Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Year 10 Science and Mathematics University Experience

Year 10 Science and Advanced Maths students from the SMAF schools were given the opportunity to experience Science and Maths at Flinders University today.

The purpose of the day was to show students how to build pathways to university in science and maths. We hoped by the end of the day the students could see themselves as potential STEM undergraduates at Flinders University.

The students were welcomed to the event by Professor Warren Lawrance the Executive Dean, Faculty of Science and Engineering at Flinders University.

Sylvia ToelkenScience Education Officer, Primary Industry Centre for Science Education gave a presentation titled "Introduction to Science and Maths Careers".

Sylvia Toelken

Students experienced three workshops from a number of different workshops that were offered.


Species Richness
Tracy Miller, Science Communication Officer, Biological Sciences presented a workshop where students collected their own field survey data  to determine the biodiversity of various sites on campus. Students collected data on the bird species using binoculars.
Flinders University
Tracy Miller

Maths for Computing Games
Brett Wilkinson, Lecturer, Information, Science & Technology presented this workshop. 
Students were shown how maths is used to move a game piece or avatar, detect when objects collide while playing a computer game. In the workshop Brett demonstrated the fundamental maths principles that define how your computer game performs simple operations. Using a functional game and general programming statements the students applied mathematical calculations to enable 2D movements and detect collisions amongst the game assets. Components addressed in the workshop were from a range standard trigonometry through to more complex matrix transformation mathematics.

Brett Wilkinson

Adelaide Coastal Waters Study
Neil Buchanan & Natalie Bolton, PhD students, Health Sciences presented a workshop on The impact of Terrestrial discharges on Coastal Water Quality and Human Health, based on an actual case study completed in 2007.The Australian Coastal Water Study is a major driver of the environmental improvement plan currently being developed to protect near shore ecosystems.Students worked in teams to determine the link between two graphs showing the change in Adelaide's population and growth of seagrass off Adelaide's metropolitan coastline.
Students were then presented with more graphical and aerial photo data to determine the cause of the loss of seagrass from Adelaide's shoreline. Students discussed how storm water might impact on coastal water quality and recreational activities e.g. swimming may impact on the environment.
Neil Buchanan

Brent Banham, Science Communication Officer, Physical Sciences presented a workshop on an introduction to nanotechnology. Brent discussed how nanotechnology is radically changing our understanding of the world and the materials we use. He discussed what is impossible today may be tomorrow's reality and showed some applications of nanotechnology where students observed very interesting demonstrations.  

Brent Banham
Butterfly wings showing how the diffraction of light
 produces a shiny blue effect.
A drop of ethanol changes the diffraction of light and a bright green colour is observed.
Metal bar

Metal bar with ferro liquid added showing a
liquid changes straight to a solid without cooling. 

Rhiannon Creasy, PhD student, Physical Sciences presented her research on
"What does a molecule feel like? Probing surface at the nanoscale"

Biomedical engineering
David Hobbs, Academic, Engineering presented research on biomedical engineering
"Engineering a better tomorrow".

Biomedical engineering involves the application of engineering principles, technology and medicine to improve health care and health services to enhance the quality of human life. It covers a range of fields including medical devices, medical imaging, physiological signal processing, biomechanics, biomaterials and rehabilitation engineering. Biomedical engineering results in products such as diagnostic devices, biocompatible prostheses, medical devices, and imaging equipment such as MRIs and EEGs. It also assists in the development of tools for the training of medical professionals. This presentation provided an overview of the broad field of biomedical engineering, with a focus on rehabilitation engineering and research and commercial products within this field.

Career Development Consultant
Mark Gregory presented Flinders University Course Navigator

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