Aboriginal primary students from the Hedland Maths and Science Centre of Excellence visited Perth late last year and met up with Western Australia’s Chief Scientist Professor Lyn Beazley (2007-2013).
Project Co-ordinator Emily Leech said the Perth science camp provided an opportunity to extend student understanding and knowledge of science through activities provided by key Perth scientific facilities, such as Perth Zoo, SciTech, AQWA, Perth Observatory, Curtin University and Kings Park.
Students were immersed in hands-on engaging experiences at each venue and inspired by the personnel who presented the activities.
Mrs Leech said an afternoon at SciTech culminated in Professor Beazley joining the students for a CSIRO laboratory activity for an hour of hands-on activities.
“Lyn assisted students as they were encouraged to investigate how rocks and minerals are used in everyday science applications,” she said. “She shared her experiences with students and spoke to them about Nobel Prize winner Barry Marshall and then complimented them for their engagement and thoughtful questions.”
“It is so important that our students have opportunities to experience science outside of their normal schooling. It has really opened their eyes and they can now see science in everything they do.
“They are also fortunate to have made some real connections with people in the industry and great role models, like Lyn,” Mrs Leech said.
The Hedland Maths and Science Centre of Excellence offers an after-school program for aspirant Aboriginal students in Years 4 – 7 who demonstrate aptitude and interest in mathematics and science.
The partnership program is supported by BHP Billiton Iron Ore, managed by the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation and operates out of a dedicated centre at South Hedland Primary School. Aspirant Aboriginal students from all five Hedland primary schools attend the program.