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Inspiring young minds with STEM Week 2016

Next week VU will host up to 1000 Year 9-10 students and parents for a range of hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) activities.

The University’s College of Engineering and Science will transform Footscray Park Campus into a fun and exciting learning environment for STEM Week 2016. Students will take part in a range of experiments, demonstrations and challenges involving principles of science, engineering and technology to enhance their learning outcomes in STEM disciplines.

The activities, ranging from 3 May to 3 June, include:

  • Be a chemist for a day: Year 9 students will perform practical experiments that illustrate what real chemists do in their jobs. Activities include making metals emit coloured light, removing oil from bird feathers with a magnet and generating electricity from lemons, and more!
  • Science and engineering challenge: A set of competitive hands-on activities in which teams of students compete in eight different activities per day of the challenge. Students will be encouraged to explore scientific principles for themselves rather than being guided to a predetermined answer.
  • Family science night: VU’s very own Professor Science Troupe will showcase their explosive and educational line-up of big bangs, chemical reactions and fire tricks. The free show will be followed by hands-on science activities for parents and kids.

Troupe co-coordinator Nick Athanasiou says the event is designed to inspire and generate a love of science.

"The way we engage young people in science is through big bangs and raw science where it's all about hands-on discovery," he said. "It's much more appealing than traditional high-brow science events and the usual reaction after our first experiment says it all!''

Professor Science Troupe is made up of VU students studying for a degree in science, and the show provides them with invaluable teaching and presentation experience. It has been travelling to schools around Victoria and interstate for the past seven years, promoting science through a range of exciting demonstrations.

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