Science: The Thrill of Discovery
 
Aim

The aim of this hands-on learning experience is to accelerate the understanding, further arouse the curiosity, stimulate the imagination, and foster the creative-thinking and problem-solving abilities of students.

Opportunities
Students will experience some participatory demonstrations aimed at encouraging them to make predictions, to hypothesise, and to develop explanations and fostering a keen interest in phenomena around them.
 They will carry out a range of experiments which may include:
Our nation's future, and indeed that of our world, will depend upon creative approaches requiring problem-solving skills, and the activities in this program foster creativity and problem-solving in a friendly, supportive, and student-centred environment.

Bright and enthusiastic children will find their imagination challenged as their mentor acts as a guide and source of encouragement in an exciting hands-on atmosphere free of criticism and in which mistakes are welcomed as learning opportunities rather than being feared. Above all, the emphasis is on fun, enjoyment, and safety.

Research has shown that activities like this can play a key role in motivating students in both their studies and along career paths. An emphasis is also placed on demonstrating the central role that science and technology play in society by relating the activities to real-life applications. Students will typically perform experiments in pairs, thus also fostering the important traits of cooperation and respect for others.
 
Comments From Schools
  • "The students absolutely LOVED the hot air balloon. The hands-on activities engaged students, who loved that they were the ones 'in charge' of the activities. The learning and explanations at each workstation were great." Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School, Sydney
  • "The forensic activity was an excellent use of a fictional context for group investigation . . . Excellent personal interaction with students . . . Educational and entertaining--students were very focussed."  Jane Bradbury and Carly Davidson, Coolnwynpin State School, Brisbane
Comments From Students
  • "It's fun, cool, and exciting and you learn a lot."
  • "You can do so many things and they are really interesting."
  • "Good, all hands-on."
  • "He explains things very well."
  • "He's understanding and lets us try things by ourselves."
  • "He doesn't get angry if we make a mistake."
  • "He doesn't preach at you or talk down to you, but takes you as you are."
  • "He allows any question and answers honestly."
  • "I would definitely recommend this program to other students."
 
Outcomes

This program addresses the following core outcomes in the current Queensland Science Syllabus for Years 1-10.

    Science and Society.    1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.2, 4.3
    Earth and Beyond.    3.3, 5.3
    Energy and Change.    1.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.3, 5.1, 5.3, 6.2, 6.3
    Life and Living.    3.1
    Natural and processed materials.    1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.3, 5.3, 6.2

Format

A typical structure comprises three or four sessions per day, each up to 1.5 h, with 50 to 60 students/session. Cost $8 (plus 80c GST)/student (minimum 150 students).

Suitability

    Years 4 - 8 (Qld) and equivalents.
Venue and Other Requirements
Data projector and screen, an appropriate number of student desks (with horizontal tops) or tables/trestles for workstations, ready access to tap water and a sink, waste bin/s, a floor that can take some drips or any spills, covered footwear for students. (Additional power point/s desirable.)
 

Accredited, for particular year groups, Education Queensland Programs Touring Queensland Schools and by the New South Wales Department of School Education.



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