About eighty students from five schools, including a group who travelled more than 3000 kilometres from the Cocos Keeling Islands, visited ChemCentre recently to learn more about chemistry and the diverse careers in chemistry.
The Hon Chris Tallentire MLA, Parlimentary Secretary to the Minister for Science, Dave Kelly, spoke to the students about the importance of studying chemistry and other Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and the many future career opportunities related to these areas.
The years 8 – 10 secondary school students got to hear from working scientists, ChemCentre’s forensic scientists Hannah Green and Rohan Edmunds, about how they became chemists and their work with police relating to testing of illicit drugs and ‘clan labs’.
Thanks to the outreach teams from ChemCentre, Murdoch University, Edith Cowan University and Curtin University, students were able to get ‘hands on’, kept busy with a range of activities which brought them ‘up close and personal’ with chemistry.
Students made rockets using vinegar and baking soda and were introduced to the science behind lava lamps, got a first- hand look at ChemCentre’s Emergency Response (ER) van- a “high-tech lab-on-wheels”, spoke to the ChemCentre ER team, and had fun with polymorph polymers (a malleable plastic) as well as dry ice in a giant test tube.
Overall it was a great event- with many of the students saying they now saw chemistry in a new light, eyes opened to the many future chemistry-related career opportunities available to them.
ChemCentre hosts a number of events as part of its statutory responsibility to promote and assist in the provision of chemistry-based education and training. This includes visits by Year 11 and 12 students as well as university student groups to tour ChemCentre’s laboratories; ChemCentre scientists’ visits to secondary schools and community groups; and a flagship Community Open Day, held every second year.
It’s anticipated that ChemDay, which is aimed at Years 8-10 secondary students, will be held twice a year in the year alternate to that of Open Day.
If you would like more information about the outreach activities offered at ChemCentre please visit our Outreach page on the ChemCentre website or contact ChemCentre’s Outreach Officer on 9422 9828.
Image: Chris Tallentire MLA joins students for ChemDay activities.