Both students and teachers spent the day participating in a variety of STEM challenges and science experiments, which showed students how science can be hands-on, interactive and fun to learn.
During the morning session, students worked in groups and rotated though three different STEM challenges, thinking outside the box and using their teamwork skills and initiative to successfully complete each one.
The infant students were challenged to redesign the Eiffel Tower out of foil, to build the biggest pyramid of cups possible without using their hands and to build a structure higher than their waist that could hold a basketball.
Primary students had to make a waterslide that an object could slide down, build a bridge out of dried spaghetti that would hold a variety of canned items and build a zipline that spanned over 3 metres that could carry as many counting teddies as possible - the winner managed to transported 53 safely!
It was amazing to see the number of students using their abstract thinking skills to come up with amazing ideas and solutions.
During the middle session, Year 6 students ran a series of experiments for other year groups to watch, asks questions and in some cases participate. All the students ran their stations with ease and asked questions that suited each year level. Some of the experiments included a candy volcano, a bubble bomb, self-inflating balloons and lava lamps.
As part of the lead up to the Science Fair, St John Vianney also held a school Paper Plane Competition. Students competed in two categories; distance, where they had to make their plane fly the furthest distance possible and airtime, where they had to keep their plane off the ground for as long as possible. Those who were successful qualified for the NSW Paper Plane Competition in Sydney.
Year 6 student, Byron Yell was lucky enough to qualify and travelled to the University of Sydney to compete. Byron has a passion for making paper planes and he spent hours practicing and refining his skills. Byron competed in both categories and came 2nd in Airtime and 4th in Distance . Byron has now started a Paper Plane lunch club that runs once a week where he teaches other students how to make and fly paper planes.
Science is a vital part of every student’s journey in their learning. Being able to ask why, what, when, where and how in all that we do relates back to science. Understanding science through hands-on learning makes the students see that learning can be fun and how it can be applied to other key learning areas. Enabling and supporting students to nurture and grow their understanding in this ever-changing world that we live in is vital. Hopefully we have inspired some future scientists and world game changers here at St John Vianney.