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World Science Festival

Dr Sylvia Earle

The World Science Festival is on in Brisbane this weekend. It is an annual five-day celebration, and exploration of science. There are many free events on this weekend so it is a great opportunity to take out your sons, and immerse them in Science. The program can be found here. A number of middle school boys were fortunate to participate in a few of the events happening as part of the festival this week.

Pioneers in Science

As part of the Pioneers in Science program, Year 8 and 9 boys watched presentations and were able to ask questions of Sylvia Earle and Andy Thomas. The boys were required to apply to participate and were selected based on their interest, research and the quality of their question. Sylvia Earle was a pioneer of deep diving and spent over 7000 hours under the water. She has led more than one hundred expeditions, including the first team of women aquanauts in 1970. Dr Earle was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She continues to make significant contributions to our understanding of marine ecosystems and conservation needs. Dr Earle was named as Time Magazine’s first Hero of the Planet in 1998 and has been a National Geographic Explorer in Residence.

Distinguished Company

Andy Thomas is Australia’s first and one of only two Australian astronauts. He is an aerospace engineer and has made four trips into space on two Shuttles, the Endeavour and the Discovery. Dr Thomas was employed in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, investigating such areas as aerodynamics and microgravity materials processing. He was chosen for astronaut training in 1992 and provided technical support to the Space Shuttle Main Engine Project, the Solid Rocket Motor Project and the External Tank Project at the Marshall Space Flight Centre. This is an incredible opportunity for our boys to see highly credentialed scientists from varying fields speak.

Greening Brisbane

A team of ten Year 7 ‘Water Warriors’ competed in the Green Heart Schools Future BNE Challenge today. The boys worked hard under the tutelage of Mr Adrian Cullen in the lead-up to the event to ensure they were prepared to battle other Brisbane schools. The students channelled their best innovative ideas, critically evaluated water use and discovered how science, technology and art can work to build a better future. The students were led through an introductory session by the Lord Mayor and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki after which they were required to design a creative and inventive solution, to challenge the future of water management in South-East Queensland. The boys were engaged in numerous educational activities with many organisations to gain a deeper understanding of water use, management, availability and quality. They were also fortunate enough to see a performance by Street Science, who inspired the students with fun and exciting science demonstrations.

Junior Robotics

Fresh from their success at the National Lego League competition, the Middle School Ro-bros would like to introduce the world of competitive Robotics to the Junior School, to help ensure the success of future teams. In Term 2, the team will be running afternoon introductory Robotics sessions for Junior School students. The boys will run two afternoons for each year level starting in Week 2 next term. The specific afternoon will be decided in Term 2. If your son is in Years 4, 5 or 6 and interested in attending these sessions, please fill in the expression of interest form below by Friday, 18th March.
Expression of interest click here.

Year 7 Boys Have Worms

As part of the year 7 study of ecosystems and classification, the boys examined the significant role played by earthworms by managing our new worm farm. A few worms were sacrificed in the name of science to allow the boys to view them close up under our stereomicroscopes.

Design And Digital Tech – 3d Printers – Sean Smith

At Ambrose Treacy, we have introduced 3D printing into our curriculum because it is unique when compared to other technologies. 3D printing encourages experimentation and creativity it is ok for the student try then fail and then try again. The time scales from mistake, investigation of mistake, redesign, reprint and then retest can be done in as little as one lesson as opposed to processes that can take weeks to manufacture with little or no option to redesign. The other advantage is it introduces students to the world of CAD based design, computer programming, real time modelling and production of high quality products that are unachievable with conventional manufacturing techniques. With the world moving towards computer based everything, students will be exposed to emerging technologies that will prepare them for life after school. Industries that already use 3D manufacture include Dentistry, Medicine, Manufacturing, Aeronautical, Automotive, Construction to name a few, and is on the increase each year and is considered one of the largest growth areas for future employment.

Mr Mark Watson, Faculty Coordinator – STEM
watsonm@atc.qld.edu.au

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