The Science Experience 2023/24 – Wrap Up

The UNE Discovery team were thrilled to host “The Science Experience” here in Armidale in the January school holidays.  A jam-packed and fun-filled three-day science camp was attended by a wonderful group of secondary students who were excited to fill in a few days of their holiday taking in many a diverse range of hands-on STEAM activities and making new friends.

Students were fortunate to engage with some of UNE’s best scientific minds and we sincerely thank all our UNE academics and facilitators who did such an amazing job passing on their knowledge.  The students hiked here, there and everywhere on campus, taking part in activities in a diverse range of disciplines including neuroscience, chemistry, forensic science, physics, coding, meat science, agriculture and environmental science.

On the first day, the students went from launching rockets to learning all about their lunch and preparing their own sausages, and finished with some Coding and AI activities. On the second day, they continued with computer science, and then had the opportunity to be amazed by different Physics experiments, learning all about different water contaminants and how to save Nemo. The last activity for day two, was an amazing escape room based on a Chemistry lab, which included the art of fingerprint collection and chemical testing for Forensic Investigations. 

On the third and final day, students learned about parasites and were amazed by all the tricks our mind does with the Amazing Brain activity. They then had the opportunity to ask a lot of questions of our career panellists about science, including the different pathways they can take, and how to start their university experiences. We finished the event with a farewell BBQ, where the students, their families, our facilitators, staff and our Vice Chancellor tried the sausages the students made and by all reports, they were delicious and such a great experience to share with everyone. Those who stayed on campus were treated to a glimpse of college life, and Geoff’s real-deal Canadian maple syrup with pancakes for breakfast.

A planned evening trip to one of the nearby National Parks and gorge was stymied due to the weather so we introduced them to SportUNE and the speedy game of pickleball. We’re not sure if there were many rules followed but we worked off some excess energy and a fun time was had by all!

The students provided us with valuable feedback which we will incorporate into future events.  We loved comments such as this – the event has ‘encouraged me to continue with my scientific aspirations and opened my eyes to the almost endless possibilities’ and ‘The Science Experience has inspired me to pursue science in the future, specifically in physics or coding’.  Thank you again to everyone involved. 

We are excited to share with you that The Science Experience is moving to the July school holidays.  Watch this space and if you have students in Years 10 and 11 interested in science, they are welcome to attend.  Keep the 9-11 July free in the calendar!