New Voyager Activities on offer

UNE’s Discovery Voyager program delivers hands-on, interactive, curriculum-aligned science-based activities to schools across the northern NSW region. The UNE Discovery Voyager team of scientists, science communicators and educations, pack up the Voyager truck and hit the road to bring the kids of NSW an exciting immersion in all things ‘science’. In 2019, we’ll be adding four new activities to our repertoire. While the team are busy testing out their theories and putting the final touches on these activities, we can give you a sneak peak into what will be on offer.

Introduction to Coding with Beebots
In this technological age, robots are being recruited more and more for jobs considered dangerous for humans. These might include deep sea exploration, moving through war zones and using heavy machinery in factories, amongst others. Students will learn the basics of coding by programming Beebots to explore a range of environments too harsh for humans to tread – from the ocean floor to a Mars landscape. They will use computational thinking concepts to design simple algorithms for their bots to navigate their way through several self-directed challenges.

SMART Farming: From the Ground Up
As environmental change and population growth threaten our food security and ecosystems, it is more important now than ever to think SMART about our farming practices! This workshop encourages students to think of farming from the ground up – from the important physical and chemical qualities of different soils, to the microbes and insects that help cycle nutrients, on to the diversity and cover of plants above ground. Students will learn monitoring techniques to assess different qualities in a farming ecosystem, and think about what makes a landscape both healthy and productive.

Poop, Plants and Pollinators
Our planet’s ecosystem is a continuous cycle of productivity, consumption and degradation – with different plants and animals contributing to different roles in the environment. This activity will explore the important role that animals play in helping plants reproduce, breaking down plant and animal refuse (the poop), and providing important resources and services in our everyday lives. Students will explore the important critters in their own school yards, and think about why they are there, before playing a game exploring how insects recycle nutrients and contribute to soil health.

For centuries, humans have used the sun and stars to navigate, tell the time, measure distance, and find their place in the universe. This activity encourages students to think big!  How can we measure distances across the universe? How can we work out how big planets really are? Students will drive robots around the solar system, thinking about trajectories, orbits, and obstacles, and the vast distances travelled by space shuttles, satellites and space probes.

Check out our ‘book a visit‘ page if you’re interested in the Discovery Voyager team coming to your school.