Tag Archives: YouthSchool

School science conference impresses

15 June 2017:

Dr Nima Sayyadi, CNBP researcher, has undertaken guest judging duties at the 2017 Sydney Girls High School Science Conference.

Each year students at Sydney Girls High School complete a research project as part of the NSW Science Curriculum. This project provides Year 9 students with an opportunity to design and perform an investigation into an area of their choice. The annual Science Conference then gives the students a forum where they can present their research to an expert panel.

The panel not only provides students with feedback relating to their investigation, but also determines the projects worthy of further recognition. The determination considers both experimental design and the ability of the student to communicate their ideas.

According to Nima, the standard of work on display was of an incredibly high standard.

“The way that the young students designed their research projects – the hypotheses and preparation and understanding of data limitations was generally quite remarkable.”

Projects being showcased included DNA extraction from fruits with limited facilities through to the analysis of the plastic waste found in water on different beaches in Sydney.

“It was a great experience for me to meet the students, teachers, and other judges from different universities at this event,” concluded Nima.

“Hopefully the passion that these students show for science continues through High School and into tertiary education and beyond.”

Conference outreach inspires

_mon255419 October 2016:

As a part of the SPIE Biophotonics Australasia conference, the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics organised a half day outreach session for approximately 100 South Australian students on the 19 October, 2016.

The session, focused on inspiring the next generation of scientists, saw Yr 10 and 11 students  from Concordia College, Seaview High School and Seymour College all attend the conference and enjoy talks, poster sessions, light inspired science demonstrations and discussion time with leading researchers.

Feedback from the teachers and students, and CNBP researchers involved was hugely positive with a sample of comments from students included below –

Melisa – Seaview High School Student

“I really enjoyed the exhibition and presentation due to how professional the researchers/scientists were about their job and what they do. They explained the importance of science and the significance new modern research have on the world and society, in addition to how diverse science is and the vast range of job opportunities available in various fields of the industry. I enjoyed the practicals which were demonstrated as the visuals and results of the experiments were something I had never seen before. Furthermore, the practicals conducted made me realise how amazing and powerful science can be and how everything should be done outside the box with no limits. I’ve always enjoyed science though I was never sure if I would contribute to the industry in the future, however this excursion opened me up to new opportunities and I can potentially see myself having a career in science.

Minh – Seaview High School Student

“The excursion was really eye opening to see how advanced we are and our capabilities of how we can benefit in the medical field with new technology. The event was really fascinating and displayed a lot of visuals to help with the explanation. I learnt about how we can manipulate light properties to change and create new methods and technology to help in the medical field. This BioPhotonics excursion impacted my view on future careers and courses in the science field and how new job fields can be created.”

Stephanie – Seaview High School Student

“It was a great opportunity to delve into the various aspects of science, especially biology and physics, that allowed me to think deeper about the different careers science can provide. The many different ways that light can be used in researching was interesting and the various experiments conducted were definitely a new experience. It was an inspiring event that changed my view on science, which changed my perspective of science and the courses I could take in the future related to Biophotonics.”

Below – CNBP researcher Denitza Denkova explains photonics to students.

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Outreach session at St. Ignatius College

Michelle-Zhang_1_sq23 August 2016

CNBP researchers from the University of Adelaide, Michelle Zhang and Sabrina Heng, have undertaken a school outreach session at St. Ignatius College, Adelaide, August 23, 2016.

The scientists spoke to two groups of children in an early-learning program about the science of light and the use of light in medicine. Several hands-on activities were also then run for the children to demonstrate that science can be fun as well as educational.

This included:

  • the use of UV-sensitive beads for making into a bracelet that was then worn for several outdoor activities
  • sunscreen applied to the beads to teach how sunscreen protects against sun-burn
  • the use of spectroscopes that can diffract room-light into a series of colourful bands at differing wavelengths (the students were asked to draw what they saw)
  • a simple kit that converted youtube videos to holograms
  • and CNBP colouring-in sheets that demonstrate life at the nanoscale

Positive feedback from the teachers at St. Ignatius College and also the parents of the children that attended the session was received over the course of a very fulfilling day!

Adelaide Compass outreach collaboration

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA16 August 2016:

CNBP researchers and Adelaide Compass at the University of Adelaide teamed up today to host an extremely successful outreach session as a part of National Science Week, 2016.

The ‘Hit The Lights’ outreach program saw Year 5 students from Burton Primary School visit the CNBP HQ and participate in interactive workshops, demonstrations and discussions, all related to light, optics and CNBP science.

A thoroughly enjoyable experience was had by both CNBP researchers and students with lots learned by all on the day!

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Encouraging female students to study STEM subjects

sanam Mustafa11 August 2016:

After a successful keynote presentation at the 2015 annual ‘Beach Energy Women in STEM Breakfast’ at Thebarton Senior College, CNBP’s Dr Mustafa was once again invited back to the college to engage with young female students at the 2016 event.

