Regional students around Victoria will make electricity from lemons and conduct other amazing experiments with state-of-the-art science equipment brought to their schools as part of Victoria University’s free Science Roadshow.
The annual Roadshow is designed to inspire the next generation of Australian scientists by bringing otherwise inaccessible science equipment to secondary schools in Ballarat, Benalla, Castlemaine, Hamilton, Seymour, Shepparton, Wodonga and Wangaratta from 23 October to 3 November.
Year 9 and 10 students can join the Be a Chemist for a Day program, while Year 11 students can put VCE theory into practice using high-tech analytical instruments in the VCE Chemistry Practicals program.
The equipment, obtained by VU in 2012 through a partnership with Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, will give students opportunities to:
- analyse stimulants in energy drinks, analgesics in medication, and carbohydrates in food
- convert Aspirin to Dencorub (Deep Heat)
- change vinegar into banana essence
- investigate a chemical clock
- use an award-winning VU magnetic wand that helps wildlife caught in oil spills.
The VU Science Roadshow reflects VU’s support for a national focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, which is critical to equipping young Australians with necessary skills and knowledge for jobs of the future.
Science Roadshow manager, Dr Domenico Caridi, said VU has offered the free programs in regional areas for several years, helping students to experience science in action without travelling to Melbourne.
“Chemical analysis is now an important topic in the VCE chemistry curriculum, but many students – especially in regional areas – do not have access to the right equipment to conduct experiments.
“The cost of these instruments means they are unaffordable to many schools, so many regional students miss the chance to merge theory with hands-on experience.”
Dr Domenico Caridi is available for interview on 0411 236 544.