So far, Semester 1 in the Science Learning Area has seen a number of year levels getting involved in Science extension.

We have a Year 9 team working through a thinking and research process, based on the Millennium Development Goals. This project will be presented at an interschool presentation session next month. The BrainSTEM challenge has our team working with a researcher from @AgeMelbourne - a research group at the University of Melbourne's Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Science. Last term the team attended the University for the Innovation Challenge Kickstarter and were taken on a tour of the Telstra Innovation Centre. Team member Heidi wrote:

The Kickstarter day for the 14th Innovation Challenge at BrainSTEM was lots of fun. A team of Year 9 students, including myself, went to The University of Melbourne and discuss STEM ideas, look around the University campus and labs, meet other schools and meet our mentor (who will be taking us on a twelve-week STEM journey) for the first time. All in all, it was a great day full of learning experiences and anticipation for what this program will bring next for us. Heidi C. (9DCH)

Our in-house Year 8 Extension program ran during March and April. Based on Year 7 results, students in the top 15% of the year level were invited to take part in the Extension sessions which involved an escape box challenge, deconstructing and transforming a mousetrap and taking time working on their own with one of the high-quality microscopes to explore pond water for microscopic creatures like water fleas and worms. One of the participants, Tiffany wrote:

The STEAM Extension program allows students to broaden their horizon in various subject areas, including Science. Students enjoyed receiving a breath of knowledge in Biology and Physics. In Biology, students used microscopes to observe various water samples taken from around Melbourne. In Physics, students learnt the basics of mechanics and created a catapult whilst exploring energy storage mechanisms. The program offered me the opportunity to extend my learning, whilst having fun with my peers. Tiffany M. (8MKY)

There was an open invitation to any interested Year 8 students to join the Term 2 program. This term focuses on some simple electronics, crafting and design thinking strategies.

Taking up the invitation to attend the Newman College Forum Dinner, three Year 12s and Ms Tran, braved a very wet Friday night to tour Newman College, including its spectacular chapel, and listen to Dr Douglas Brumley speak on the application of mathematics to open problems in Biology.

Susan Long
Science Learning Leader