Students discover world of science
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.