The first career focused excursions for the year was to UTS. On 2 March, 28 yr 10, 11 and 12 students ventured into University of Technology – Broadway to take part in their Science Outreach program which is designed to introduce future students to the Maths and Science facilities and courses available at UTS.
The day started with an extra activity – taking part in street art with the NSW Children’s Book Council where students were asked to illustrate the concept of ‘treasure’ – once students warmed to the idea of drawing, they had to be dragged away.
Our UTS visit started by visiting the mega lab which is fully computerised and fits 200 students doing a range of experiments in different subjects. From there we visited the forensic crime scene which is used to train students in forensic sciences. Next stop was a lecture theatre to learn about microbiology, and take part in a normal lecture style lesson.
Students completed 2 workshops–Creativity in Maths , and Renewable Energy.
- Creativity in Maths: Students worked in small groups to solve a puzzle based on a modified chess board and dominoes. They had to place 17 dominoes into a 6 by 6 grid that had the corners missing (34 squares). Students thought, rethought, struggled, questioned, checked for patterns, asked for clarification, retried and persevered and then persevered some more. Next they were given a problem where they had to work out the lowest number that a series of numbers could be added up to. Both of these areas of maths relate to careers in logistics and packing and delivery of items.
- Meanwhile, the other group was in the Physics lab where they were required to manipulate a series of items – aluminium, steel, mirrors, foil, lamps and fans, in order to produce electricity. Students tested, adjusted, altered, modified, changed again to identify how they could produce maximum amount of energy – voltage for a sustained period of time. The most successful groups were those who noticed important patterns and details within the different structures that they set up.
Through both of these workshops, students used their 21st century skills – critical and creative thinking, problems solving, noticing, persevering, communication, asking good questions, being flexible and adaptable.
To finish off the day we went into a lecture theatre to learn about the different subjects and pathways to careers at UTS and take away a handbook or guide to careers and courses at UTS.
Overall, the day was very worthwhile for students as they explored possible career fields and built up their interests in the Maths and Science disciplines.