Science camp a huge hit

Synarah MurphyThe West Australian
Jesse Tavo and Joziah Taylor
Camera IconJesse Tavo and Joziah Taylor

Twelve Port Hedland students from the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation program flew to Perth recently for a four-day science camp.

Students from Baler, Cassia and South Hedland primary schools were selected based on their excellent attendance, positive attitude in school, and exceptional behaviour to take part in engaging activities focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Students participated in a range of fascinating science activities including a team-building challenge at Perth Zoo, a plastering workshop at the University of Western Australia’s School of Indigenous Studies, a close encounter with marine animals at the Aquarium of Western Australia and experiments at the CSIRO lab at Scitech.

Students also got a taste of the world of employment when they visited BHP’s Perth office, where they learnt about the mining industry and BHP employee Simon Corrigan showed them the spectacular view from the top floor.

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“It was great to spend some time with such awe-some kids who are excited about science.” Mr Corrigan said. The Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation was BHP’s first national community partnership and BHP proudly supports a number of primary and secondary programs around Australia, including in Port Hedland.

During a visit to the Naturescape in Kings Park, students observed macro-organism life in the water and learnt about the role people can play in a sustainable future.

Kings Park education officer Kiely O'Flaherty was impressed by the students’ enthusiasm and genuine interest in learning about nature. Students said the visit to the UWA medical centre was one of their favourite memories of the trip and Nancy Bodey, 12, said it had given her a unique understanding into the world of medical research.

Program manager of the Port Hedland Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics Centre Emily Ulrich said students observed scientists working to cure diseases like heart disease, cancer and diabetes, and donned lab coats to use high-tech science equipment to try and solve perplexing medical problems.

“The science camp gave students the opportunity to explore a huge range of science-based careers available to them and also challenged them to work together,” she said.

“Students had lots of fun and learned a lot, with some even conquering their fears. “Thanks to the long-term support of the program partner BHP, we can offer these engaging learning excursions, which not only teach students about science but also open their eyes to the wealthof career possibilities in STEM.”

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