Borrowing from the 2022 Science Week theme, ‘Glass: more than meets the eye’, STEM Day encompassed every subject from Mathematics to Drama and Science to PDHPE, captivating students from Kindergarten to Year 10.
They rotated through an overabundance of activities, opening their eyes to the potential of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics-based careers.
Year 10 became teachers for the day, investing hours of research and planning to create engaging age-appropriate activities for students in Kindergarten to Year 6.
“We decided that the key was to over plan and over prepare, so we embraced the concept of ‘more is more’ to ensure success”, said Tara (Year 10). The activities they offered Year 6 included the creation of three-dimensional self-portrait holograms. “Our approach was to give them a lot of freedom in the way they tackled the project, to keep their interest levels up”, said Nina (Year 10). “We created a lesson plan and a learning booklet and made sure we understood the process really well so that it would all flow smoothly”.
Other Year 6 students created light sources using power packs, wires, and lamps, along with conductors made out of salty playdough. “My brother who is in Year 8, has talked a lot about conductors before, but I never really understood what they were, so it is really interesting to have a chance to learn about them today”, said Alex (Year 6).
For Kindergarten to Year 2, Year 10 taught lessons on the chemical properties of quinine and used tonic water to write secret messages that ‘magically’ appeared under UV light, before tracing lights and shadows on whiteboards to make lively artworks.
Across the secondary school, ‘Glass: more than meets the eye’ became the theme of almost every lesson.
External glass blowing experts visited to teach the ancient art.
In Maths, the students bent light through glass prisms, experimenting with the colours and patterns created by reflection, refraction, and dispersion, before capturing the results on camera and enhancing them with photo editing techniques.
In Geography, they studied the geographical sources of silica sand, which is used to make glass; and in Visual Arts, they looked at the use of glass in photographic techniques.
In Food Technology, the students crushed coloured boiled lollies and got the ovens firing to bake stained glass biscuits. In Music, they composed tunes with glass bottles and choreographed an accompanying dance.
English and Drama students investigated the historical phenomenon of the ‘glass delusion’, using the concept as a springboard for their own short plays; Technology and Applied Science students turned their creativity to making butterfly cards from glass fibres; and in History, they reproduced historically important stained-glass windows.
Year 7 Science students tested their understanding of forces by attempting to score a hole-in-one on a series of putt-putt golf courses they hand-made earlier in the year. Later they pitted their biology knowledge against a series of tricky riddles and codes.
For Years 7-9, the fun concluded with a crazy science-comedy show from Fizzics Education. Filled with learning about things that go pop, bubble, brew and bang, it underlined the breadth of exciting areas to be pursued in a future-ready STEM career.