Students across the region have been experimenting with household ingredients and exploring chemical reactions this week as part of Scitech’s ‘Primary Science Tour’ of the Great Southern.
The tour, developed through a partnership between Scitech and Rio Tinto, brings the not-for-profit organisation’s hands-on approach to students across the state in a bid to increase student interest and participation in science, engineering, technology and maths.
The Tour visited Esperance Christian School on Friday morning, February 22, with children participating in science experiments and workshops.
Scitech chief executive officer Ms Deb Hancock said the tour represented the organisation’s commitment to allowing all students the opportunity to be part of a STEM-literate workforce.
“The world continues to change at an increasing rate, and the skills needed for our future workforce are also changing,” she said.
“The ‘Primary Science Tour’ is part of Scitech’s ongoing commitment to regional WA and the need to support all Western Australians to be part of a STEM-literate workforce that is required to continue to strengthen our State’s economic and social future.
“Through our regional touring programs such as the ‘Primary Science Tour,’ we are facilitating long-term engagement and STEM capability development for a future workforce that will be equipped with the skills required for future jobs.”
As a former science teacher, Esperance Christian School principal Julie Hall said the hands-on learning experience brought by the program was invaluable and stressed the importance of exposing children to science as an enjoyable activity.
“It’s a hands-on learning experience with science - which is really important,” she said.
“The greater exposure we can give kids to science as an enjoyable activity, and spark their interest and desire to learn and participate, the better.
“Having been a science teacher previously, I am all for promoting their hands-on approach and the excitement and wonder of it all.
“It’s great to see the response from the kids.
“It’s exciting because it’s so different and it opens their horizons and that’s what we want.”
Scitech Primary STEM coordinator Jessica Scholle agreed and said hosting the workshops with the children had been very rewarding, particularly at the smaller schools.
“We really try to foster curiosity and interest for science by hosting highly engaging shows that are quite visual,” she said.
“We try to make it really relevant to them to show them the importance and the relevance of science in their own world.
“We try to show the children that anyone can be a scientist - science is all about asking questions, making predictions and doing experiments.
“The students here don’t necessarily have the opportunity to come to Scitech regularly.
“It’s really important for us to reach out to all Western Australians and increase their interest and participation in science, which is why we try to visit the schools regularly and ensure no one misses out.
“It’s been very rewarding, particularly at the smaller schools, the students and teachers are very engaged and grateful.”
Mrs Hall extended thanks to Scitech for bringing the Primary Science Tour to the school.