Sustainability experiments

September 21, 2017

Rachel Cooper, Brianna Nimla-Or, Olivia Judd, Angelina Mason and Georgia Comline with their wind powered machine.

Year 7 students Rowan Farren, James Bucktin and Dylan Stevens tackle perpetual motion in the Science Technology Engineer Art and Mathematics Fair project.

Science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics were front and centre at McGuire College when Year 7 students showcased projects based on harnessing energy.

Teacher Lynda Howard said the STEAM Fair on Wednesday was about students using solar, wind, and water in their sustainability experiments.

Projects were then judged by Deakin University’s STEAM project officer Barry Plant and Goulburn-Murray Water’s Stuart Nield.

Wilmot Rd Primary School Year 6 students had the chance to vote on projects, while parents were invited to check them out after school hours.

Mr Nield was looking for construction quality, whether students understood the concept of what they were doing, and putting it into practice.

‘‘The classrooms were assigned to a task and had to build and explain their project; one classroom tackled perpetual motion, another created solar ovens, another harnessed wind power to lift a weight and one used water to turn plastic turbines and water wheels,’’ Ms Howard said.

Year 7 student Rowan Farren, who tackled the challenge of perpetual motion, said his group used a bicycle wheel and attached water bottles to keep the wheel spinning.

‘‘The theory is the water in the bottles will overbalance when it reaches a certain point and it will continue turning,’’ he said.

Ms Howard said it was great to have Year 6 students from Wilmot Rd see the fair as next year some would be taking part in a new STEAM class separate to existing subjects which is part of a curriculum change.

Mr Plant was working closely with secondary teachers about improving student engagement through STEAM.

‘‘This kind of hands-on learning, linked to real life is good because students are engaged in problem solving and using their creativity,’’ he said.

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