Faculty of Science’s Science Experience program a great success

February 11 / 53

Staff in the Faculty of Science worked with Young Scientists Australia to host the Science Experience, a program for Year 9 and 10 students from more than 19 different secondary schools from 11-13 January.

The event included hands-on activities and workshops with staff from the departments of genetics, earth science, chemistry and information systems, and presentations by staff from mathematics, optometry, the Bio21institute and the Victorian Life Sciences Computational initiative (VLSCI). 

The Faculty of Science has run the Science Experience for more than 10 years.

Organiser Donna Bailey said the mathematics presentation by Professor Marty Ross on topology was particularly well received by the students, as was a physiology activity about how hearts function.

Working in pairs, students ran electrocardiograms (ECG) and phonocardiograms (PCG) over their bodies to measure the electrical waves and sounds their hearts made.

Ms Bailey said the visit to Bio21 was also popular, because it highlighted how science was applied and the extent of the scientific collaboration between different areas of research.

Associate Dean (Community Engagement and Development) Professor Phillip Batterham said the faculty continued to prioritise its involvement in the Science Experience program. "It's a great way to engage with secondary school kids who are interested in science," he said. 

Professor Batterham said the program was particularly valuable because it exposed students to some great science and to work in teams in a range of exciting ‘hands on’ activities, and covered during the three-day program were beyond the school science curriculum. 

University staff, participating students and their parents and guardians attended a special closing ceremony at which Dean of Science Professor Robert Saint spoke.

“It has been a real privilege for us to have played host to such an enthusiastic group of students on this wonderful campus,” he said.

“Science is important. It makes sense of our world, and gives us the means to improve our lives, not to mention underpinning many other important activities, from engineering to medicine.” 

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