Returning from maternity leave, Dr Sanam Mustafa was in an ideal position to highlight the evolution of male dominated fields towards a more balanced work environment where support was available for women returning from breaks in their career.

Dr Mustafa shared her positive experience at CNBP which she attributed to the nurturing leadership strategy of Professor Mark Hutchinson (a father of two young girls), and the culture of the organisation. She explained that it was important to maintain a channel of communication even during periods of absence so that it was easier to reconnect when coming back to the workplace.  Through this open communication, Dr Mustafa was able to negotiate a return to work plan that catered for her new responsibilities as a mother.

The event organisers themselves demonstrated their commitment to engaging women with caring responsibilities by welcoming Dr Mustafa’s 9 month old daughter Zaina to the breakfast event as well.

Feedback from participants was that this STEM focused networking and information session for high-school aged female students was a huge success.

Kids learn photonics at STEMSEL session

STEMSEL1editweb19 April 2016:

CNBP was happy to host the next generation of young scientists at today’s ‘STEMSEL Photonics’ session at the University of Adelaide node.

STEMSEL clubs, standing for ‘Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Social Enterprise Learning’ are an arm of the STEMSEL Foundation which is a not for profit organisation that aims to teach every child how to use electronics.

Over twenty Year 3 to Year 9 students were in attendance at this session, with CNBP researchers Roman Kostecki (a physics focus) and Sabrina Heng (a chemistry focus) helping lead the discussion and activities.

Concepts such as photons, light interaction with matter, Fermat’s principle, emission, absorption, lasers, fibre optics and organic chemistry, were all described and demonstrated.

Both researchers enjoyed the afternoon, showing the kids that science, technology and photonics can be awesomely interesting, as well as really good fun!

 

Supporting ‘Scientists and mathematicians in schools’ program

Visit to Lockleys_web10 March 2016:

Dr Sabrina Heng, CNBP researcher has undertaken a further school visit to Lockleys Primary School in Adelaide as a part of her involvement in the Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools (SMiS) outreach program.

SMiS is a national volunteer program bringing real science, mathematics and ICT into the classroom through ongoing flexible partnerships between teachers and scientists, mathematicians and ICT professionals.

Sabrina has been involved with SMiS since 2010 and working with Lockelys Primary School since mid 2014. In her most recent visit to the school, the Year 5/6 science students learned about the concepts of solubility and saturation through a series of simple experiments that Sabrina had designed. Working in groups, the students were taught to ‘think like a scientist’ i.e. ask the question (e.g. how many scoops of NaCl does it take to saturate X amount of water?), perform the experiment and to then come up with a conclusion.

Said Sabrina, “My trips to Lockleys are always rewarding and I look forward to my next visit where we will be performing experiments around the topic of ‘Light’.”

Scientists in Schools visit

sabrina23 March 2016:

Dr Sabrina Heng, CNBP researcher has undertaken a school visit to Lockleys Primary School in Adelaide as a part of the ‘Scientists in Schools’ outreach program.

Sabrina has been part of the Scientists in Schools program since 2011 and from last year has been attached to Lockleys, and more specifically to a year 5/6 class of approximately 15-16 students.

As part of the program, Sabrina is given a copy of the school curriculum for the year  and works in coordination with the class teacher to design simple experiments for the students to work on.

Says Sabrina, “Last week was the first meeting of the school year so I talked about my work at CNBP and life as a scientist. I also sat down with the the teacher to plan out upcoming experiments. The students will be learning about solubility and saturation in the coming weeks so I plan to design an experiment around that, that they can work on.”

Concluded Sabrina, “I try to help students relate to what they learn in text books to real-world experimentation. It seems like the kids always look forward to my visit and I have a really good relationship with the school!”

Visit to McMeen Elementary School in Denver

lindsay_parker-low-rez-web112 February 2016:

Fitting in a half day of outreach at McMeen Elementary School in Denver, Colorado, was a highlight for CNBP Research Fellow Lindsay Parker.

Spending time with a class of Year 5 students and their teacher, Lindsay led discussion about what scientists do, how research is conducted and answered a large number of science related queries.

Students were provided with the CNBP educational activity resource sheet and also given an overview of light based research currently being undertaken at the nanoscale.

“Spending time with kids and encouraging their interest in science and technology is a real buzz,” says Lindsay. “These kids were extremely inquisitive which is great.”

MQ Uni hosts Coolangatta school students

192_denitza_denkova_WP12 February 2016:

CNBP Research Fellow Denitza Denkova has helped host a school visit to Macquarie University’s Physics and Astronomy Department.

The Year 12 science students, from Kingscliff High School, South Coolangatta, were shown a number of experiments and videos relevant to their Higher School Certificate study.

Explained were principles encompassing particle and wavelength duality, as well as the significance of the recent announcement related to the discovery of gravitational waves – a major event in the world of physics.