ATSE Extreme Science Experience
The ATSE Extreme Science Experience (ESE) is a unique "students meet scientist" event designed to encourage students to consider tertiary education and careers in science and technology by providing an opportunity for Year 10 science students and teachers to engage with the top Australian science and technology role models through workshops, "speed-meets" arranged between scientists and students, and a Q&A session.
The winners of the ATSE Clunies Ross Awards are named the previous night. Students and teachers will be able to hear from, talk to and work with each year’s Award winners at the ESE.
In recent years the ATSE Clunies Ross Awards - Australia’s top awards for mastery of new technology and business expertise - have recognised the achievements of many special people, including Dr Fiona Wood, inventor of spray-on skin, Professor Ian Frazer, co-inventor of the cervical cancer vaccine, Professor Graeme Clark, inventor of the bionic ear and Nobel laureate Dr Barry Marshall, who discovered the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers.
The 2013 Extreme Science Experience will take place on Thursday, 16 May 2013 at the Melbourne Convention Centre and will be open to all Victorian schools. Registration will open early in 2013.
On 15 June nearly 280 students and teachers from across New South Wales turned out for the Extreme Science Experience at the Sydney Convention Centre to meet with 30 scientists, including the Clunies Ross Awards winners, and take part in four workshops.
A highlight of the day, which followed the Clunies Ross Awards Dinner on 14 June, was the "Speed Meet a Scientist" session - which received strong positive reaction from both students and teachers.
Hosted by the ABC’s Bernie Hobbs, the ESE also involved workshops with each of the ATSE Clunies Ross Award winners. It was the fifth time ESE had been organised and each event has had strong feedback from participants.
A typical quote from our feedback was "Our students were really excited to meet their Scientists...they commented that the Scientists were funny, smart and really passionate about what they were investigating!"
ESE organisers had 32 out of 36 responses from its anonymous teacher/student evaluations survey and the results were very positive, with a few good suggestions on how to improve the day.
The workshops challenged and engaged the students. In Professor Peter Blamey’s bionic ear workshop the participating students got a clear idea of how good their hearing is now, how good it should be, and what they can do to preserve it.
The MRI workshop with Professor Stuart Crozier was a hit with students trying to determine what fruit was in a sealed box on their workbench, and where it was in the box, using MRI imaging alone. Although few students knew what a pomegranate was, they knew what it looked like inside before they cut it open.
The mining workshop with Professor Gideon Chitombo had the students find and identify ore bodies around NSW using metal detectors and then separate and purify the six components of an ore sample.
Professor Marc Wilkins, from the School of Biotechnology and Bio molecular Sciences at UNSW, supported the event running the Gene Genie workshop. He won enthusiastic participation after his inspiring introduction and observers said he was highly likely to meet some of the students again at UNSW and - if he decided to give up his career as a scientist - he would be hotly sort after as a football coach.
ATSE is grateful to the 2012 ATSE Clunies Ross Committee, participating scientists, the facilitators, MC Bernie Hobbs and the volunteers who made the day such a success.
- "The students from Hay and I thoroughly enjoyed the Extreme Science Experience. They had a great day and I have only had positive feedback from them. Thank you once again for paying for the flights. Only two of the students had been in a plane before. I took them to UTS on the Thursday we arrived to check out their Science facilities and then down to the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. None of them had been to the Opera House or Harbour Bridge before. Fantastic feats of engineering! Thanks once again." - Anne McNally, Hay War Memorial High School.
- "The five students who attended extreme science were extremely(!) excited to be selected, and came away from the day with new interest in pursuing some form of science as a future career. They loved the 'meet a scientist' - heaps better than learning about them on the internet or in books!! The activities in which they participated were stimulating, and sparked their interest. They all agreed that they would have liked to do the other two as well!! Thank you once again for making this possible for our students. We are very appreciative. - Vicky Donoghue, Head Teacher Secondary Studies, The Rock Central School.
- A fabulous and inspiring day.
- An extremely inspiring day filled with loads of interesting food for thought! Excellent organisation! Please thank all the Scientists who gave up their time to participate in this event. Our Students and teachers felt thoroughly privileged to be part of this event. Perhaps the teachers could meet a Scientist??? Thank you!
- This was wonderful. My students were really excited to hear from the scientists and the opportunities available Wish this could be offered to more students.
- Our students were really excited to meet their scientists...they commented that the scientists were funny, smart and really passionate about what they were investigating! Our students were most impressed with the young fellow who had developed his app and were even brainstorming other ideas for apps on the bus ride home! Each student had wanted to participate in all four workshops but totally enjoyed the ones they did on the day! Thank you!
- Great experience. Gave me lots to think and read about. Great food and company. It was good to mix with other kids with similar interests. We are not as dumb as we thought. Thanks for letting us go - it was worthwhile.
- A lot more fun than they anticipated. Did not stop talking about the event all the way home, and Nowra is a long way.