23 June 2015
Thirty aspiring scientists, engineers and mathematicians will become the first high school students to experience the University of the Sunshine Coast’s impressive new 3D visualisation facilities tomorrow (Wednesday 24 June).
The clever Year 8 students from nine schools across the region will step into USC’s new Engineering Learning Hub for the final day of a special STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Connect program.
This program, hosted each Wednesday for the past month by USC’s School of Science and Engineering, is part of a statewide initiative to engage junior secondary students and inspire a long-term interest in science, technology, engineering and maths.
So far, the students have received presentations from leading USC academics in Environmental Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Molecular Engineering and Science.
They have also participated in hands-on activities ranging from investigating geophysics in extreme environments to analysing the chemical composition of apple juice.
Tomorrow Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering Selvan Pather will provide them with a sneak peek into the future of learning and research as he demonstrates the cutting-edge facilities in the Engineering Learning Hub that will be officially opened later this year.
USC Professor of Engineering Mark Porter said the program was providing the school students with engaging experiences that capitalise on the expertise, resources and infrastructure available at USC.
“Our aim is to raise awareness of the importance of STEM education and STEM-related careers, and hopefully encourage students to consider pursuing higher education in this field,” he said.
“The Engineering Learning Hub will provide cutting-edge technologies for teaching, research and engagement opportunities, and will ensure USC students are well prepared for a wide range of STEM-related careers.
“The final session provides a unique opportunity for local students, their parents and teachers to go behind the scenes ahead of the official opening.”
The students are from Burnside State High School, Chancellor State College, Kawana Waters State College, Maleny State High School, Meridan State College, Nambour State High School, Narangba Valley State High School, St John's College and Sunshine Coast Grammar School.
— Jarna Baudinette