STEM - 2019 Wonder of Science Regional Conference

​Throughout last term, our Year 5/6 students were part of a pilot project for BCE. This required them to work through a Wonder of Science program designed by university lectures. The Wonder of Science program inspires students to engage in rigorous, real-world STEM learning. Its approach develops deep understanding of STEM concepts in students; promotes problem-solving skills, including critical, creative, collaborative and ethical thinking and develops the student capabilities required to achieve and succeed in a rapidly advancing and changing world.

Last term, the Year 5/6 students learnt all about earthquakes – what are they, how do the happen, where and when do they occur. The students then worked in teams to design a working seismograph that would detect movement. This process required the students to research seismographs, design a prototype and test its efficiency. The students than had an opportunity to make modifications to their seismograph in response to their testing. I was absolutely blown away with the enthusiasm and engagement from all students during this program. They all worked well as a team and were devoted to making their seismograph a working product.

As part of the program, 6 students from Year 5/6 represented our school at the 2019 Wonder of  Science Regional Conference at Griffith University at Logan Campus. The conference consisted of 125 students from 10 different school all over Brisbane. The students took turns presenting their projects to small groups of students and judges. The judges of the Wonder conference were all PhD students, so all very knowledgeable in the areas and asked our students some great questions.

The students had to talk about the aim of their project, the materials they used, the results, modifications made and problems that arose during the program. All six of our students represented our school beautifully with confidence and pride. They received wonderful feedback from the judges:

  • Very informative presentation
  • Clear and audible speaking
  • Limitations/problems discussed well, and modifications were made to address these
  • Excellent, engaging videos of process included in presentation
  • Great scientific understanding
  • Great description of the design process including problem solving and team work
  • ​Great originality

They had an amazing day learning about public speaking, participating in hands-on science experiments and learning about the variety of scientific fields the Young Ambassadors work in.

Our thanks go to the universities who support the program, UQ, QUT and Griffith, who sent out 3 Young Science Ambassadors to work with our Year Five and Year Six students on two occasions throughout Term 3. ​

It was a wonderful experience for our students, and we look forward to participating in more events like this again.