Term 3 is a busy one around the school, so National Science Week competes with a range of activities. This year, to make sure we had activities that matched student interests, we invited students from Year 9 and 10 to form a Science Festival organising committee. We came up with a plan for a single day of activities starting with an Innovative Thinking Challenge about the residents of a faraway planet called Zeitgeist where an average family has twenty children and Zeitgeistians have ten hands. MECO were winners for their innovative rules for family teams of Matball and for a harmony musical festival which was played on intricately woven strings held between the many hands.

Our recess activity was an innovative STEM Careers Walk prepared by the festival committee. It had over 120 visitors - although, some might just have come for the science-themed cookies.

Lunch activities were designed to immerse students in the theme for Science Week 2023 – Innovation Powering the Future. In the innovation lab, there were robots and VR examples to view and four thinking activities, plus a Psychology Quiz and showing of First Weapons.

Students voted vaccines as the most important innovation in history – followed by the phone, the wheel and the lightbulb. Students were asked about what should be protected most while innovation happens and the most common answers were people, the planet and nature or biodiversity.

They were asked to weigh in to the debate about the use of AI in assignment tasks with 39% of students feeling that they shouldn’t be allowed to use AI to write assignments. One student said, ’School is for learning not for short cuts’. Some students weren’t sure but the majority did feel AI should be used for assignment work saying it could be helpful to prepare outlines, get ideas, extend ideas and get work done. One student said, ‘It gives good explanations’ and another said, ‘It is fine to use for bits and pieces.’ Special thanks to our 2023 organising committee including Bianca, Heidi and Hannah.

Dr Susan Long
Science Learning Leader