Questacon workshop promotes STEM at Bulahdelah Central School

 

Smart Skills Workshop: Presenters Josh Ezackial and Jason Lee with secondary students Khloe Middleton, Annie Sullivan, Ross Bishell, Carol Poniris and Brandan Price.
Smart Skills Workshop: Presenters Josh Ezackial and Jason Lee with secondary students Khloe Middleton, Annie Sullivan, Ross Bishell, Carol Poniris and Brandan Price.

STUDENTS at Bulahdelah Central School were blown away by Questacon’s traveling Smart Skills workshop held at the school last week.

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Using several wind tunnels, the students worked through a series of hands-on challenges involving a process of planning, designing and refining.

Smart Skills Presenter Josh Ezackial, said the workshop was all about engineering and technology.

“The aim is to try and engage the kids and boost their interest in STEM, (science, technology, engineering and maths) in a hands-on way which is fun to them,” he said.

“It’s about getting them thinking creatively and thinking about problem-solving.”

The challenges involved creating an object that would float in a wind tunnel, using a limited range of materials.

The budding engineers experimented with principles relating to air resistance, surface area and weight distribution, which were put to the test when trialling their models.

Year 8 student Annie Sullivan said it was a fun, practical way to learn about science and engineering.

“I was amazed at how different objects can hold up in a wind tunnel simply by changing the surface area,” she said.

“The challenges needed a bit of creativity and showed the detail and processes involved with aerodynamics.”

Josh told News Of The Area, an important part of the innovation process is learning from mistakes.

“It’s definitely all about trial and error and problem solving,” he said.

“A big part of it is that it is okay to make mistakes as this is how we learn.”

The Wind Tunnel Challenge supported the STEM courses currently studied at the school.

The Smart Skills program is run through the National Science Centre with backing from Samsung and the Ian Potter Foundation.

 

By Daniel SAHYOUN

 

Wind Tunnel Challenge: Secondary students Khloe Middleton, Carol Poniris and Annie Sullivan test their prototype under the direction of Josh Ezackial and Jason Lee .
Wind Tunnel Challenge: Secondary students Khloe Middleton, Carol Poniris and Annie Sullivan test their prototype under the direction of Josh Ezackial and Jason Lee .

 

Wind Tunnel Challenge: Year 6 student Maddi Tassell tests her model with Josh Ezackia
Wind Tunnel Challenge: Year 6 student Maddi Tassell tests her model with Josh Ezackia

 

Wind Tunnel Challenge: Year 6 student Grace Kiehne tests her model with presenter Josh Ezackia
Wind Tunnel Challenge: Year 6 student Grace Kiehne tests her model with presenter Josh Ezackia

 

Success: Toby Barry and Samual Bidwell test their models in the wind tunnel with Josh Ezackia.
Success: Toby Barry and Samual Bidwell test their models in the wind tunnel with Josh Ezackia.

 

: Smart Skills Workshop: Presenters Jason Lee and Josh Ezackial with students Annie Sullivan, Khloe Middleton and Carol Poniris.
: Smart Skills Workshop: Presenters Jason Lee and Josh Ezackial with students Annie Sullivan, Khloe Middleton and Carol Poniris.

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