Science Time

Hands-On

Science: The Thrill of Discovery

Aim

The aim of this hands-on learning experience is to accelerate the understanding, further arouse the curiosity, stimulate the imagination, and foster the creative-thinking and problem-solving abilities of students.
thrill

Opportunities

Students will experience some demonstrations aimed at encouraging them to make predictions, hypothesise, and develop explanations and fostering a keen interest in phenomena around them.
 
They will carry out a range of experiments which may include:
  • solving mysteries or problems using forensic science (e.g., chemical tests, chromatography, fingerprinting) and creative thinking,
  • making slime, a rocket, weather indicator, fire alarm, warm water fountain, rainbow, siphon, fire extinguisher, telescope, whirly seed, a screamer, electric circuit, electromagnet, concrete, Mobius band, Roman arch, and balancing toy.
  • being fascinated by the floating ball, moving water droplet, magic writing, mysteriously rising water, magic candle, memory wire, the cups and the balloon, their blind spot, persistence of vision, "talking" cup, and tornado tube.
  • studying the burning candle question, misbehaving superball, inertia, uncontrollable foot, floating and sinking, immiscible liquids, acid/base indicators, compressed air water fountain, capillary action, soft and hard water, the greenhouse effect, cooling effect of breezes, location of nerve endings, how shape affects strength, falling objects, sound waves, balance, taste and smell, heating effects of different colours, effects of air pressure, and the magic sand wand,
  • observing colours of spectra with a spectroscope, the behaviour of heat sensitive crystals, curving tape, and effects of UV light, and
  • bending a laser beam to hit a target, using magnets to slow the fall of an object, tying a knot in water, classifying rocks and minerals, testing for UV light, measuring reaction time, burning fabrics, focussing light rays, racing tin cans, and operating a steam engine.

Philosophy 

Our nation's future, and indeed that of our world, will depend upon creative approaches requiring problem-solving skills, and the activities in this program foster creativity and problem-solving in a friendly, supportive, and student-centred environment. Bright and enthusiastic children will find their imagination challenged as their mentor acts as a guide and source of encouragement in an exciting hands-on atmosphere free of criticism and in which mistakes are welcomed as learning opportunities rather than being feared. Above all, the emphasis is on fun, enjoyment, and safety.
 
Research has shown that activities like this can play a key role in motivating students in both their studies and along career paths. An emphasis is also placed on demonstrating the central role that science and technology play in society by relating the activities to real-life applications. Students will typically perform investigations in pairs, thus also fostering the important traits of cooperation and respect for others.

Format, Suitability, and Cost

A typical structure comprises three or four sessions per day, each up to 1.5 h, with up to 50 to 60 students per session. Suitable for Years 4 - 7. Cost $8 (plus 80c GST) per student (minimum 150 students).

Venue and Other Requirements

Data projector and screen, an appropriate number of student desks (with horizontal tops) or tables/trestles for workstations, ready access to tap water and a sink, waste bin, a floor that can take some drips or any spills, covered footwear for students. (Additional power points desirable.)

Feedback From Schools

  • "The students absolutely LOVED the hot air balloon. The hands-on activities engaged students, who loved that they were the ones 'in charge' of the activities. The learning and explanations at each workstation were great." Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School, Sydney
  • "The forensic activity was an excellent use of a fictional context for group investigation . . . Excellent personal interaction with students . . . Educational and entertaining--students were very focussed."  Jane Bradbury and Carly Davidson, Coolnwynpin State School, Brisbane

Feedback From Students

  • "It's fun, cool, and exciting and you learn a lot."
  • "You can do so many things and they are really interesting."
  • "Good, all hands-on."
  • "He explains things very well."
  • "He's understanding and lets us try things by ourselves."
  • "He doesn't get angry if we make a mistake."
  • "He doesn't preach at you or talk down to you, but takes you as you are."
  • "He allows any question and answers honestly."
  • "I would definitely recommend this program to other students." 

Day With a Scientist

This program is suitable for upper-primary students, and is particularly popular as a learning experience for gifted and talented students.
 
Cost is $35 (plus $3.50 GST) per student (min. 30 students, max. 60). As an alternative model, 100 students can experience one only of two 2.25-h hands-on sessions which include demonstrations. Cost $12.50 (plus $1.25 GST)/student.
one day

Aim

The aim of this hands-on, extended learning program is to accelerate the understanding, further arouse the curiosity, stimulate the imagination, and foster the creative-thinking and problem-solving abilities of students.

