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Young minds inspired by science

6 Oct 2016

Mind-blowing” is how Year 7 student Rose Elmer of Maryborough describes conducting her first experiment in a science lab at the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Fraser Coast campus.

The St Mary’s College student was attending a recent one-day STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) workshop by USC Fraser Coast for the region’s high school students, teachers, parents and school lab technicians.

“I was just blown away by the labs and I really appreciated getting the opportunity to have this hands-on experience with science,” said Rose, who took part in the free workshop with her twin sister Beth, and mother Anne, who is a science and maths teacher.

USC Associate Lecturer in Science Dr Sarah Windsor said the event was designed to allow participants to engage in interesting activities based on science, technology, engineering and maths.

“The group took part in experiments ranging from investigating how much vitamin C is in apple juice, to what structures of molecules lead to increased boiling points,” Dr Windsor said.

Year 11 St James Lutheran College student Daniel Haskins said the opportunity to gain practical scientific skills in the USC laboratory had helped to reinforce his interest in science and engineering.

“It was a real eye-opener, and I found the experience very useful, practical and much more hands-on compared to the experiments we can do in the labs at school,” said Daniel, who plans to study mechanical engineering when he completes senior.

The University of the Sunshine Coast will offer a Science degree through the Fraser Coast campus from the start of next year.

Enrolments are now open through QTAC for USC’s Bachelor of Science, which is designed to give students the flexibility to focus on the areas of science that interest them the most.

Dr Windsor said students could complete the first year of the degree at Fraser Coast before studying the remaining subjects at USC’s main campus at Sippy Downs.

More than 15 degrees and study programs in total will be offered at USC Fraser Coast in 2017. For information go to

— Clare McKay

Year 7 students Rose and Beth Elmer of Maryborough in the science labs at USC Fraser Coast

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Clare McKay Media Relations Officer (Regional) +61 7 5456 5669

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