How does the world work? Why is it so? A hundred variations of these questions are heard around St Michael’s every day. In pursuing these questions – How? Why? – every child is a scientist. Seeking to understand through observation or experimentation is what drives their scientific learning.
At St Michael’s, the purpose of science is not only to understand but to use that understanding as a platform for innovation. It is appropriate that this year’s National Science Week theme is Innovation: Powering Future Industries. In a recent Assembly presentation, Year 6 STEM Leaders Stephanie and Leo explained, “The word innovation means the creative process of turning an idea into a result that creates worth or value for people”. It is this creative philosophy that motivates our students to inquire and innovate with purpose.
We celebrated Science Week this year with an array of lunch time Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workshops for students to immerse themselves in. Adopting the national theme, these workshops focused on innovation in space. The space industry is growing in Australia and the Federal Government aims to triple the size of the industry, creating 20,000 new jobs by 2030. Students tested their knowledge of physics as they built Mars Rovers, designed balloon rockets, competed in a paper plane aeronautics competition and explored Deadly Science, inspired by First Nations scientists. At the conclusion of the week, Years 5 and 6 students entered a team in the inaugural design sprint and presented their innovations to a panel of judges.
Officially opened this year, the Centre for Inquiry and Innovation hosted these workshops and was the perfect location to allow students to discover, dream and design. Who knows, perhaps these young scientists will find themselves working on future innovations in satellite observation, robotics or on the upcoming Moon to Mars project.