Opportunities

Students will experience a number of demonstrations aimed at encouraging them to make predictions, hypothesise, and develop explanations and fostering a keen interest in phenomena around them. They may hear science songs, be invited to recite science poetry, and carry out a range of hands-on investigations that may include:
  • solving mysteries and problems using forensic science (e.g., chemical tests, chromatography, fingerprinting) and creative thinking,
  • making slime, a weather indicator, fire alarm, electric motor, warm water fountain, rainbow, battery, siphon, fire extinguisher, telescope, softdrink bottle, whirly seed, balancing toy, a screamer, and electric circuits, 
  • being fascinated by magic writing, the collapsing can, mysteriously rising water, magic beaker, plastic bag air lift, floating card, telepathic student, magic candle, memory wire, amazing windbag, inverting pop top, self-siphoning gel, multiple collision accelerator, decision balls, disappearing cup, magic finger, confused balloons, the cups and the balloon, their blind spot, persistence of vision, yip-yip stick, tornado tube, gender indicator, jumping pencil, magic teaspoon, frustrating papers, and rocket, 
  • studying hot air currents, the misbehaving superball, uncontrollable foot, effects of pulleys, floating and sinking, immiscible liquids, acid/base indicator, compressed air water fountain, capillary action, soft and hard water, obedient string, the greenhouse effect, cooling effect of breezes, the burning candle problem, location of nerve endings, effect of oil spill on birds, how shape affects strength, flames, falling objects, fortune fish, sound waves, balance, taste and smell, colour and heating, a new fuel, effects of air pressure, and the magic sand wand, 
  • experiencing spectacular chemical reactions, coloured flames, and explosions, optical illusions, volcano, the effect of “invisible glue,” heat sensitive crystals, curious knots, curving tape, effects of UV light, talking cups, sound beats, magic wheel, and a giant solar bag, and 
  • purifying water, separating substances, spray painting, tying a knot in water, classifying rocks and minerals, using steam power and solar oven, hearing cannon fire, testing for UV light, understanding blue skies and red sunsets, measuring reaction time, burning fabrics, focussing light rays, racing tin cans, boiling warm water, eating astronaut food, “smelling” money, and operating a stunt plane. 

Philosophy

Our nation’s future, and indeed that of the world, will depend upon creative approaches requiring problem-solving skills. By aiming to strengthen participant’s multiple intelligences, the activities in this program foster creativity and problem-solving in a friendly, supportive, and student-centred environment.
 
Bright and enthusiastic children will find their imagination challenged as their mentor acts as a guide and source of encouragement in an exciting, hands-on atmosphere free of criticism and in which mistakes are welcomed as learning opportunities rather than being feared. Above all, the emphasis is on fun, enjoyment, and safety.
Research has shown that activities like this can play a key role in motivating students in both their studies and along career paths. An emphasis is also placed on demonstrating the key role that science and technology play in society by relating the activities to real-life applications. Students will typically perform investigations in pairs, thus also fostering the important traits of cooperation and respect for others.

Requirements

Students need covered footwear, a notebook, and a biro or pencil and also need to bring their own food and drink for both first and second breaks.

Feedback From Schools

  • "The program exceeded my expectations . . . We got to take things home . . . I learned lots and had great fun. I hope you come again . . . This was fun and exciting at the same time 'cause you never knew what might happen in an experiment . . . Should be longer . . . Your show Ruled!" Students, Emerald District
  • "I had fun and learned a lot, 10/10 . . . The day was better than I thought it would be . . . The program did more than I thought it would do . . . The day was perfect . . . There were good demonstrations. Dr Eastwell explained things well . . . My favourite bit was the rocket with the Coke bottle. I don't think you could do much to improve today! . . . I thought the day was brillliant. Students, Great Southern Grammar, Albany, WA
  • "Super fun . . . The whole thing was fascinating . . . Pity it is only 1 day . . . You get to keep some of the things . . . Amazing . . . liquid nitrogen was awesome . . . Totally cool demos." Students, Trinity Anglican School, Cairns
  • "I learned the most in my life . . . I've developed a liking for science. The day was way better than I expected . . . It went a lot quicker than I thought . . . I would like to do this again . . . A pity it's over . . . I learned a lot today. Thankyou." Students, Ormiston College, Brisbane
  • "You can learn something different with every experiment . . . The experiments were really interesting and fun, really fun. I didn't think science was so fun. I learnt some really good facts. I really enjoyed myself . . . I thought it was better than I expected because I didn't know a lot of that stuff and I didn't think there would be so many experiments . . . I thought it would be good, but it was better . . . Dissapointed that the day had to end." Students, Dalby State School
  • "My expectations were bowled over with this program. I would like it if Mr Eastwell would do afternoon classes throughout the years to come . . . Was really fun and I learned heaps of stuff - in a fun way! Peter was nice . . . Mr Eastwell made sure everybody had a good time. It was easy to understand . . . Make it a week instead of 1 day." Students, St. Columba's School, Dalby
  • "Excellent discussion of concepts . . . / great questions. Format is very appropriate for students for the day. Day combines learning with discovery and fun!!" Jeanese Eden, Hannaford State School
  • "I learnt so much that I have been wanting to know . . . Fantastic, interesting experiments, yet easy to understand . . . great variety . . . you have the ability to help children understand." Upper primary students, Rockhampton Grammar School
  • "The creativity of it all was great. Yes, it met my expectations and went higher. I think you should come back next year for it to go on for a week." Student, Toowoomba Grammar Junior School
  • "Whole school involved allowed older students to teach younger students. Very "hands-on" and allowed children independent learning and discovery. A variety of concepts covered that engaged and interested the students. Well done." Marina Clarke and Natalie Rayner, Moonie State School
  • " Lots of hands-on activities for the children. The children were keen to pursue all activities. The theme . . . is linked well to the science syllabus and relates well to the children. The children learnt a lot on the day. The children were keen to participate in everything and were allowed to ask many questions."  Linda Lee, Rockhampton Grammar School
  • "The program met my expectations by doing tons of experiments, and I learnt lots. I want to be the same as Mr Eastwell, a Doctor of Science . . . I got more out of it than I expected 'cause I have seven pages of notes! Maybe next year it should go from 8 am to 6 pm. Thanks for the great day!" Students, The Scots PGC College, Warwick