University of New England Discovery Voyager visits Nambucca Valley Christian Community School

Squeals of delight were not the only things to explode from classrooms last Friday as students were treated to some scintillating science.

Rockets were launched, soil squeezed, and chemicals erupted as a team of scientists from the University of New England Discovery Voyager touched down at the Nambucca Valley Christian Community School.

Students from years 3 to 7 engaged in four different science learning activities in an effort to encourage enrolment in the ‘S’ part of STEM subjects.

STEM, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects have reportedly lagged in grade 12 enrolments for the past 20 years, reaching an all-time national low this year.

Science teacher Jill Garnham hopes the activities acted as a spark to ignite an interest and love of science that will continue into secondary school and beyond. 

“It was wonderful to have academic staff from the university share their scientific knowledge and experience with students in such a fun and interactive way,” Ms Garnham said.

Students sprinted and jumped their way to an understanding of the use of sports and technology equipment in the ‘Dynamic Bodies’ session.

The ‘Soil Science’ session provided an opportunity for students to get their hands dirty while learning about the physical, biological and chemical properties of soil, and how soil nourishes the biological world.

The children’s reactions matched the chemical ones in the ‘Curious Chemistry session as students mixed chemical compounds with surprising and often hilarious results.

While sound became visible in the ‘Physics of Sound’ session which encouraged the young scientists to think about how the physics of waves affect their world every minute of every day.

The science day was part of the NVCCS broader program to promote science to both primary and secondary students.

The day introduced to primary students the basic premises of the scientific method in a way that stimulated their imaginations.

If the ear-grins and foreheads creased with concentration were anything to go by, the day could very well have launched the careers of some future Nobel prize winners.