At Southern Cross Grammar, we are consistently looking for ways to enhance our students' learning both in and out of the classroom. In recognition of National Science Week (15-23 August) our science department used innovative solutions to bring our community together to explore and celebrate the joys of science while giving our students opportunities to partake in events and challenges that tested their STEM skills and knowledge, introduced them to professionals in the industry and inspired them with the many pathways available in the STEM fields.
National Science Week began with our female students attending the Girls Day out in STEM online event on Sunday 16 August. The event aims to empower female students to learn about the career pathways in STEM while introducing them to new skills and concepts, and giving them opportunities to network with industry leaders such as Fontaine Smith from Google and Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith: the Ambassador of Women in STEM. During the event, our students were immersed in collaborative and diverse masterclasses where they learned to think like an engineer, coded with systems such as Scratch and learnt about marine sciences as part of the national Science Week's theme of Deep Blue: Innovations for our Future Oceans.
In recognition of National Science Week (15-23 August) our science department used innovative solutions to bring our community together to explore and celebrate the joys of science while giving our students opportunities to partake in events and challenges that tested their STEM skills and knowledge.
Prapti Dutta, a Year 8 student, said, "[Girls Day Out in STEM] was an amazing experience for me as I was able to learn more about the different careers involving STEM by some extremely inspirational teachers. From learning how to think like an engineer to making some delicious mermaid cupcakes, it really was a great time."
Across our school, students took part in a number of challenges and competitions such as the Make Your Own Volcano competition and the Junior Science Olympiad. With more than 70% of volcanic eruptions occurring in our oceans, the science department challenged students to build their very own homemade volcano using the baking soda and vinegar method. Our younger students also put their botany skills to the test in the Green Thumb Competition, with entries due during the week of our Spring Festival in Week 10. 15 of our Year 8 and Year 9 students also tested their science knowledge in the Australian Science Innovations' Junior Science Olympiad exams on 21 August.
While National Science Week gives us opportunities to excite students about the many possibilities and pathways in STEM, we also view the event as an opportunity to also educate and empower our parents about STEM. Due to our current climate, parents were able to get involved in National Science Week by taking part in our Science Trivia Night. The Night saw teams of students and families test their science skills and knowledge across STEM topics ranging from biology to chemistry and general science questions.
"National Science Week is an important event in the Australian STEM calendar as it offers us as educators with opportunities to connect our students to STEM outside the classroom and consolidate their learning in new and exciting ways," Rajnesh Ram, the Head of Science, STEM and Computing said. "While this year posed its challenges, the science, STEM and computing teachers collaborated together to create a comprehensive Science Week program for students and our school community. Our students' enthusiasm for the activities and challenges was phenomenal and it has been a privilege to witness the high calibre of work they have produced and skills they have learnt during the week."