Spotlight on Science

Spotlight on Science

It was science fiction that brought us the term ‘robot’, and science fiction that continues to captivate the imagination of our future innovators, developers and leaders. Both the enduring success of the Star Wars franchise and the viral popularity of PokemonGo has shown that we are enraptured by the integration of technologies into our everyday lives.

During National Science Week, the Science Lab was abuzz with laughter and shrieks of delight. This year’s annual celebration featured experiments from the whirring to the hair-raising.

Year 7, 8 and 9 students did an amazing job running activity stations during their lunchtimes. These included operating a mechanical robot arm, building robot crabs that scuttle to avoid obstacles, landing an infrared helicopter, steering UFO’s with hand movements, and duelling with lightsabers.

Bright Eyes Kindy joined with Primary School students for Science Day workshops in the Laboratory, learning about interesting inventions that have advanced human life and made explorations like the Mars Curiosity Rover possible. Year 4 enjoyed looking at rock, bone and fossil specimens that were a link to their science unit on soil. The highlight for many students was the Van de Graaff generator. When a person touches the globe, the electrostatic energy charges the hair follicles, causing them to repel each other and…stand on end!

As Yoda said, “A Jedi must have the deepest commitment. A most serious mind.” Throughout the week, students contemplated the light and dark side of technology. Pearl McLennan (Grade 3) wrote, "The dark side of technology is that you get lazy, you don't do homework, and you can feel lonely." Holly Smith (Grade 3) included, "waiting for a long time for stuff to load on the internet." These are certainly some traits of the 'dark side' of technology. However, when we are responsible in our use of technology and we make sure we prioritize human connection - great things happen. Some of these things, students suggested, include “better healthcare and surgeries”, “fun and entertainment” and “using robots to do the cleaning so I can spend more time with my family.” While many creative ideas remain in the realm of fiction and fantasy, the rate of technological development will launch our students into an unknown future.

In the month of August, the Senior Biology and Physics classes were treated to a hands-on demonstration of augmented and virtual reality by Bond University lecturer, Dr Christian Moro. After an engaging presentation on the cutting edge advances in stem cell technologies and recent breakthroughs in artificial organ transplants, they used tablets to manipulate cranial bones in augmented reality. Students donned Samsung Galaxy Gear VR headsets, and ‘Ooohed’ and ‘Aahhed’ as they navigated through the inside of a spinal column and skull in virtual reality. It was fantastic to see student wonderment and awe at a technology that may yet become a staple tool in their future careers.

We look forward to next year’s national science focus on Future Earth, which highlights the importance of encouraging sustainability, health and resilience, in the words of Buzz Lightyear, ”to infinity…and beyond.”

Written by Mrs Kayla Young (our science extraordinaire!)