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It was an almost perfectly clear Autumn evening and all the Big Dogs were out, namely Jupiter and Saturn with moons galore. As always, we were joined by Jacinta den Besten from the Astrophysics Department at the University of Melbourne and for the first time had our viewing night over in the Environmental Science Centre. Just as we were enjoying the close up view of the Moon, the clouds rolled in and that was that! We will try again on Tuesday 7 June, remembering that regardless of weather the night will go ahead and Jacinta will provide the entertainment.
The Amazing Spaghetti team needs your help. We need marbles, ball bearings, wind-up toys and toy train track or something similar, but mostly any old toys or construction sets like Lego and Mechano would be appreciated. If it sticks, winds, connects or rolls bring it in! Contact Adam through school (83871544) or the front office. Organised by the Melbourne School of Engineering at the University of Melbourne, the contest is an annual competition for schools students in which knowledge and skills in maths, science, engineering, and project management are put to the test in the creation of a “spaghetti machine” — an overly complex machine or device that is used to perform a relatively simple task. FCC has entered this contest every year and are past winners and consistent place getters in this ultimate STEAM activity. A keen group of students meet every Wednesday and Thursday lunchtime in the Science room and also after school on advertised days, most recently before this week’s Astronomy night. All are welcome. Keep an eye on Compass for upcoming sessions or come along this Wednesday or Thursday lunchtime. Further information can be found at http:// www.eng.unimelb.edu.au/spaghettimachine/ and you can see an online article about a recent team at http://bit.ly/MawMuH.
On Thursday 19th of May students from years 7 and 8 went to a special workshop at The Genetic Technology Access Centre. It was a really good experience. At GTAC we interacted with many new amazing technologies and experimented with them. All the girls went through activities covering many areas of science. Thoser many areas opened our eyes and piqued our imagination and we were instantly drawn in. First activity was testing the whey proteins in milk from two different cows, using a centrifuge and a filter column. In the second activity, we tested for genetic abnormalities in an unborn baby. In the third activity we used microscopes to look at blood, stem cells, algae and mosquitoes. We all had a lot of fun and enjoyed all the experiments and found great interest in how technology is used in science and how they help to discover new things everyday, We really enjoyed our excursion and thank GTAC for the amazing experience they have given to us.
Written by Thea Bosco, Chloe Hildebrand, Caitlin Dye and Russia WilliamsNewman
Year 7 students have studied the art of classifying living things while getting up close and personal with some amazing Australian animals recently when we brought the Australian Outback into our classroom. The program covered the Linnaean Classification, producers and consumers, trophic levels, and how fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals can be sorted and classified based on physical and genetic traits. Most importantly the students, and some not so brave teachers, got to hold the animals.
Robot cars, real-time vehicle tracking, automated parking: how are we going to solve the transport problems of the future? Footscray’s Future Technologies Club explored these technologies and more at Scienceworks on Thursday 26 May. Students viewed cutting edge technology of past and present in the Think Ahead Exhibition and participated in the Design Your Future workshop facilitated by Museum STEM Coordinator, Jonathan Shearer. Participants were challenged to design a “20 minute City”, that is, a city where all necessities (schools, shops, transport etc) are within 20 minutes travel. Our involvement at Scienceworks has seen the Future Technologies Club invited to the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress, to be held in Melbourne, October 2016. Here students will have the opportunity to meet experts in the field of Intelligent Transport Systems and present their own ideas.
Last week was the inaugural meeting of the Environment and Sustainability Club. Students met to review sustainable practice at the school and identify focus projects. Recycling, garden works and the development of a frog bog were recognised as top priorities. The Environment and Sustainability Club meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesday lunch of each month. All students are welcome to join the club and it is highly recommended for those with an interest in the natural environment or sustainability. The fortnightly meetings will be held in the Environmental Science Centre located adjacent to the school. Club members will play an active role in maintaining and developing the area surrounding this Centre. Students will research, design and develop the frog bog, work in the vegetable garden, propagate native plants, conduct water testing and build a bush tucker garden.
Michelle Sanders – Sustainability Coordinator