Year 6 STEM Horizons

Ms Jasna Poeszus – Gifted and Talented Programs Coordinator – Preschool to Year 6

Three high achieving Science and Mathematicians were selected to attend a 4 day STEM experience throughout this Semester.  Select organisations, including Griffith University and the University of Queensland, collaborated to develop an intensive and varied STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program to engage the minds of Years 6, 7 and 9 students. During the 4 days these students extended their learning in specialist facilities working alongside scientists and post graduate students. Here’s what the boys had to say about their 4 day journey. STEM Horizons Brochure Yr6

STEM Horizons for High Achievers Review – By Lucas Dell 5/6H

Day 1 – Rediscovering Dinosaurs

Day one’s theme centred on dinosaurs and more specifically dinosaur fossils. A professional pathologist visited to display models of dinosaur fossils as well as stories, photos and videos from him and his team discovering fossils in Western Australia. He spoke about the first time he discovered dinosaur fossils as well as his constant interest in dinosaurs since he was a child.

We studied dinosaurs and how they had evolved to suit their needs. We also researched dinosaurs that inhabited Queensland hundreds of millions of years ago.  We learnt about the massive asteroid that hit Mexico hundreds of millions of years ago. It wasn’t the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs but all the dust and debris blow up into the atmosphere in a kind off “Nuclear Winter” that blocked out the sun freezing the dinosaurs.

We measured out the size of a real-life T-Rex and Brachiosaurus using the scale of one bone.

Overall day one was enjoyable and stimulating and I would recommend it to anyone exited to extend their understanding in dinosaurs and STEM in general.

Day 2 – Micro and Macro

Day two’s theme centred on Micro and Macro and involved observing the Moreton Bay Eco-System as well as observing microscopic plankton. We rode our boat over two locations and dropped some bait and a Go-Pro. Prior to this we had protected what variables might influence the fish that were in that area. When we released the Go-Pro we recorded the data at the location including wind speed, water temperature, water depth and salinity.

While we waited two hours for some interesting fish to take a bite of our bait we started exploring micro. We pulled a gigantic “Water Bag” behind our boat and picked up a large amount of plankton. We then researched using an encyclopaedia of common types of plankton and used the magnifying glass to observe the plankton. We watched a video titled “The secret life of plankton” and now understood that certain types of prawns and crabs actually start their life as plankton.

Once the two hours were up we went back to the two spots that we had dropped the Go-Pros and watched the video of the Go-Pro with the least amount of bait. We were only able to watch about 20minuites of the video but we saw at least 20 Plantis sextillion and were shocked when we saw two eels come for our bait.

Overall, I thought the days were fun and stimulating by providing hands on activities and a unique experience. I am eagerly looking forward to the 3rd and 4th day of the STEM horizons for High Achievers program and a hope the program continues in 2018!

Day Four Was My Favourite Day – By Jeremiah Gan 5/6H

On four separate days, me, Lucas and Ethan M went to Stem. We had lots of fun learning about things such as programming, biology and ancient history. In these workshops, we had fun programming robots, calculating to-scale models of dinosaurs and conducting a plankton trawl.

My personal favourite was the plankton trawl. We had heaps of fun looking at these tiny creatures under a microscope. Did you know that there are two types of plankton, and that one of them is the eggs and baby animals of fish, jellyfish and crabs? All in all, It was a great day and I hope to be able to do similar activities in the future.

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