills found heav­ily in sci­ence such as prob­lem-solv­ing skills, de­sign skills and ex­per­i­ments. If we don’t get stu­dents in­ter­ested now, and see that sci­ence is more than just an hour a week, we will have a short­age of skills in the fu­ture.”

Port Hed­land Pri­mary School

A group of 13 bud­ding sci­en­tists from PHPS cel­e­brated the week by cre­at­ing life in the form of sea mon­keys.

PHPS teacher and for­mer sci­en­tist Clare En­gelke: “We in­tro­duce to stu­dents the dif­fer­ent con­cepts of sci­ence that they wouldn’t oth­er­wise get in their day-to-day classes. We’re lucky here at Port Hed­land Pri­mary School to have the fa­cil­i­ties and tools, thanks to the BHP Pil­bara Ed­u­ca­tion Part­ner­ship, to be able to do things like this — to show stu­dents it’s not just about writ­ing an­swers in a work book, sci­ence is about dis­cov­ery and think­ing out­side the box.”

Hed­land Se­nior High School

Stu­dents spent the lead-up to Na­tional Sci­ence Week cre­at­ing Amer­i­can-style sci­ence projects which were dis­played in the library.

HSHS sci­ence teacher Romony Coyle: “The stu­dents got to choose what they wanted to do their project on, so it could be about what in­ter­ests them and what they wanted to ex­plore fur­ther, rather than be­ing dic­tated to and it gave them a sense of own­er­ship and in­ter­est in the project. It’s im­por­tant to foster that in­ter­est be­cause this time at high school is one of their last op­por­tu­ni­ties for gen­uine ex­plo­ration of what their pas­sions are and how that pas­sion could trans­late into a ca­reer after school. STEM is a re­ally im­por­tant up-and-com­ing field within all in­dus­tries; STEM skills are go­ing to be re­quired, so en­gag­ing in sci­ence ac­tiv­i­ties gives stu­dents the op­por­tu­nity to de­velop the skills and in­ter­est for their fu­tures.”

South Hed­land Pri­mary School

Over five days , stu­dents took their lunch boxes to class to par­take in fun ex­per­i­men­tal ac­tiv­i­ties.

Spe­cial­ist sci­ence teacher Jaymie Boys: “It is so im­por­tant for young peo­ple to gain an un­der­stand­ing of how the world we live in works and evolves over time. It is great to see so many girls get­ting in­volved in sci­ence and Sci­ence Week. It sparks their in­ter­est to want to find out more.”

Fu­ture ca­reers rely on skills found heav­ily in sci­ence such as prob­lem-solv­ing.

Heidi Fletcher, 10, Elis­a­beth Ashworth, 10, Stella Mor­ri­son, 10

Jake Heatly and Nancy Bodey.

Hay­ley Altschwa­ger and Ash­ton Shep­hard.

By­ron Apedaile and Ty­rone Hingston.

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