Sci­ence camp a huge hit

North West Telegraph - - News - Sy­narah Mur­phy

Twelve Port Hed­land stu­dents from the Gra­ham (Polly) Farmer Foun­da­tion pro­gram flew to Perth re­cently for a four-day sci­ence camp.

Stu­dents from Baler, Cas­sia and South Hed­land pri­mary schools were se­lected based on their ex­cel­lent at­ten­dance, pos­i­tive at­ti­tude in school, and ex­cep­tional be­hav­iour to take part in en­gag­ing ac­tiv­i­ties fo­cused on sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and math­e­mat­ics.

Stu­dents par­tic­i­pated in a range of fas­ci­nat­ing sci­ence ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing a team­build­ing chal­lenge at Perth Zoo, a plas­ter­ing work­shop at the Univer­sity of Western Aus­tralia’s School of In­dige­nous Stud­ies, a close en­counter with ma­rine an­i­mals at the Aquar­ium of Western Aus­tralia and ex­per­i­ments at the CSIRO lab at Scitech.

Stu­dents also got a taste of the world of em­ploy­ment when they vis­ited BHP’s Perth of­fice, where they learnt about the min­ing in­dus­try and BHP em­ployee Si­mon Cor­ri­gan showed them the spec­tac­u­lar view from the top floor.

“It was great to spend some time with such awe­some kids who are ex­cited about sci­ence.” Mr Cor­ri­gan said. The Gra­ham (Polly) Farmer Foun­da­tion is BHP’s only na­tional com­mu­nity part­ner­ship and BHP proudly sup­ports a num­ber of pri­mary and sec­ondary pro­grams around Aus­tralia, in­clud­ing in Port Hed­land.

Dur­ing a visit to the Na­turescape in Kings Park, stu­dents ob­served macro-or­gan­ism life in the water and learnt about the role peo­ple can play in a sus­tain­able fu­ture.

Kings Park ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer Kiely O'Fla­herty was im­pressed by the stu­dents’ en­thu­si­asm and gen­uine in­ter­est in learn­ing about na­ture. Stu­dents said the visit to the UWA med­i­cal cen­tre was one of their favourite mem­o­ries of the trip and Nancy Bodey, 12, said it had given her a unique un­der­stand­ing into the world of med­i­cal re­search.

Pro­gram man­ager of the Port Hed­land Sci­ence, Tech­nol­ogy, En­gi­neer­ing, Math­e­mat­ics Cen­tre Emily Ul­rich said stu­dents ob­served sci­en­tists work­ing to cure dis­eases like heart dis­ease, cancer and di­a­betes, and donned lab coats to use high-tech sci­ence equip­ment to try and solve per­plex­ing med­i­cal prob­lems.

“The sci­ence camp gave stu­dents the op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore a huge range of sci­ence-based ca­reers avail­able to them and also chal­lenged them to work to­gether,” she said.

“Stu­dents had lots of fun and learned a lot, with some even con­quer­ing their fears. “Thanks to the long-term sup­port of the pro­gram part­ner BHP, we can of­fer these en­gag­ing learn­ing ex­cur­sions, which not only teach stu­dents about sci­ence but also open their eyes to the wealth of ca­reer possibilities in STEM.”

Hed­land’s Gra­ham (Polly) Farmer Foun­da­tion stu­dents.

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